In what is believed to be the first study to measure the impact of Uber and other ride-booking services on the U.S. ambulance business, two researchers have concluded that ambulance usage is dropping across the country.
A research paper released Wednesday examined ambulance usage rates in 766 U.S. cities in 43 states as Uber entered their markets from 2013 to 2015.
Comparing ambulance volumes before and after Uber became available in each city, the two men found that the ambulance usage rate dipped significantly.
No shit. If I’m in a life or death medical situation, and I’m given the choice between an Uber and an ambulance, I’m taking an Uber 10/10 times. First off, ambulances cost a shit ton of money. There’s no way me and my worn out, red, Bank of America debit card can afford that. I’ll be in the ambulance, only to get the “Warning: Balance below $25” email and have a heart attack on top of whatever I’m in the ambulance for.
Ambulances are also way too dramatic. There’s no low key way to get in an ambulance. They always come down the street at 100mph and think it’s a good idea to wake up all your neighbors with sirens that sound like an ice cream truck with Parkinson’s. And it’s not just them either. They bring all their friends too. The police, the fire brigade, everyone’s on their porches in the exact same stance. The whole thing is just an unnecessary production.
You also have to call 911, which I am terrified of. I’ve never called 911, but I get anxiety when I call in a buffalo chicken calzone for delivery, so I could only imagine the pressure I would feel on the phone with 911. Like if you work at a pizza place, and you’ve answered the phone only to have the person on the other end immediately hang up, that person was more than likely me.
None of that’s the case for Uber, though. I don’t have to talk to anyone. I can just press a button, then I can just watch a little car on my phone drive towards me. It’s also way more comfortable. You get in some guy’s nice Honda Accord. There’s bottled water in the back, maybe a couple Starburst. The driver doesn’t speak English, so there’s no pressure to talk to him. It’s great.
They’re also way cheaper. If I was having a heart attack, I think I would still call an Uber Pool. I’ve definitely written this before, but I think ambulances should have a pool feature. There’s no better time to make a new friend than when you’re on the brink of death.
I’m so pro-Uber when it comes to medical emergencies, that I’ll call an Uber for my future pregnant wife. Uber has this new feature where you can call rides ahead of time, so the minute I find out she’s pregnant, I’ll just pre-order an Uber for nine months in the future. That’s something I don’t get about pregnancies. Why does it always seem like an emergency, and everyone is caught so off guard when a woman goes into labor? You’ve had nine months to figure this out. How did you not see this coming? Your wife has literally doubled in size.
So some people might be caught off guard with this new statistic. Not me. It makes perfect sense. If you still call an ambulance, you’re an idiot. Have fun sitting in the back of one, looking up at bright florescent lights, while I’m walking around my neighborhood looking for Abdul because he took a wrong turn on a one way, and can’t figure out Google maps.