EMT's Worried About Hospital Move to Murray

EMT's Worried About Hospital Move to Murray

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Ed Yeates Reporting Not everybody likes moving IHCs major Trauma One hospital out to Murray. Salt Lake City firefighters and EMTs have some real concerns, knowing in another two years that valuable resource, currently in the Avenues, will be no more.

In late 2007 the University of Utah will be the only adult Trauma One Hospital in Salt Lake City. That's because LDS Hospital in the Avenues will no longer have that title.

LDS Hospital will be downsized into a smaller community facility, while the new large Intermountain Medical Center at 53rd South in Murray will become IHC's Trauma One flagship. While everybody south of the city, where the population is growing rapidly, likes the move, Salt Lake City First Responders are worried.

Scott Freitag, Salt Lake City Fire Dept.: "We will have only one option and that is to go to the university. And while that option is a great option to go there - it's a fantastic trauma center - there are times when they are busy."

And when they are filled up, Scott Freitag says Salt Lake City will have to transport trauma patients farther downstream.

Scott Freitag: "Right now our average transport time from the scene to a transport center is about four to six minutes. If we have to transport them all the way down to Murray then we could be looking at a 10, 20, maybe even a 30 minute transport time, depending on traffic conditions."

And for level one trauma patients in a life threatening situation, time is of the essence. But IHC says that's the whole purpose of moving south, to get a better location in the heart of the valley.

Marla Birch, IHC Urban-Central Emergency Services: "We actually believe this is a more strategic location, and it should help both trauma centers instead of having them be neck and neck up in the Avenues."

Unlike LDS Hospital's 24 ER beds, Marla Birch says the new hospital will have more than 50 ER beds, expanding space for trauma patients. She also believes transport to 53rd South will be faster on and off the freeway than it is now winding through downtown traffic and the Avenues.

Salt Lake has been very lucky having two trauma one adult hospitals and a children's hospital inside the city itself. It's an enviable national status Salt Lake City EMTs don't want to lose but will have to, come 2007.

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