AFD on scene UMass Mullins Center for ETOH concert goer
The war on rowdy student behavior seems to have taken a major positive turn with UMass student off campus code of conduct violations down 63% from last year, and Amherst Police Department noise/nuisance tickets down 66%.
Great news for sure, but the war on stupid behavior still has a ways to go.
The other equally important part of the equation is the drain on Emergency Medical Services brought on by "substance abuse" calls that needlessly tie up ambulances, and on occasion fire trucks that have to act as medical first responders.
A little over 9% of AFD's 4,478 emergency medical runs (410) in 2014 were because of substance abuse, down ever so slightly from 2013 when almost 10% of 4,328 EMT runs (422) were due to drugs and/or alcohol abuse.
Naturally our institutes of higher education are outliers. In 2013 UMass substance abuse runs came in at 27% of total (219 out of 848), Amherst College at 26% (39 out of 152) and Hampshire College at 24% (17 out of 71).
In 2014 UMass was down ever so slightly with substance abuse runs at 25% (202 of 808), Amherst College up a little at 27% (50 out of 184) and Hampshire College also up ever so slightly at 25% (19 out of 77).
In other words no improvement whatsoever.
The problem with these preventable substance abuse cases is they all seem to come around the same time (late night/early morning on weekends) severely straining staffing levels at AFD.
Yes, even with additional money from UMass to put two extra ambulances in service (making 5 total) on weekends there were a few times in September when that was not enough.
The day will soon come when someone's life slips away while awaiting an out-of-town mutual aid ambulance to arrive. That cost is incalculable.