Not all ambulance services are staffed with paramedics. Sand Lake Ambulance was not staffed with paramedics until the middle of 2005. Before Sand Lake Ambulance became an ALS agency, it took 15-45 minutes for a paramedic from outside the town (often Troy or Cohoes) to reach our patients. In situations where transport could not be delayed, the paramedic would ‘intercept’ the ambulance en-route to the hospital.
Currently, our fully equipped paramedic arrives on scene within minutes (depending on location of course) of a call being dispatched and sometimes 5-10 minutes before the volunteer-staffed ambulance arrives. This is far better for our patients than having to pull over on the way to the hospital so that a paramedic from outside the town can board our ambulance. Clearly, the sooner a seriously ill or injured patient receives ALS care the better the outcome.