Extreme cold reduces emergency response times

UK researchers compared daily air temperatures with ambulance call-out data in Birmingham from 2007 to 2011. 

They found for every 1°C reduction in temperature there was a 1.3% reduction in ambulance response performance.

The UK’s goal is to respond to 75% of life-threatening incidents within eight minutes. But in December 2010 – the coldest days in a century – the response rate fell below 50% with a mean response time of 15 minutes.

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