Ain't nobody home

I don't think there's any stronger evidence of the utter failure of Multnomah County government than the fact that you can't get an ambulance in Portland when you need one. Things have gotten so bad that the first responders are giving up waiting, and getting people to the hospital in whatever vehicles they can find.

Around 2:30 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, a 43-year-old man was experiencing chest pains on a TriMet bus near Southeast 94th Avenue and Foster Road. There were no available ambulances, so PF&R responded alone.

“Upon arrival, they recognized there was going to be a significant amount of time to wait,” Graves said.

Firefighters waited for an ambulance for 20 minutes. However, they realized something more immediate needed to be done in the best interest of the patient. That’s when the PF&R crew decided to use the TriMet bus itself to transport the man to the hospital. 

“We had crew members riding on the bus. We had the rescue leading the bus out. So it was a parade of individuals, if you will, getting this patient [to the hospital],” Graves said. 

Given Portland's high local taxes and City Hall's spending on one frivolity after another, it's really a disgrace that Chevy Vega and the crew can't get enough ambulances on the street.

I suspect all the drug overdoses happening every day aren't helping matters any, either. And so it's interesting that the city fire department is reportedly setting up some sort of specialized response team just for that kind of health emergency. 

Portland Commissioner and mayoral candidate Rene Gonzalez announced the creation of a new pilot program Wednesday, which will primarily provide drug overdose treatment to people suffering from meth and fentanyl addiction in Old Town Chinatown starting this January.

The pilot program will assign one Community Health Assess and Treat team to Portland Fire & Rescue’s Old Town Station, where firefighters have handled a third of the 7,000 drug overdose calls that the city has received in the past year. If the project is deemed a success, it may be expanded to other areas of the city, Gonzalez said....

“In short, very few overdose calls require the full-range of emergency responses a traditional four-person fire truck can provide,” Gonzalez’ office said. “Fire and Rescue’s CHAT program, through its pilot of the Overdose Response Team, will better align limited public resources to specific community needs resulting in better outcomes for firefighters, taxpayers, and residents.”

Although it doesn't sound like it's going to help much with the ambulance shortage, this idea may improve the odds that somebody will show up to try to help you when the emergency arises. But only during banker's hours, of course.

The pilot program is scheduled to operate for six months and will be in service from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

So I guess you should tell Grandpa to time his heart attack carefully.


  1. Drive or get someone to drive you and do the best Fred Sandford performance you can when you arrive at the ER.

  2. Portland has earned this and by doubling down it will get even more of a return on its investment in self.

  3. There are so many cities and towns with leadership, public employees, and elected officials that have already solved this problem to provide essential services. Heck, some of those places even use private ambulance services like AMR to augment the emergency services.

    Why aren't any of the Portland leaders and agencies talking to any of them to find out how to effectively and efficiently provide timely services?

    How happy are you with how your tax dollars are being spent?

    I paid Oregon and local taxes for 45 years, and saw both good and bad use of my tax dollars. For my retirement, I left after seeing my tax dollars wasted year after year.

    I'm sure current residents aren't happy with the decline. Those who can leave, will leave, and for those who remain, why? What is anchoring current residents, and why are they tolerating the incompetence.

    Yes, I moved out for my remaining sunset years. It's less expensive to visit Oregon if needed than to live there now.

  4. If we declared it a "climate crisis" we could dip into that big wad of cash. Oh and more money for more endless wars- let's get our priorities straight!

    1. I didn't know that Oregon state and local governments could fund wars. I learn something new everyday.

      As for controlling the climate to do as we wish, millions of years of Earth's history would indicate otherwise. The climate will change due to factors we'll never control.


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