Wednesday, July 25, 2007

EMS workers to strike Monday

Foster's Daily Democrat (New Hampshire) is one of many media outlets reporting a pending strike against American Medical Response (AMR) in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

This will have an impact on EMS--both emergency response and non-emergency transports--throughout the northeast.

The news article contained the expected positioning quotes from both sides. In this case, I think the union has some valid points--and AMR's pockets seem deep enough to share a wee bit of wealth with its employees.

In addition to a prior post in this blog in reference to AMR, Reuters listed this report on AMR's parent company first quarter earnings:

May 3 (Reuters) - Emergency Medical Services Corp. (EMS) on Thursday reported first-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates, and raised full-year profit forecast as it continued to win new contracts and renew agreements.

Shares of the company were up almost 10 percent at $36.76 in late morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. They had hit an all-time high of $40.90 earlier in the day.

Strong performance from the EmCare segment combined with overall cost reductions led to the performance, J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Andreas Dirnagl said in a research note.

EmCare Holdings Inc., the company's emergency department and hospital-based management services segment, recorded a 23.8 percent higher net revenue for the quarter.

American Medical Response, the other segment that operates medical transportation services, saw a 4.3 percent increase in net revenue during the period.
"We continue to look for impressive growth out of EmCare as more hospitals realize the advantages of outsourcing the emergency department to such an efficient operator," Dirnagl added.

AMR can't be the fall guy for the lack of pay and professionalism in EMS. However, I do know several AMR employees in this little corner of the world...and none are getting rich.

To be fair, striking should never be done lightly. In the EMS biz lives are on the line. Both sides need to come to the table in good faith right to the end.

In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, AMR was described like this:

About American Medical Response
American Medical Response Inc. ( ), America's leading provider of medical transportation, is locally operated in 36 states and the District of Columbia. More than 18,000 AMR paramedics, EMTs and other professionals transport nearly four million patients nationwide each year in critical, emergency and non-emergency situations. Operating a fleet of approximately 4,400 vehicles, AMR is headquartered in Greenwood Village, CO.

It is time for AMR to show how important their professionals truly are.

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