Thursday, September 28, 2023

What is the Price of a Life?

Letters to the Editor submitted to The Coronado Times are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editors or writers of this publication. Submit letters to [email protected].

Submitted by Coronado Firefighters Association

In every fire and emergency medical system there must be a balance between demand and operability. The advent of the automatic and mutual aid systems improved the allocation of service through the sharing of resources between fire and EMS agencies. But when that system becomes unbalanced, the resulting strain can put burden a supporting agency when resources are already thin, cause delays in finding outside resources, or even create a situation of dependence and an inability to provide essential services to a community.

In 2001, the Coronado Firefighters advocated and instituted the addition of advanced life support (ALS) paramedics within the Coronado community. As part of the transition, the City of Coronado reduced their two basic life support (BLS) ambulances to one (ALS) ambulance, staffing nine Coronado Firefighters daily throughout the transition. Since 2005, the demand for service has increased by 174%, with 2021 having the highest demand for service; and with each year increasing by approximately 5% on average. Currently 2022 is on pace for a 7% increase over the prior year.

In 2021, nearly one out of every six times a call for medical assistance was received within the City of Coronado, an outside agency was dispatched for assistance. For 15% of all calls for medical assistance within the City of Coronado during that year, an ambulance from an outside agency was requested to provide mutual aid to the City of Coronado. It takes on average five minutes for dispatch to find and request a mutual aid ambulance to the City of Coronado, and some of those resources are coming from as far away as San Diego, Chula Vista, and East County. As a Coronado resident, visitor, or guest, how long is too long to receive medical transport? 20 minutes, 30 minutes, maybe even 40 minutes, and what happens when there are no more ALS ambulances left in the system?

The time has come to invest in fire and emergency services in the City of Coronado. The Coronado Firefighters are in need of additional daily staffing, and the addition of a second ambulance at fire station 37 in the Cays, as there was in 2000. The addition of these resources would improve fire and emergency medical services to not only the Cays community but would dedicate a second ambulance to the rest of the Coronado community, while improving coverage during department mandated training and administrative duties.

The Coronado Firefighters have advocated for the safety and well-being of the Coronado community since 1963. We are proud to be of service to this community and hope you will support public safety initiatives by contacting your elected representatives.

Coronado Firefighters Association






Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]