I won’t spend time explaining who Rube Goldberg was. If you don’t know, you can easily find out from the Internet. Once you understand that, you’ll understand why I chose the post title that I did.
Medical calls, not fires, account for more than half of all calls to which Boulder Fire-Rescue crews respond, and the number of medical calls increased 17 percent from 2006 to 2011.
Boulder’s fire department is looking at adding smaller vehicles for paramedics to respond to many of those calls without sending a fire engine or — when engines aren’t available — a ladder truck. A pilot program will test the idea at Fire Station No. 1, at 2441 13th St., across the street from Casey Middle School, starting in January.
So, the FD is going to buy new vehicles to respond to medical calls instead of sending big fire trucks to medical calls.
Oh, and they’re greening Boulder while they are at it,
One idea in the revised master plan for improving response to medical calls is to put smaller vehicles, most likely flex-fuel or hybrid sport utility vehicles, that could carry two people to medical calls instead of three in a fire engine.
I’m all for efficiency,
Information from the pilot program will be analyzed to determine if it saves money in fuel and wear-and-tear on the larger fire department vehicles and to see if it allows the department to be more efficient in how it responds to medical calls and fires.
Seems like a round about way to improve EMS response times. I have another idea. How about having AMR provide MORE ambulances? Radical huh?
One of the sleight of hand tricks used to improve EMS response times is to stop the response time clock when the first responders arrive, not when the ambulance arrives. That takes some of the pressure of of the ambulance service and sometimes allows them to claim faster response times than they actually have. I can’t say if that’s what goes on in Boulder, but it’s not unheard of. It’s also a form of cost shifting, which allows the ambulance service to use tax payer funded equipment to bolster their response time numbers. Of course the ambulance service, which provides the transport, also gets to keep all of the money and pays nothing to the municipality for the (free) use of their equipment and staff. Not that the fire service will complain, because responding to EMS calls, even if all they do is give the “Stare of life”, preserves jobs and budgets.
Just more fun and games with EMS, I guess. Which is supposed to be about timely and good patient care, but mostly seems to be a numbers game lately.