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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haven angel

Farmington, CT

#81 May 12, 2009
I agree

Since: Jul 07

Canton

#82 May 12, 2009
Mark the Shark wrote:
Another silly question, but I have to ask. Does UCONN bill for their ALS services? If not, why?
No, they don't. And good question as to why they don't (nor have they EVER billed for it) That's part of the problem.

Since: Apr 07

Location hidden

#83 May 12, 2009
North Forty wrote:
<quoted text>
No, they don't. And good question as to why they don't (nor have they EVER billed for it) That's part of the problem.
You mean having the state initiate another billing item???

There would be commissions and fact finding missions. There would have to be another department, hire about a dozen more people. Investigate new billing programs. Get political input. I can see it now.
Mark the Shark

Ramsey, NJ

#84 May 13, 2009
Middletown Joe wrote:
<quoted text>
You mean having the state initiate another billing item???
There would be commissions and fact finding missions. There would have to be another department, hire about a dozen more people. Investigate new billing programs. Get political input. I can see it now.
Yes and a "blue ribbon panel" to verify the findings. I forgot this is the "People's Republic of Connecticut" we are dealing with here, please forgive my ignorant question.

Connecticut, the only state where gays can marry (not that there is anything wrong with that) but I cannot buy beer on Sunday !!!!!!
Former Canton EMS Chief

Avon, CT

#86 May 14, 2009
They did bill -- they billed the towns they served. The problem is they charged far below market rates. That made the service a financial burden for the health center and also made it impossible for anyone to compete with them. Canton wanted to provide its own ALS service in the 1990s but couldn't justify the expense since UCONN provided the service for pennies on the dollar.

So not only did state taxpayers unfairly subsidize the Farmington Valley towns for 30+ years, they also eliminated competition and prevented valley towns from improving their own services.

And I'm sorry 52 old timers, but you aren't heroes and never were. You were just doing a job, and you did it with far better pay and benefits than most medics.
Mark the Shark

Ramsey, NJ

#87 May 14, 2009
Former Canton EMS Chief wrote:
They did bill -- they billed the towns they served. The problem is they charged far below market rates. That made the service a financial burden for the health center and also made it impossible for anyone to compete with them. Canton wanted to provide its own ALS service in the 1990s but couldn't justify the expense since UCONN provided the service for pennies on the dollar.
So not only did state taxpayers unfairly subsidize the Farmington Valley towns for 30+ years, they also eliminated competition and prevented valley towns from improving their own services.
And I'm sorry 52 old timers, but you aren't heroes and never were. You were just doing a job, and you did it with far better pay and benefits than most medics.
Ok Chief, ease up, have a drink. You sound a little bit jealous here and I am sure that is not your intent. I should be crankned the way the citizens of Tolland County were shafted for those same 30 years wthout medic service but what is that going to prove?

This is also what drives me crazy about EMS. All we do is sit around and throw rocks (or worse) at each other and never find a solution that is best for our patients. No wonder why most services (paid and volunteer) have a hard time with recruitment - no one wants to deal with the political BS. In my 17 years of EMS I have never met a selectman, mayor or otherwise who had even the slightest clue as to what we do. Its just a political game to them with out pts stuck in the middle
Former Canton EMS Chief

Avon, CT

#88 May 14, 2009
Mark the Shark wrote:
<quoted text>
Ok Chief, ease up, have a drink. You sound a little bit jealous here and I am sure that is not your intent. I should be crankned the way the citizens of Tolland County were shafted for those same 30 years wthout medic service but what is that going to prove?
This is also what drives me crazy about EMS. All we do is sit around and throw rocks (or worse) at each other and never find a solution that is best for our patients. No wonder why most services (paid and volunteer) have a hard time with recruitment - no one wants to deal with the political BS. In my 17 years of EMS I have never met a selectman, mayor or otherwise who had even the slightest clue as to what we do. Its just a political game to them with out pts stuck in the middle
Jealous of what? For the record, I'm not a medic nor was I ever paid. What I am is frustrated at having spent so many years trying to improve a service but being unable to do so specifically because of UCONN's policies, and then seeing UCONN walk away in the end leaving us holding the bag.

But you're absolutely right about politicians. I also haven't met one yet who has the slightest clue what EMS is really about, and certainly not one who knows the difference between an EMT and a paramedic. But what they do know is that ALS isn't mandated by state law, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Canton lose its ALS coverage completely.
Mark the Shark

Ramsey, NJ

#89 May 15, 2009
Former Canton EMS Chief wrote:
<quoted text>
Jealous of what? For the record, I'm not a medic nor was I ever paid. What I am is frustrated at having spent so many years trying to improve a service but being unable to do so specifically because of UCONN's policies, and then seeing UCONN walk away in the end leaving us holding the bag.
But you're absolutely right about politicians. I also haven't met one yet who has the slightest clue what EMS is really about, and certainly not one who knows the difference between an EMT and a paramedic. But what they do know is that ALS isn't mandated by state law, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Canton lose its ALS coverage completely.

So as a Chief of Service why didnt you try to work with UCONN instead of against them? See thats why I think there is more to this story than anyone is admitting to. You just dont dump your ALS service one day for no reason. Someone, somewhere must have pissed someone off. Again it comes back to politics.

Also I believe there is a un-fundaed state mandate that all BLS services must arrange for ALS coverage within their PSA. I have no idea how my current dept. got around it but I know thats how the Rockville Hospital Medic (an AMR Fly Car) came into existence.
Former Canton EMS Chief

Avon, CT

#90 May 15, 2009
Mark the Shark wrote:
<quoted text>
So as a Chief of Service why didnt you try to work with UCONN instead of against them? See thats why I think there is more to this story than anyone is admitting to. You just dont dump your ALS service one day for no reason. Someone, somewhere must have pissed someone off. Again it comes back to politics.
Also I believe there is a un-fundaed state mandate that all BLS services must arrange for ALS coverage within their PSA. I have no idea how my current dept. got around it but I know thats how the Rockville Hospital Medic (an AMR Fly Car) came into existence.
You're making a lot of unfounded assumptions here. No one ever worked against UCONN, and no one pissed anyone off. This is about money, plain and simple. Working with UCONN was the idea all along, but UCONN's policies made it financially impossible.

Quite simply, UCONN provided a service to a select group of towns at statewide taxpayer expense for 30+ years, and then in 2009 decided to stop doing so with no warning.(Note that they'll continue providing service to the town of Farmington at statewide expense. Go figure.)

If there's a regulation or law dictating that ALS coverage must be provided by PSA holders, can you point me to it? I'd love to see that.

Since: Jul 07

Canton

#91 May 16, 2009
Former Canton EMS Chief wrote:
<quoted text>

Quite simply, UCONN provided a service to a select group of towns at statewide taxpayer expense for 30+ years, and then in 2009 decided to stop doing so with no warning.(Note that they'll continue providing service to the town of Farmington at statewide expense. Go figure.)
Not true, Chief. Farmington will be paying for their coverage, as they have in the past. That amount hasn't been decided upon yet (assuming they close the deal). As for the comment about those 4 towns having the medics at a pretty reasonable cost (not for free, as you are suggesting) all these years, you're absolutely correct. UConn should have been getting more, but that's history now. It's a shame that this has happened, but the combination of tough economic times and Hartford Hospital pretty much running UCHC these days has brought about the demise of the program. The people in the Valley are the ones who will lose out the most here. Those medics did a lot of good over the years (they had their share of problems, I'm not saying they were perfect) and many people's lives were saved because they were around to help.
Mark the Shark

Colchester, CT

#92 May 16, 2009
Former Canton EMS Chief wrote:
<quoted text>
You're making a lot of unfounded assumptions here. No one ever worked against UCONN, and no one pissed anyone off. This is about money, plain and simple. Working with UCONN was the idea all along, but UCONN's policies made it financially impossible.
Quite simply, UCONN provided a service to a select group of towns at statewide taxpayer expense for 30+ years, and then in 2009 decided to stop doing so with no warning.(Note that they'll continue providing service to the town of Farmington at statewide expense. Go figure.)
If there's a regulation or law dictating that ALS coverage must be provided by PSA holders, can you point me to it? I'd love to see that.
As the poster above clarified hartford hospital is the other factor involved here. Seems to me they want Dempsey for all of its well to do citizens in the Valley so they can offset the cost of all the skells they treat in Hartford. Oh and they want to bury St. Francis while they are at it. I think Hartford's plan is total BS, especially b/c its going to use taxpayer $$ we dont have. Thats OK, kill the Backus Lifestar Helicopter but make sure the well insured in the Valley are taken care of. What crap. I dont have a specidic reg I can quote but I do remember some big "mandate" that came down the North Central and Eastern EMS Councils a few years go about mandating ALS coverage. I will look around and get back to you if I find anything
Everyone is screwed

Newington, CT

#93 May 16, 2009
People arent patients. They are customers or clients. If they cant pay, send them to a hospital like UConn that has to take them. Its not about providing patient care and improving medical treatment, its all about the bottom dollar and how much the hospitals can charge and how much they can get away from doing.
Mark the Shark

Colchester, CT

#94 May 17, 2009
Everyone is screwed wrote:
People arent patients. They are customers or clients. If they cant pay, send them to a hospital like UConn that has to take them. Its not about providing patient care and improving medical treatment, its all about the bottom dollar and how much the hospitals can charge and how much they can get away from doing.
Unforunately you are correct sir
Former Canton EMS Chief

Springfield, MA

#95 May 17, 2009
North Forty wrote:
<quoted text>
Not true, Chief. Farmington will be paying for their coverage, as they have in the past. That amount hasn't been decided upon yet (assuming they close the deal).
Do you mean to say that Farmington will now begin paying realistic market rates like they would with any other ALS provider, or will it be the same bargain basement price they've been paying in the past?
medicontheedge

New Canaan, CT

#96 May 20, 2009
Everyone is screwed wrote:
People arent patients. They are customers or clients. If they cant pay, send them to a hospital like UConn that has to take them. Its not about providing patient care and improving medical treatment, its all about the bottom dollar and how much the hospitals can charge and how much they can get away from doing.
it's not about patient care, it's about market share.
DOH

Avon, CT

#97 May 22, 2009
No, its about a group of state employees titled firefighters who make a heck of a lot more $$ than do their counterparts at commercial EMS services driving costs out of balance with the market.

This now coupled with a new administration that doesn't want to be in the pre-hospital EMS business is what its all about.

Shame on them for never charging enough for the service to create a zero load to the taxpayers.

Since: Jul 07

Canton

#98 May 25, 2009
Former Canton EMS Chief wrote:
<quoted text>
Do you mean to say that Farmington will now begin paying realistic market rates like they would with any other ALS provider, or will it be the same bargain basement price they've been paying in the past?
I can't answer that, Chief. I would guess that it would tend to be more towards the bargain basement side. I mean, they're the ONLY client now for the medics - why would Farmington want to pony up a significant amount if they don't need to?

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