Ambulance response times are improving in rural Barry County

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 9:48 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - For residents in rural parts of Missouri, ambulance services can take some time to arrive.

Mercy is working to change that.

“It’s been an ongoing issue,” said Victoria Saldana.

She says she’s worried about her elderly father getting emergency services in Seligman.

“Every single time they’ve called, they have never shown up before 30 minutes,” she explained.

Saldana says more should be done to get medical attention in rural Barry County.

She said, “I understand that it’s a small area. It’s not like a big city, but at the same time, those people’s lives matter too.”

Bob Patterson, director of ambulance services for Mercy, said, “It’s not like in a metropolitan area where you might have a five to six to seven minutes or less than eight minutes, 59 seconds, whatever your gold standard is. But in a rural environment, that can be more challenging.”

He says those challenges can be significant.

“In Shannon County, Missouri, for example, we have one ambulance sitting in that entire county. Those response times look much different because there aren’t the resources there,” said Patterson.

He says there are measures in place to help expedite service.

“We use a tool called Pulse. We can see a common operating picture of where all the ambulances participating in the system are located in case there’s someone else besides us that might be more appropriate to send on that call,” explained Patterson.

In southern Barry County, the partnership between Mercy and the ambulance district has the average response time down to around 14 minutes, thanks to a station in Eagle Rock.

“I don’t think they could be a lot better. I think the South Barry District has done a great job working with us. They have really paid it forward as far as taking care of the community,” said Patterson.

To report a correction or typo, please email