The Washington Area Ambulance District responded to 45 more calls in 2012 than in 2011, according to year-end data provided by the district.
There has been a steady increase in calls over the past several years. Calls in 2012 totaled 2,818; compared to 2,773 in 2011; and 2,549 in 2010.
The district currently staffs three advanced life support ambulances 24 hours per day. Two ambulances with crews are based at headquarters. One ambulance crew is stationed at House 2, on Highway A. The district currently has 20 full-time staff and 21 part-time staff licensed as emergency medical technicians, paramedics and registered nurses.
In 2012, a total of 2,010 calls were handled by headquarters. The remaining 808 were dispatched from House 2.
In 2012, ambulance personnel responded to 1,094 emergency medical calls, 161 emergency cardiac calls, 159 emergency motor vehicle accidents and 307 accidents with injuries.
Crews made 809 transfers and provided mutual aid or were on stand-by in 44 incidents. The department provided rehab service to the fire department four times, and was at five structure fires. It assisted in eight home death transfers, 10 mutual aid requests, 148 routine transfers and 69 calls to assist an invalid, for a total of 2,818 calls.
The district is divided into six zones, including four city and two rural zones. Each residential care facility also is assigned a zone.
“This allows us to track calls at these facilities and also provides a more accurate count of the primary responses within other specified zones,” said Terry Buddemeyer, WAAD chief.
The department primarily picked up from Mercy Hospital Washington, a total of 908 times, and picked up at residences 886 times. These pickups account for 63.7 percent of pickups.
Crews picked up people from businesses in 161 instances and in auto accidents 164 times.
Some other locations include Grandview Healthcare Center, 96; street-no auto accidents, 29; The Homestead at Hickory View, 40; Mercy Medical Building South, 72; Mercy Urgent Care, 49; MacArthur Park Senior Housing, 24; Mercy Urgent Care Washington, 35, and several others 20 times or fewer.
Of those picked up, the primary drop-off location was at Mercy Hopsital Washington, a total of 1,242. There were 526 “no transports” and 462 were transported to Mercy Hospital St. Louis. Those three numbers account for 80 percent of the data.
Pickup zones broken down by wards are as follows: Ward 1, 224; Ward 2, 399; Ward 3, 319; and Ward 4, 213.
Outside of the city, there were 75 pickups in the west, Highway A included, and 75 pickups in the east. There were an additional 56 out-of-district pickups.
Sales Tax Collection
Passage of the three-eighths cent sales tax in lieu of real estate and personal property tax in April 2006, with implementation in October 2006, resulted in similar annual collection totals for 2007 and 2008.
“The downturn in the economy was evident by the decrease in our sales tax collection in 2009 and 2010,” Buddemeyer said.
The 2011 and 2012 totals show an increase and are similar to the totals from 2007-08.
The yearly breakdown is as follows:
2006 — $145,810.39;
2007 — $1,478,736.97;
2008 — $1,472,780.50;
2009 — $1,381,466.59;
2010 — $1,379,443.77;
2011 — $1,481,920.02; and
2012 — $1,451,151.95.