Rural Metro takes heat for slow response

May 19, 2015

It appears the Buffalo Common Council will not be rubber stamping a new deal with Rural Metro. Last Tuesday, an elderly driver waited 45-minutes for an ambulance after her car hit a Hertel Avenue restaurant.

Councilman Joseph Golombek says, on Friday, another woman waited at least 30-minutes after falling at Riverside High School. In Council Chambers Tuesday, the University District's Rasheed Wyatt told Rural Metro officials he'd be concerned about approving a new contract. 

Rural Metro Regional Director, Jay Smith (right) answers questions from council members in City Hall Tuesday.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

"I'm just concerned about that emergency that occurs. Would you be able to assist in making certain that lives were saved in those situations, when this was a small one? You know...this was a situation that you said...'wasn't a major emergency.' But it took 45 minutes," Wyatt said. 

Rural Metro, Regional Director, Jay Smith said, the delay was due to a spike in calls. Smith says when volume is higher than normal Rural Metro prioritizes its response and sends ambulances to the most critical cases first.  

The Council's Finance Committee could begin reviewing Rural Metro's new contract next week.