UConn To End Paramedic Service To Sim...

UConn To End Paramedic Service To Simsbury, Avon, Canton

There are 97 comments on the Hartford Courant story from May 4, 2009, titled UConn To End Paramedic Service To Simsbury, Avon, Canton. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Three Farmington Valley towns on Monday received notice that the paramedic service provided by the University of Connecticut will be eliminated in 60 days.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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Bill

United States

#1 May 5, 2009
These ambulance services charge a lot of money to insurance companies. Plus town subsidies ... plus private and corporate contributions. Seems like a regional approach might be more cost effective. The police are excellent first-responders. It's time to "sharpen the pencil".
Sheepdog

Winsted, CT

#2 May 5, 2009
Their backup service will be sorely missed. Their work in the valley is greatly appreciated. Thanks UCONN FD
JAM

United States

#3 May 5, 2009
The towns spend a ton of money on paid services, why not spend more to train volunteers? And hey, why aren't the local volunteer associations not recruiting for more volunteers? Take a look at who is running the volunteer orgs. Conflict of interest, anyone?
Foghorn Leghorn

Hartford, CT

#4 May 5, 2009
JAM wrote:
The towns spend a ton of money on paid services, why not spend more to train volunteers? And hey, why aren't the local volunteer associations not recruiting for more volunteers? Take a look at who is running the volunteer orgs. Conflict of interest, anyone?
Is this a serious question?

Volunteers don't pain union dues and aren't "committed" to vote for the party in power.

The volunteer groups do try to recruit new people. Most are completely uninterested. Takes away valueable time from Wii and watching American Idol.

This is the Obama age. Someone else pays for everything, and nobody has to do anything they don't want to, is too hard, or might involve getting dirty. Gimmee gimmee gimmee.
Jeff M

Wallingford, CT

#5 May 5, 2009
I listen to the police scanner frequently and it send chills down my spine when I hear dispatch say that no ambulance is yet available for calls involving chest pains as such.

What have we become???
Jeff M

Wallingford, CT

#6 May 5, 2009
Bill wrote:
The police are excellent first-responders. It's time to "sharpen the pencil".
Then lets give them station wagons Bill. I hear ya.
tony

Unionville, CT

#7 May 5, 2009
avon, canton & simsbury are losing an extremly valuable resource. these paramedics are the best trained in the valley. no volunteer dep't can replace their expertise. lives will be put at risk. u-conn should find a way to maintain this service. perhaps a parking fee for employees and visitors is in order to raise some funds. many other hospitals in the region raise significant sums of money this way. it's not like the overpaid employees can't afford a monthly parking fee of say $ 25.00. you have therapists making 90,000/yr there who would make at best 60,000/yr at hartford hospitals.

Since: Jul 07

Canton

#8 May 5, 2009
The medics at UCHC have a 35 year history of providing excellent service to the Valley towns. Untold numbers of lives have been saved by these highly skilled and dedicated men & women over that time. The Health Center has dozens and dozens of highly paid, long titled administrators who are overpaid and are a drain on the budget, but they've decided to deep six a life-saving program like this? Incredible. I understand the economy is not good, but you choose to end a service like this? The towns came into the meeting thinking they were re-negotiating their service contracts and instead had the door slammed in their faces. The administration at the Health Center has no idea of what they've done here.
FASS12121

Farmington, CT

#9 May 5, 2009
tony wrote:
avon, canton & simsbury are losing an extremly valuable resource. these paramedics are the best trained in the valley. no volunteer dep't can replace their expertise. lives will be put at risk. u-conn should find a way to maintain this service. perhaps a parking fee for employees and visitors is in order to raise some funds. many other hospitals in the region raise significant sums of money this way. it's not like the overpaid employees can't afford a monthly parking fee of say $ 25.00. you have therapists making 90,000/yr there who would make at best 60,000/yr at hartford hospitals.
Tony..Tony..Tony....and can we please (sigh) see your documented proof that therapists are making $90,000 a year? Me thinks you're ticked off at your shrink because you still wet the bed...
Reality Check

Newington, CT

#10 May 5, 2009
tony wrote:
avon, canton & simsbury are losing an extremly valuable resource. these paramedics are the best trained in the valley. no volunteer dep't can replace their expertise. lives will be put at risk. u-conn should find a way to maintain this service. perhaps a parking fee for employees and visitors is in order to raise some funds. many other hospitals in the region raise significant sums of money this way. it's not like the overpaid employees can't afford a monthly parking fee of say $ 25.00. you have therapists making 90,000/yr there who would make at best 60,000/yr at hartford hospitals.
I can not believe you would even suggest employees pay to park at UCONN. You really are insane!
Mike

Newington, CT

#11 May 5, 2009
tony wrote:
avon, canton & simsbury are losing an extremly valuable resource. these paramedics are the best trained in the valley. no volunteer dep't can replace their expertise. lives will be put at risk. u-conn should find a way to maintain this service. perhaps a parking fee for employees and visitors is in order to raise some funds. many other hospitals in the region raise significant sums of money this way. it's not like the overpaid employees can't afford a monthly parking fee of say $ 25.00. you have therapists making 90,000/yr there who would make at best 60,000/yr at hartford hospitals.
Maybe the towns that are involved should come up with the needed money instead of suggesting charging employees and visitors a parking fee. If the Farmington Valley needs this service, cough the money up. It's youe service.
Mike

Newington, CT

#12 May 5, 2009
This is just the beginning of UCONNs version of "But it's for the KIDS" because their new hospital got shot down. They are trying to get everyone in the area screaming.
Foolishness

Tolland, CT

#13 May 5, 2009
This story states Canton pays 20K per year for 350 calls, that's less than $60 per call. And you wonder why they are eliminating it. It never should have been provided at that level of loss regardless of the economy. How about pay as you go and subsidize those that can't afford it.
ct boy

Farmington, CT

#14 May 5, 2009
tony wrote:
avon, canton & simsbury are losing an extremly valuable resource. these paramedics are the best trained in the valley. no volunteer dep't can replace their expertise. lives will be put at risk. u-conn should find a way to maintain this service. perhaps a parking fee for employees and visitors is in order to raise some funds. many other hospitals in the region raise significant sums of money this way. it's not like the overpaid employees can't afford a monthly parking fee of say $ 25.00. you have therapists making 90,000/yr there who would make at best 60,000/yr at hartford hospitals.
Aren't the paramedics spoiled overpaid state employees too according to your logic?
dlj

Meriden, CT

#15 May 5, 2009
While the volunteer ambulance associations are important, and a vital link in the chain of survival, they are staffed mostly with EMTs. EMTs only provied Basic Life Support, that is all they are trained to do, and are not allowed to step outside their scope of practice. Paramedics are trained to provide Advanced Life Support and are also a vital, extremely important, link.

Also, it is a big commitment to become a volunteer EMT. They are not paid, hence the word volunteer. The initial classes can be expensive, and in a recession, towns may not be able to fund reimbursement programs. Not to mention, a volunteer EMT, is volunteering on their personal time. Not only time to go on calls, but to do the 130 hours of initial class time, and then continuing education. Many people do not have the time or desire to make such a commitment, which is understandable. So, unless you are willing, I wouldn't criticize the existing organizations for not doing enough to recruit new members, it's not easy. You should thank the people who do volunteer their time, and remember that they do not perform the same job as a paramedic.
SSD

AOL

#16 May 5, 2009
To JAM-
why don't YOU volunteer then? Us volunteers spend hours each year in training, some volunteer services can start IV's, etc but many times a paramedic is needed to administer meds, put a monitor on the patient, do breathing treatments,etc. The problem is: we DO try to recruit CONSTANTLY but this society doesn't want to spend time helping others without compensation. It is sad, us old-timers have the experience but our bodies are wearing out after years of calls. But it is very difficult to get new young members, they don't want to commit to the unpaid time [although this would give them experience for a paid position]. UCONN medics are awesome and this whole scenario is sad but the reality for these towns is that their taxes will most probably go way up if they have to start paying for an EMT company to provide staff when volunteers aren't available [which is usually during the day- many companies used to let their employees leave for medical calls if they were EMT's but this also has gone by the wayside.) Volunteer EMS is slowly sinking which is a darn shame! I love helping those in my community who need medical care.

Since: Jul 07

Canton

#17 May 5, 2009
Avon has a contract with AMR ambulance, I think and I believe that there's a Paramedic is on board those rigs. Notice that Avon didn't have a comment in the story.
As for $90K therapists at UCHC, no way. Maybe $60K at best at the top end.
Paramedics in the private sector have to insure themselves, much like doctors do for malpracrice (or maybe the ambulance company does). Either way, it's difficult for a volunteer organization to staff their rigs with Paramedics. MUCH more training involved and they have to have medical control from a hospital ER to get permission to administer meds. HUGE difference, no slight to EMT's, who do a great job with what they are limited in doing.
Wendell

Northford, CT

#18 May 5, 2009
If you think that all volunteer EMS services are such a great idea, get off your keister and go sign up. What? You're too busy with your kids or have too much going on at work? No kidding! Everybody else feels the same way. Being a basic EMT, let alone a paramedic, is a huge time commitment, and is not very feasible on a volunteer basis alone. Despite all the folks around here who love to suggest that other people should do their jobs for free in the name of a reduced tax burden, paramedics still need to feed their kids and pay the mortgage like everybody else.
oh you helicopter parents

Salem, CT

#19 May 5, 2009
Foghorn Leghorn wrote:
<quoted text>
Is this a serious question?
Volunteers don't pain union dues and aren't "committed" to vote for the party in power.
The volunteer groups do try to recruit new people. Most are completely uninterested. Takes away valueable time from Wii and watching American Idol.
This is the Obama age. Someone else pays for everything, and nobody has to do anything they don't want to, is too hard, or might involve getting dirty. Gimmee gimmee gimmee.
You're kidding, right? Obama's been in office just a few more than 100 DAYS. If you've got anyone to blame under your "logic" for self-serving, xenophobic, selfish behavior, it's the past EIGHT YEARS of the Bush II administration.
Mark the Shark

Ramsey, NJ

#20 May 5, 2009
dlj wrote:
While the volunteer ambulance associations are important, and a vital link in the chain of survival, they are staffed mostly with EMTs. EMTs only provied Basic Life Support, that is all they are trained to do, and are not allowed to step outside their scope of practice. Paramedics are trained to provide Advanced Life Support and are also a vital, extremely important, link.
Also, it is a big commitment to become a volunteer EMT. They are not paid, hence the word volunteer. The initial classes can be expensive, and in a recession, towns may not be able to fund reimbursement programs. Not to mention, a volunteer EMT, is volunteering on their personal time. Not only time to go on calls, but to do the 130 hours of initial class time, and then continuing education. Many people do not have the time or desire to make such a commitment, which is understandable. So, unless you are willing, I wouldn't criticize the existing organizations for not doing enough to recruit new members, it's not easy. You should thank the people who do volunteer their time, and remember that they do not perform the same job as a paramedic.
Volley EMT from East of the River here...amen brother,amen. And lets not forget our brothers and sisters in the Fire Service either. Their ranks are shrinking as well. We are down to 30 SCBA qualified firefighters in our department, down from over 50 ten years ago. Volunteer EMS and Fire can't recruit in this economy. People have to pay their mortgage and put food on the table. They dont have time to get certified as an EMT, or Firefighter, keep up their training hours and respond to calls. The average citizen has no idea how much their taxes would skyrocket if volley services were replaced with career staff. Most politicans only come by the firehouse at election time, tell us what a great job we are doing then stab us in the back when they cut our training and equipment budgets.

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