Farmington Valley Towns See Few Probl...

Farmington Valley Towns See Few Problems Replacing Paramedic Se...

There are 44 comments on the Hartford Courant story from May 6, 2009, titled Farmington Valley Towns See Few Problems Replacing Paramedic Se.... In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Town officials in the Farmington Valley expect few problems replacing the paramedic services withdrawn by the University of Connecticut Medical Center in Farmington Monday, and may even save money by contracting with private ambulance companies.

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medicontheedge

New Canaan, CT

#1 May 6, 2009
they'll call for backup paramedics if needed??!!!??

from WHERE???
hartford?
good luck w dat
C Robert Satti Sr

Norwich, CT

#2 May 6, 2009
This is the problem in CT. The government will not spend money on needed medical services.

Since: Jul 07

Canton

#3 May 6, 2009
"The demographics of the Farmington Valley are wealthy, most people here are insured, so there's plenty of incentive for AMR or other services to want the business," Schenck said.

Do you ever stick your head out of the sand and look around, Schenck (or is that "Schmuck"?). There are MANY people in the Farmington Valley (which composes of more than just your select group of wealthy friends and residents) who are middle income or BELOW. Not everyone in Farmington, Avon, Simsbury and Canton live in McMansions, drive BMW's or Mercedes, pal. There are a ton of blue collar families out there, imcluding many of your Avon residents. Those comments you made are blatantly wrong, but you wouldn't know because you don;t know the residents in your town because you're a carpetbagger. The Paramedics have been serving the Valley towns for almost THIRTY FIVE years, not 15, Courant. Try doing some actual fact checking before posting more inaccurate figures, please. The program started in 1974, when the UCHC first opened (albeit in a limited way). The service those Paramedics provide have saved the lives of hundreds of residents over those years and have been a great comfort, knowing that they are available. Now it will become "good luck" medical service that gets provided because you won't pony up for a service that you've been enjoying on the cheap (and in many cases, for free) over the years. This is a wrong-headed decision by the towns who want to back out and for the Ivory Tower administrators now in place at UCHC, who are people who could give a crap less about their relationship with the surrounding community. At least the Town of Farmington is willing to pay their portion of the freight. Poor Canton went to the UCHC, thinking they were signing a new deal to provide their residents with paramedic service and instead got the door slammed in their face. Nice work, UCHC. And you wonder why public and Legislative support for your facility is dwindling.
Medic

Rocky Hill, CT

#4 May 6, 2009
Oh well. Maybe the towns can take responsibility for their own EMS instead of relying on a far-away paramedic intercept? I know if I lived in Canton or Avon, I'd want a paramedic available nearby. I wouldn't want to rely on crossing my fingers and hoping that an intercept works out along the way to the hospital.

But hey, you get what you pay for.
Dwindling ems funding

Windsor Locks, CT

#5 May 6, 2009
Every EMS system in the State of CT should be concerned with this. Towns and Cities have taken the approach that we should get this medical service solely on patient bill revenue. Many great systems will be replaced with commercial for profit companies with one thing in mind, make money!!
Anyone in this business knows the difference. Morale in most commercial companies is very low as wages are stagnant and the use of part time employees make all full time employees expendable.
Obviously these town managers do not even know the difference or even care to know. Their bottom line is their only concern.
Bob DiPietro

Tucson, AZ

#6 May 6, 2009
Bad move!!!!Fire-based EMS is the most efficient form of delivering medical services to the public. UConn should be placing their paramedic services out in the valley with satellite stations.
Towns like Farmington, Avon, and Simsbury should begin looking at ALS services to their residents. Do not rely on AMR to provide efficient services. They are a "for profit" service. If you want to see an efficient and effective service, look at New Britain's EMS system.
Tax Revolt

Roslindale, MA

#7 May 6, 2009
Why should residents of Farmington now get a bill from AMR and Uconn Paramedics for help? Don't we pay taxes for a reason. Soon we will have to pay a surcharge for reporting a crime or having our house fire put out. Doesn't the town also pay Uconn $80,000. for their service allready.
Put an ambulance in each fire house instead of those stupid suburbans they drive around in.
baseballmom

AOL

#8 May 6, 2009
Medic wrote:
Oh well. Maybe the towns can take responsibility for their own EMS instead of relying on a far-away paramedic intercept? I know if I lived in Canton or Avon, I'd want a paramedic available nearby. I wouldn't want to rely on crossing my fingers and hoping that an intercept works out along the way to the hospital.
But hey, you get what you pay for.
not sure how this is going to play out for certain towns. I have needed ALS twice and both times a UCONN Paramedic actually got on the ambulance right outside my door and I live in Canton. Not too sure I would send my dog AMR but that's just me.
wondering

Avon, CT

#9 May 6, 2009
yea u have to give UCONN that, they were always on scene fairly fast, sometimes even before the local ambulance, Avon, Simsbury and Canton should just combine and start a service
medicontheedge

New Canaan, CT

#10 May 6, 2009
Bob DiPietro wrote:
Bad move!!!!Fire-based EMS is the most efficient form of delivering medical services to the public. UConn should be placing their paramedic services out in the valley with satellite stations.
Towns like Farmington, Avon, and Simsbury should begin looking at ALS services to their residents. Do not rely on AMR to provide efficient services. They are a "for profit" service. If you want to see an efficient and effective service, look at New Britain's EMS system.
Fire dept's provide the most efficient EMS?
says who????

historically, FD's ONLY pick up EMS so they won't lose STAFF.

commercial services are no better nor worse than any.

i've seen plenty of FD based ambulance services that outright S++K.

you are right about new britain, tho.
Bob DiPietro NBFD

Tucson, AZ

#11 May 7, 2009
medicontheedge wrote:
<quoted text>
Fire dept's provide the most efficient EMS?
says who????
historically, FD's ONLY pick up EMS so they won't lose STAFF.
commercial services are no better nor worse than any.
i've seen plenty of FD based ambulance services that outright S++K.
you are right about new britain, tho.
Come out West amd see how fire-based EMS really works.
lol

Windsor Locks, CT

#12 May 7, 2009
all fun and games until it takes 30 minutes for the amr truck coming from a long ways away to get there and deliver the critical care you need. trust me, as a citizen of enfield, i can assure you that amr's zero dollar contract means zero guaranteed coverage. when the truck you see parked in your town gets a transfer of a nursing home patient they will be long gone, because they pay a lot more, you will have to wait 30 minutes for that amr paramedic to arrive, if they arrive at all!

all these administrators are CHUMPS....they will be the first to scream when their spouse dies due to a heart attack, where they could of been saved!
in the know

Avon, CT

#13 May 7, 2009
I've worked at the Health Center for over 22 years. Two problems....first, shame on the Health Center for not implenting a billing policy for their services, what are we paying the white shirts for if they couldn't figure that out?! Second...they pay these paramedics a LOT of money to do their job...with a LOT of overtime opportunities. It does not surprise me that their services will no longer be offered, what surprised me is that it too this long for the state to realize it. I am not saying they don't provide a needed service or that they are not good, just that they are overpaid (benefits are incredible)and had they started a billing program, they could have recouped some of the costs. The smarts one that had their time in, just recently retired over the last year or two ( with a nice package)...they must have gotten out because they knew it was inevitable that someone would catch on.
Avon Resident

Newington, CT

#14 May 7, 2009
I needed AMR services once a few years ago. It was a life and death situation during my second pregnancy (very long story).

AMR responded quickly, but they had no idea what was wrong with me; they thought I was suffering from some sort of extreme gestational diabetes, but I was actually having seizures relating to a very serious, deadly pregnancy complication. Before rushing me off to Hartford Hospital, they had my husband try to give me a glass of juice (for the diabetes that I didn't have)!

Thank God I ended up getting to the hospital in time to get the treatment my baby and I so desperately needed, but we really required a paramedic. I truly believe that a paramedic would have been better equipped at initially recognizing the complete severity of the situation from the beginning.

I think this is a mistake, and it will make me question any diagnosis that I may get from someone at AMR.

Since: Jul 07

Canton

#15 May 7, 2009
in the know wrote:
I've worked at the Health Center for over 22 years. Two problems....first, shame on the Health Center for not implenting a billing policy for their services, what are we paying the white shirts for if they couldn't figure that out?! Second...they pay these paramedics a LOT of money to do their job...with a LOT of overtime opportunities. It does not surprise me that their services will no longer be offered, what surprised me is that it too this long for the state to realize it. I am not saying they don't provide a needed service or that they are not good, just that they are overpaid (benefits are incredible)and had they started a billing program, they could have recouped some of the costs. The smarts one that had their time in, just recently retired over the last year or two ( with a nice package)...they must have gotten out because they knew it was inevitable that someone would catch on.
Let me comment about the Paramedics. First of all, they are career Firefighters at UCHC and a number of them are cross trained as Paramedics. They receive a stipend by virtue of their contract, which is not even 10% of their Firefighter salary. So let's not start firing off that they are some bunch of overpaid fat cats. Save that discussion for the "white shirts" in the UCHC administration, okay? Their health care benefits are no different than any other State employee. They are Hazardous Duty employees (and rightfully so) and get the benefit of that sort of a retirement, which, by the way, they contribute towards. And those who have retired probably did so simply because they were eligible to retire, ie. they had their 20 years of service in. Why all the hate? Did you try to become one at one time and got turned down? Sounds like a LOT of jealousy going on there, especially for a fellow State employee (if indeed you are one). As for the overtime issue, you are obviously someone with no knowledge of the Fire Service. There are staffing minimums for Fire Depts. and if there were recent retirees, and they had not been replaced, well then DUH, there had to be overtime to fill those vacant positions. Try actually thinking things through before spouting off about something that you don't have a clue about. Those professional, career firefighters provide a service that most would never even consider doing. They run IN to burning buildings while people are running OUT of them. I guess you didn't hear about Sept. 11th now, did you? The Firefighters at UCHC don;t deserve the bashing you've given them. Maybe the State should have set up a billing system years ago, but maybe there was some sort of agreement that they wouldn't that goes all the way back to that dept.'s inception. I don't know and you don't know any of that and we probably never will. Do us all a favor and keep your yap shut about things you know nothing about. Youi know what they say about opinions - they're like a-holes. Everybody has one. Yours is just bigger.
angry avon

Berlin, CT

#16 May 8, 2009
First off shame on the health center. Yes the paramedics are a vital need especially in the valley. Though they are unreliable as much as the commercial service. There have been numerous occasions where a UCHC paramedic has been requested and not shown up or were severly delayed. The towns of Avon, Simsbury and Canton all need to get there heads out of there a@#s and form there own EMS system. If you don't like your commercial service provider then do something about. Many of the AMR trucks in the Avon Fgtn area are BLS (Basic Life Support) because we have all relied on the 52 useless medics. The contracts that these towns have with AMR only require a BLS ambulance. Don't get me wrong there are some medics that are awesome medics others I wouldn't let treat my dying dog. Same goes for the AMR crews. Though what money do we have left when we give it all to BOE

Since: Jul 07

Canton

#17 May 8, 2009
If the UCHC paramedics are delayed or unavilable, it's because there are only TWO of them on the rescue truck. It's not like there's 20 of them sitting around playing cards, waiting for a call. They could be out on another call in your town or in another town or possibly even on the UCHC campus itself. There are times when the medics "split up" when there are multiple calls at the same time. They can't be everywhere at once. Once again, eliminating this service to the communities in the Valley is reprehensible and there needs to be some re-thinking done about it. Perhaps adding a service call fee is the way to go - I don't think it's too late to institute that. Charge a flat rate to the towns for providing the service, based on "X" amount of calls and then bill the requesting parties a nominal fee for the services as well. I'm no economist - not by a long shot - but that would certainly seem to be an option.
in the know

Avon, CT

#18 May 8, 2009
North Forty wrote:
<quoted text>
I can tell by the way you write, you don't know how to treat people. You must have been one of the fire dept. members. If you read it thoroughly , you would have seen that I said nothing about their character and for the record, I never tried to get a job there...However I did have interaction with them. I fully understand all about minimum coverage and their hazardous duty pay. State employees get one hell of a retirement package, they get double time for the holidays, many people and many fire departments are working their OT for straight time..that is a fact!!!! The point is....they made good money, more than most other paid firefighters. I know this for a fact, I have firefighters in my family both paid and volunteer. You are the one that is short-sighted as your were prob. one of them too. I too worked hard and in the medical field and we had mandates too. Patient care first. I mentioned that those that recently left, prob did so because they saw the writing on the wall. Many of them were young enough to stay on much longer and were able to retire at a very young age. How lucky are they. And don't try and make it seem that these guys fight sooo many fires. The bulk of the work comes from assisting the local towns, not from work within the Health Center. I would love to know how many burning building they have actually gone into. I know many people that would love to do the amount of work they do and receive their paycheck. Many people work a lot harder and don't get to sleep while getting paid. I know you are paid for what you might have to do, not what you actually do. I have heard it all before. Yes, they are a needed service, but they should have been billing long before our state got into the financial stress their in. You have no idea what experience I have or my background, so don't accuse me of not thinking things through. It is bloggers like yourself that sway the issue at hand, the service is costing the state too much money to keep. Not about who works harder...I agree EMS is a vital necessity, but it shouldn't be a free service as nice as that would be. Pull YOUR head out of YOUR A!@#. Keep on the issue at hand, it's not about opinions, but the facts...they are paid too much to continue and the towns can find other alternatives, sad as it is.
CT EMT

Storrs Mansfield, CT

#19 May 8, 2009
There seems to be a lot of misinformation both in the article and in the comments.
Avon and Farmington both use AMR as their primary basic life support EMS provider, with UConn medics for Advanced Life Support. Canton has its own ambulance as part of its volunteer fire department, and also uses UConn for ALS. Simsbury has its own volunteer EMS service with career paramedics.
Simsbury currently has a mutual aid agreement with Canton, so I can see Simsbury's medics running a lot more mutual aid ALS calls now in the meantime until Canton finds somebody to replace UConn.

Since: Jul 07

Canton

#20 May 8, 2009
in the know wrote:
<quoted text>
I can tell by the way you write, you don't know how to treat people.

State employees get one hell of a retirement package, they get double time for the holidays, many people and many fire departments are working their OT for straight time..that is a fact!!!! The point is....they made good money, more than most other paid firefighters. I know this for a fact, I have firefighters in my family both paid and volunteer.
I know how to treat people - I just tend to react badly to people who bad-mouth others, that's all. And what you did was bad-mouth the Paramedics.
As to the retirement package, you're a State employee and you get "a hell of a retirement package" as well, right? And as far as what they get paid and what they get on the holidays, well, hooray for their Union, who obviously does one damned fine job getting those benefits for their members! Don't pee in thier Cheerios because they receive it - go after YOUR Union to secure those same benefits.
Again, you rant and rant about how much more they get paid than other full time, professional Firefighters. If that's the casre, then either those others should start making a fuss during contract negotiations or apply for a job as a Firefighter with the State. Problem solved. Quit whining about it.
You're in the medical field - you should be a little bit more compassionate. Enjoy the weekend.

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