"I've called you people 4 times with an emergency," said the caller. "I've finally taken her because I can't depend on you."
Pitcher said the delay on that Christmas Eve is one of the worst ones he can remember, but he says 10 to 15 times a month all Idaho Falls ambulances are busy when a call comes in.
Fire chief Dean Ellis gave us a more conservative estimate: 5 to 10 times a month. still, Pitcher says something should change.
Ellis today and asked him about the Christmas Eve stroke call.
He said he wished dispatch would have been up front with the caller about the lack of resources, so he could have taken his wife to the hospital earlier.
A dispatch shift supervisor on Tuesday would not confirm whether dispatch had a policy about disclosing ambulance availability to a caller.
Idaho Falls councilwoman Ida Hardcastle told us by phone on Tuesday she does not believe emergency services are understaffed.