Prior to 1985, the Phoenix Fire Department relied on private ambulance companies to transport its patients. At that time, seven ambulance companies participated in our rotational dispatch policy. Average response times were unacceptable; approaching 20minutes and a standard of a 10 minutes response time was met only 50% of the time.
The City of Phoenix chose to change to a single transportation service. The Phoenix Fire Department was permitted to compete in the bidding process for this service and was chosen as the ambulance provider for the City of Phoenix. In November 1985, Phoenix Fire Department Emergency Transportation Services (ETS) was implemented. Since its inception, ambulance response times to all areas within the boundaries of Phoenix have improved substantially. The service consistently maintains a response time of under 10 minutes 92% of the time with a majority arriving on the scene in less than 5 minutes.
Some service delivery goals (e.g. response time, staffing, training, fees for service), are imposed by the State, the Fire Department remains committed in its efforts to constantly improve service delivery. As part of the Department's approach to Total Quality Management, the Department has implemented labor management teams as a tool to evaluate, develop and implement program improvements. These teams consist of management personnel, members assigned to ambulances and representatives from United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association, Local 493.