Emergency Medical Service (EMS) vehicle operations using lights and siren pose a significant risk to both EMS practitioners and the public. In 2009, there were 1,579 ambulance crash injuries, and most EMS vehicle crashes occur when operating with lights and siren.
 
Emergency medical vehicle crashes occur more often at intersections, more often at traffic signals, and more often with multiple injuries, including 84% involving three or more people. Over a dozen studies show that the average time saved with lights and siren response or transport ranges from 42 seconds to 3.8 minutes. Lights and siren response increases the chance of an EMS vehicle crash by 50% and almost triples the chance of crash during patient transport.
 
In February 2022, 14 national EMS and Fire associations published a joint statement encouraging agencies to reduce lights and siren responses. To help make responses safer for the community, and our personnel, Williamson County EMS is participating with 50 other EMS agencies across the country in a quality improvement project to evaluate processes to reduce the number of calls we respond to using lights and siren, limiting those types of response to truly time-critical medical responses, such as heart attacks, serious breathing problems, and serious trauma.
 
Part of that evaluation is assessing public perception of lights and siren operation and your response to this quick survey is a crucial part of that evaluation. We encourage our community to take 3 minutes to answer a few questions regarding their perspectives on lights and siren EMS vehicle operation.

Question Title

* 1. On average, how much time do you believe an ambulance responding with lights and siren saves?

Question Title

* 2. On average, how much time do you believe an ambulance transporting a patient to the hospital with lights and siren saves?

Question Title

* 3. What % of Williamson County EMS’ 911 EMS responses do you believe are for a patient experiencing time-sensitive, life-threatening emergency?

Question Title

* 4. Do you feel a patient with a low-acuity medical issue, (like neck pain, leg pain, back pain, nausea) should receive the same response priority and response time as a patient with a life-threatening medical condition, such as a heart attack, choking, or major trauma?

Question Title

* 5. Have you ever had or witnessed a "close encounter" with an emergency vehicle while they were driving with lights and siren (i.e.: near crash with the vehicle, near/actual crash with other vehicles as you/they moved out of the way, or merged back into traffic after the emergency vehicle passed)?

Question Title

* 6. We welcome any other comments you would like to share regarding lights and sirens usage.

T