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Uber vs. Ambulance

Some are using a different transportation option when they head to the emergency room. Ambulance costs can run you hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on your insurance.

Due to its low price, some are ditching the ambulance bill and hitching a ride to the ER in an Uber. And the odd trend is something paramedics are saying could be dangerous.

A study conducted by the University of Kansas says the availability of ride-share services has led to a decline in the need of ambulances. However, local paramedics are saying the cost of getting to the hospital shouldn't turn you away from getting there safely.

"I'm sure cost has something to do with it. Ambulances are expensive. For sure,” says Matt Watt, Paramedic Battalion Chief for METS.

Price wise, using an Uber can be the better option. And one local Uber driver says he's seen this trend firsthand.

"I know she was pregnant and she had a suitcase. And I thought she was going, flying somewhere out of Joplin. Turns out she was going to the hospital, her water broke. And she was in labor. So I drove her to Mercy,” says Mike Woodruff.

But Uber drivers aren't always equipped with medical knowledge. Paramedics say the better and safer option to get to the hospital is always an ambulance.

"If someone was having chest pain, or a stroke, something like that, definitely they should call an ambulance and not an Uber. Uber drivers aren't trained to deal with those emergencies, and they don't have the equipment,” says Matt Watt.

Uber was first welcomed to the area back in spring of 2017. And paramedics say just take the ambulance because that will ensure you get there faster and safer.


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