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City to Expand Ewa Beach, Makiki Emergency Services to 24 Hours

Jason Ubay/Hawaii Public Radio

Starting on July 4, the Ewa Beach and Makiki ambulances will expand their services from 12 hours to 24 hours a day, the city announced Monday.The increased coverage comes as the West O‘ahu community continues to grow. In 2020, the city said its Makiki unit responded to 3,510 calls and its Ewa Beach unit responded to 2,357 within their daily 12-hour shifts.

Additionally, a pilot Community Paramedic Program is expected to start in the next six to 12 months. The program will respond to calls that have less urgency, such as anxiety and hunger pains.

Dr. Jim Ireland, director of Honolulu Emergency Medical Services, explained how the expansion will affect response times.

"Right now when the Makiki ambulance goes out of service at midnight, the other downtown units have to make up for those calls, and even more so in Ewa Beach," he said. "The ambulance is deep in Ewa Beach, so when they go out of service at midnight, the Makakilo or Waipahu unit has to come to Ewa Beach."

"I think it will help both East and West O?ahu, but I think especially West O?ahu because of the distance," he said.

All of the other 19 EMS units on O‘ahu already operate 24 hours a day, the city said.

The announcement was made Monday at a press conference recognizing National Emergency Medical Services Week.

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