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10 minutes, 30 seconds: Length of time crash victims in rural Nevada highway accidents must wait beyond the national average to be delivered to a hospital after being involved in an Puma Red And White Sneakers

Response times growing longer

"If we had more funding to be able to offset some of the costs even a part time paid position to help coordinate EMS services that would be a big help," Quick says.

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The average response time of Nevada rural ambulance crews to fatal accidents in 2004 was 19.34 minutes the longest it's been in five years, the Gazette Journal found. That's nearly four minutes slower than it was in 2001, when stricter post 9 11 training requirements started making it difficult for volunteer crews to find people to join.

The response time for all volunteer crews is twice as long as it is for predominately paid crews in Nye, Churchill, Storey, Douglas, Washoe, Carson City and Clark County and 24 percent longer than in counties that have some paid staff but rely primarily on volunteers.

A long trip to the hospital

"The average person thinks the ambulance will arrive in a short period of time and that they will get the same type of care that victims (of accidents) get in the city," says Fergus Laughridge, emergency medical services program manager for the Nevada State Health Division. Department of Transportation also made these alarming findings:

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And even after ambulance crews have arrived at an accident scene, given first aid and loaded patients into their ambulance, it's likely to be another 45 minutes to an hour before they can get you to the hospital to see a doctor.

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"People who are volunteering are very dedicated and passionate in what they do," says Laughridge. "The problem is you don't have a strong stream of that type of person.""We lack volunteers tremendously," she says. "People just aren't willing to go through the amount of training that's needed. And people think, 'Why should I go through that kind of anxiety when someone could just turn around and sue me?'"

7: The number of years between 1998 and 2004 in which the response times of Nevada's rural and mostly volunteer ambulance crews ranked among the five worst in the nation.

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But in six of Nevada's 17 counties, all ambulance crews are volunteers. These small, all volunteer crews are expected to respond to accidents on hundreds of miles of state and federal highways, stretching resources thin and creating long delays in reaching accident sites.

Those distances spread their resources pretty thin. Lander has roughly two volunteers for every 100 miles of road the thinnest coverage of any county in Nevada except neighboring Pershing, which has 25 volunteers and just 1.2 volunteers per 100 miles Puma Disc Black

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´╗┐Nevada's rural response times are worst in U

of road, the newspaper found.

"I work a regular job, and to do county business it takes a lot of time," says Michelle Quick, a volunteer in Battle Mountain, where there are no paid emergency crews. "I have to work around family and job and commissioners and the volunteers, and I do the best job I can."

accident that results in a fatality.

Battle Mountain is in Lander County, where the average response time to Puma Ankle Shoes Women fatal accidents is about 20 minutes. That seems like a long time until you consider that Lander County is staffed by 29 volunteer emergency medical personnel. Those volunteers respond to accidents on more than 1,400 miles of county, state and federal roads, including the heavily traveled Interstate 80.

According to a computer assisted analysis by the Gazette Journal of federal databases and state accident reports, Nevada's response to rural fatal accidents is a little over 18 minutes. average for rural fatals of 11.6 minutes, and 44 percent longer than the average (12.6 minutes) for other Western states that, like Nevada, have long stretches of highway running through sparsely populated deserts and rangelands.

Overall, 46 percent of the licensed emergency medical personnel in Nevada (excluding Clark County) are volunteers. Puma High Tops Shoes

These add up to the worst response times in the country.

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Not surprisingly, the average time it takes crews to transport patients from fatal accident scenes to a hospital is longer in rural counties than in urban ones. But the difference is sometimes dramatic.

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2: Number of years (1998 and 1999) in which those crews had the longest response time in the nation.

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That's because many of Nevada's rural ambulance crews are all volunteer squads. They are real estate agents, school teachers, miners and grocery store clerks, and they have to drop work to head out to emergencies on remote highways where the location of the accident is often a mystery.

If you have an accident on a rural Nevada highway, you are likely to wait up to 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. In some counties, the wait is over a half hour. Sometimes, no ambulance arrives.

More traffic, more deaths

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