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The following appeared in the editorial section of a West Cambria newspaper.A recent review of the West Cambria volunteer ambulance service revealed a
longer average response time to accidents than was reported by a commercial
ambulance squad located in East Cambria. In order to provide better patient care for
accident victims and to raise revenue for our town by collecting service fees for
ambulance use, we should disband our volunteer service and hire a commercial
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.
In this argument the author concludes that West Cambria can increase revenues and provide better care to accident victims by
disbanding the volunteer ambulance service and hiring a commercial one. The author reasons that this change would yield additional
revenues because service fees could be imposed for ambulance use. The author also reasons that the city would provide better service
to accident victims because a commercial service would respond more quickly to accidents than a volunteer service would. The author’s
argument is flawed in two respects.
To begin with, the author’s plan for raising revenue for West Cambria is questionable. Unless the service fees are considerable or the
accident rate is extremely high, it is unlikely that significant revenues will be raised by charging a fee for ambulance use. Consequently,
revenue generation is not a good reason to disband the volunteer service and hire a commercial service.
Next, the author’s belief that better patient care would be provided by a commercial ambulance service than by a volunteer service is
based on insufficient evidence. The fact that the commercial service in East Cambria has a lower average response time than the
volunteer service in West Cambria is insufficient evidence for the claim that this will be the case for all commercial services. Moreover,
the author’s recommendation depends upon the assumption that response time to an accident is the only factor that influences patient
care. Other pertinent factors—such as ambulance-crew proficiency and training, and emergency equipment—are not considered.
In conclusion, this argument is unconvincing. To strengthen the argument the author would have to show that substantial revenue for the
town could be raised by charging service fees for ambulance use. Additionally, the author would have to provide more evidence to
support the claim that commercial ambulance services provide better patient care than volunteer services.