Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bad news round-up

Sorry, but a lot of the news I have been seeing recently hasn't been cheery. It is important to share the bad as well as the good. Here goes:

A Maplewood, Missouri firefighter/paramedic student who had only been on the job 10 months was killed in an ambush after responding to a vehicle fire. Two cops were also shot. Here is the story from Fox News in St. Louis.

The ambush was a tactic which was originally used against cops in the 60's and 70's. An ambush can also be seen in some domestic violence and violent psych cases. News reports thus far don't give a motivation. It seems the fire was started to draw emergency personnel to the scene. The suspect later burned his house to the ground and didn't negotiate with police.

New Jersey EMTs try to save their jobs. This report from the Star Ledger's nj.com.

I understand the budget crises that affect municipalities and taxpayers today. I also believe that there is a place for community-based EMS. One of the EMTs that would lose his job is from a family with a long history of public service.

The article makes an interesting point that the financial savings the municipalities see will ultimately be shifted to the taxpayer in the form of co-pays and denied claims when health insurance (if you are lucky enough to have it) won't cover the ambulance bills.

We need a solution that combines community-based EMS and helps the budget woes of municipalities. If I had an immediate answer this blog readership would soar!

Finally, in the category of bad news, Bryan Bledsoe addressed the helicopter issue (again) even before two medical helicopters collided in Arizona. As always, Bryan's columns are good reading.

Now more than ever, stay safe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First I would like to thank you for both of you lectures in Baltimore I found them both very entertaining and informative about topics that aren't very actively discussed in squads. Second speaking as both a paid and volunteer EMT in the state of New Jersey i have been following this problem with interest as of late some towns have been pushing for a happy medium of billing their residents insurance for what they are willing to pay and calling the rest a wash. Although fully paid and staffed EMS may cost more it takes a big bite out of the towns portion. Unforunatley they will go after non-residents for payment in full. the towns that are doing this though seem to be succeeding but they are larger towns running 3000+ calls a year so fully staffed smaller towns may have to be regionalized if paid EMS went full scale. However the smaller towns dont have nearly as many staffing issues because the demands of volunteering arent that great. The article is correct though, finding the happy medium will be difficult but in the great state of New Jersey as with everything related to EMS this will be on the back burner for quite some time before the state is literally forced to take action.