If you want a shorter version read,
I’m going to include this quote because it underlines what happens when non medical people try to help improve EMS systems.
Butkovitz called on the department to cross-train paramedics as firefighters. Unlike ambulances, fire engines usually arrive at emergency calls within three minutes of calls. But they are not staffed with paramedics
If the problem is not enough available ambulances to meet demand, wouldn’t the answer be to add more ambulances. Sending fire fighters, whether trained as paramedics or not, is a band aid approach to the problem.
Speaking of the problem I am compelled to add a second quote.
Butkovitz echoed the sentiment, saying the department needed to bring its financial resources in line with its need: EMS incidents account for 82 percent of the department’s workloads, but EMS receives only 17 percent of the department’s budget.
Soooo, Mr. Butkovitz correctly identified a need to resource mismatch, but then goes on to recommend a fix that isn’t a fix.
Other cities have had success with paramedics on engines, Butkovitz said.
Define success, Mr. Butkovitz. I’ll be it has something to do with response times, but little to do with outcomes. Has anyone ever done a study to see if there is an advantage to having paramedics on fire trucks. I mean a peer reviewed, blinded, study, not a “White Paper” issued by the hacks at the IAFF.
If there is one, please point me to it. For that matter how many fire based EMS systems publish their cardiac arrest survival rates? But I digress.
Even though more than half of the calls flooding in are for non-emergencies, the department does not have a priority dispatch system, Butkovitz said. Rather, it operates “robotically” on “first come, first served.” And the city’s 311 system has not eased the load on 911, he said.
Even though I very recently pointed out that priority dispatch type systems aren’t always very accurate, they are better than a system that amounts to little more than pulling a number out of a hat.
My thought would be not to get sick or hurt in the City Of
Brotherly Love EMS Chaos.