With MEDIC’s new plan, you’ll hear sirens less often when they respond to calls

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MEDIC has unveiled its plan to respond to medical emergencies.

Most drivers are familiar with the need to pull over when sirens sound. But the changes MEDIC will enact mean we’ll hear sirens less often. The flashing lights will not be used as priority traffic and more calls will be answered.

These changes will be in effect by the end of next year.

RELATED: 9 Investigates: How fast does MEDIC respond to 911 calls? 2 families say they never showed

The changes were presented Tuesday by Mecklenburg EMS and local hospital leaders, as well as the Charlotte Fire Department to county commissioners. They stated that this was about best practices, not staff shortages.

MEDIC is also reorganizing its response. Mecklenburg EMS responds to 76% calls with lights, sirens and sirens. But only 5% need this level of critical attention.

This change will mean that it may take longer to answer non-urgent calls.

“Just like a hospital. When someone walks into a hospital, the hospital has to determine ‘who is the sickest patient I need to treat now’ versus someone who is not as sick that can wait a little longer,” said John Peterson with MEDIC.

The dispatcher and caller will decide the best response.

Some county commissioners are concerned about the response time for life-threatening, but not serious injuries

“I think about my 75-year-old mother who came to visit me, missed the bottom step of my house and had a complete break,” said Commissioner Leigh Altman.

Although injuries like this will still need to be treated, the priority will be given to something more urgent, such as a heart attack nearby.

Commissioners said they trust MEDIC’s plan and back it but said the public will need education and possibly convincing.

“I think that is going to be an adjustment for the public,” Commissioner Laura Meier said.

“I do think we have to consider some of the unforeseen consequences sometimes of just going for efficiency and so I do feel concerned about,” Commissioner Susan Rodriguez-McDowell said. “But I really do support the idea of what you are doing.”

(WATCH BELOW : After the launch of MEDIC, more 911 callers are now able to ride-share with their vehicles.

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