Hopes held high for Increased Ambulance Service


PRESS RELEASE_____________________________________________


For Immediate Release                                             Contact: Kainoa Horcajo

                                                                                    Office of Representative Mele Carroll

Friday, February 15, 2008                                            Phone: (808) 586-6473


Hopes Held High for Increased Ambulance Service


Honolulu, Hawaii- Two bills seeking funds for ambulance service in Haiku, Maui and Moloka‘i passed out of the House Committee on Health and awaits hearing with the Finance Committee. House Bill 2382 and 2789, introduced by Representative Mele Carroll (D- Paia, Haiku, Keanae, Hana, Moloka‘i, Kalaupapa, Lana'i, and Kaho‘olawe), have been combined with several other measures providing medical services across the state. The conglomerate of bills is now known as HB2888 HD1.


Haiku, a rapidly growing part of Maui, does not have an ambulance station of its own and must rely on service from the Makawao, Kula, and Hana stations, up to 90 minutes away, for emergency care.  The passage of this bill will provide funding for an ambulance station in Haiku, thereby reducing response times to residents of the rural area and getting them the care they need faster and safer.


"The health and well-being of the community is of paramount importance and minutes can feel like hours when waiting for an ambulance to arrive," said Rep. Carroll.


Moloka‘i, with enough staff for only one ambulance, has long been in need of funding for a second station. If HB2888 becomes law, funding will provide residence with staff for a second ambulance.  With the volume of calls, victims and concurrent incidents rising, additional help is necessary and would be greatly appreciated. 


"I've often had to drive around the neighborhood on my day off, looking for someone to watch my kids because there's a critical emergency to get to and the whole on-duty staff is responding to something on the other side of the island.  Needless to say, we've had to be creative in responding to our community needs," said Scotty Schaefer, a Moloka‘i emergency medical service provider.