Broward Sheriff's Office, AMR vie for...

Broward Sheriff's Office, AMR vie for ambulance service in Laud...

There are 430 comments on the South Florida Sun-Sentinel story from Mar 14, 2008, titled Broward Sheriff's Office, AMR vie for ambulance service in Laud.... In it, South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that:

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea - The battle over who will take charge of the town's ambulance service is officially on.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Ex AMR employee

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#22 Mar 15, 2008
The people of Lauderdale by the Sea will get what they pay for. Top quality paramedics leave AMR as soon as a fire department hires them. What is left over; the bottom of they barrel. So the residents of Lauderdale by the Sea will have below average Paramedics responding to a love one who is suffering a heart attack. Do you want a top notch lawyer representing you or a flunking who barely scraped by law school. If you need surgery, do you hire the doctor who works out of his car or one that is nationally recoginized. Stay with BCFR and protect your citizens from substandard life saving care that AMR will provide.
AMR

Lake Worth, FL

#23 Mar 15, 2008
Most AMR employees could not get hired as firefighters. It is a fact. They either could not make it through a background check, a psych test, a practical scenario, etc. Having ONE paramedic on an emergency scene is not enough
Mike

West Palm Beach, FL

#24 Mar 15, 2008
Our "New Guard" Commissioners are so concerned about taxpayers that they just voted THEMSELVES an over $25,000 per year increase in insurance and cell phone costs, over the objection of the Mayor, and in the case of cellphone reimbursements, also opposed by Ms. Clottery.

On the topic of EMS service our overweight and self-absorded new Vice Mayor presented his theory that EMS is not as important because we are "so close to the hospital". We might have exected one of our more educated commissioners to at least suggest that prudent emergency planning would require consideration that Holy Cross might be unavailable for emergency service, something not unheard of in emergency services planning, but even Ms. Clottey seems to have left her Phd at home in deference to McIntee"s "hospital proximity" theory. Under the Vice Mayor's wisdom, perhaps we should consider using fast taxis instead of BSO, but then again maybe we already are. What is next, EMS service by paid "volunteers" out of Jerry's garage?

And our Town Manager Esther apparently could not understand why we should consider any thing other than whether a provider meets "minimum State standards". I'm sure she will enjoy minimum wage, with minimum required benefits, while only using minimally qualified doctors and eating only in restaurants meeting minimum health standards. Dear, people only meeting minimum standards are more likily to slip below the required standards than those who exceed the minimum. And BSO has, for example, chest compression equipment that is beyond the alternative provider's minimum equipment. As someone who actually coded, I can tell you seconds, let alone minutes, matter and I can only hope neither you nor the Vice Mayor rely solely on manual chest compression in an emergency, even on that short ride to Holy Cross.

I think I do see a pattern here however. The taxpaying citizen should have cheaper EMS service because anything more than the minimum just doesn't matter in our little town, but we should pay the Commissioner's more because that does matter.
contract questions

AOL

#25 Mar 15, 2008
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/lauderdale-by...

There are 2 issues on BSO/IAFF brought out on the above site which the city attorney would be interested in.

1. Anti-Volunteer stance of the IAFF Constitution which prevents BSO FFs from cooperating with our VFD, thereby invalidating new BSO EMS Proposal and creating an UNSAFE environment.

2. In 2004, BSO signed contract misleading LBTS knowing full well that the IAFF Constitution would not allow them to cooperate with our VFD (Breach of Contract by BSO). As a result, our VFD was a "sitting duck" just waiting for BSO to pop them (which they did).
No-Brainer 4 No-Brainers

Miami, FL

#26 Mar 15, 2008
This is South Florida people. Every community is urban and industrial with all differnet kings of dangers. From hazardous materials incidents to commercial fires to major car accidents to terrorist attacks to school shootings to heart attacks to strokes to everything. Do you think volunteer firefighters train on a daily basis how to correct and handle these emergencies? How about weekly? How about monthly? How about yearly? They don't at all. They are too busy being a plumber or a town administrator. Firefighters are required to maintain training, skills, and certifications. In other parts of the country where towns consist of less than 100 people w/o any tax base, I can understand how volunteers may be feasible. Ask Plantation FD how they lost an entire strip mall by not controlling a fire to one store. Ask Coral Springs why they abandoned volunteers and went to paid Firefighters. Ask Davie why they abandoned AMR and adopted their own Rescue personnel
On the subject of private ambulance companies, they are good for two things: interfacility transport of stable patients post-emergency and bringing people home like a taxi cab. You do not want someone who halts your transport to get your insurance info. That's how they make money. I worked for AMR eight years ago, and that is the policy. I could wear an earing, have my shirt untucked, my buttons undone, have sleeves of tattoos, have a ponytail, and smoke a cigeratte.
Ask a private ambulance employee how many true emergenices that have been part of. How many IVs or how many intubations that have performed. When's the last time that analyzed an EKG or pushed a drug on someone. I save at least one person a shift. I am required to train daily on all emergencies as a Paramedic. I also go in a house that's on fire if I am the first to arrive, b/c I am dual certified as Firefighter/Medic.
Do yourself a favor, next time you bump into a firefighter at the store ask him / her how there day is going. If their busy or slow. Remember one thing, just like police officers, we are on standby also. Watch how fast we flee from the store to rescue your family member. When your house is on fire, do you call an electrician or a Firefighter. If you're in Plantation, the electrician will come. Oops I mean volunteer. If your husband's heart stops working, do you want an ambulance driver to help you or a well trained Paramedic. If you want your country protected from invaders, do you want Wackenhut or do you want the Marines.
Leave it to the professionals
AMR EMS

AOL

#27 Mar 15, 2008
To get to the AMR Presentation, Click on the following link

http://lbts.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php...

And then under DISCUSSION ITEMS, Click on # 1. Emergency Medical Services - RFP# 07-12-01 Proposers Presentation

All their Paramedics are State Certified.

They are certainly a Professional Organization which recently was awarded the FEMA contract to provide EMS service to 21 states along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, including Florida.

AMR has been in business since 1992 and has nearly 18,000 Certified Paramedics, EMTs, nurses, doctors and support staff. It is the largest private ambulance emergency service in the USA and a leader in the emergency medical services sector.
XOXO

Lake Worth, FL

#28 Mar 15, 2008
LBTS RIP with AMR
Just facts

AOL

#29 Mar 15, 2008
Why “BSO/IAFF MUST GO.”

1. The endorsement and financial support of our candidates for special interest treatment and expectations. Watch out for Minnet (she’s in cahoots with BSO/IAFF).
2. The $450K which was to be used for VFD and was opportunely added to BSO’s budget.
3. Forcing our VFD out of their Firehouse in 2005 and not returning the $450K back to LBTS.
4. Forcing the Catholic Church into fearmongering of parishioners to vote for IAFF-endorsed candidates.
5. Aerial ladder truck is not within LBTS (Breach of Contract by BSO).
6. Charging LBTS $3.4 million for Fire/EMS while charging SRL only $50K when SRL is 1/5 the size of LBTS.
7. Adding "upside down" charges of $180,000 to the approved contract.
8. Anti-Volunteer stance of the IAFF Constitution which prevents BSO FFs from cooperating with our VFD, thereby invalidating new BSO EMS Proposal and creating an UNSAFE environment. LBTS cannot even consider this proposal.
9. New BSO EMS Proposal (invalid) is $3 million more ($800 more per LBTS household) than AMR’s EMS Proposal.
10. Excessive BSOFD employees compensation in LBTS - Battalion Chief $167,620, Lieutenant $146,262, Driver/Engineer $137,185, Firefighter/Para $128,440.
11. Pushing to pass US Senate bill S.2123 (Forced Unionism and Monopoly Bargaining) for increased union power.
12. Dealing with the IAFF union adds more burden and cost to LBTS.
13. In 2004, BSO signed contract misleading LBTS knowing full well that the IAFF Constitution would not allow them to cooperate with our VFD (Breach of Contract by BSO). As a result, our VFD was a "sitting duck" just waiting for BSO to pop them (which they did).

#8 and #13 are legally most important.
Cut Spending

Miami, FL

#30 Mar 15, 2008
Retired wrote:
<quoted text>I'm retired after 28 years of service and make 3,900 per month with no health insurance. What are you talking about?
You must really have been the bottom of the barrel. Even the lowest level firemen is making much more than you, most are making twice to three times as much. Remember this is from guys that graduated in the lower half of their high school class. The think of them selves as a proffessional like doctors, but name any doctor that is a high school loser like most firemen were?
Retired

Pompano Beach, FL

#31 Mar 15, 2008
Cut Spending wrote:
<quoted text>
You must really have been the bottom of the barrel. Even the lowest level firemen is making much more than you, most are making twice to three times as much. Remember this is from guys that graduated in the lower half of their high school class. The think of them selves as a proffessional like doctors, but name any doctor that is a high school loser like most firemen were?
I wish I could understand what you are saying, but its like reading a 5 years old letter. 90% of Firefighters don't even make what you claim them to retire at. You are a lier. Jim tell me, when you filed your insurance claim for a new roof did you really need one or did you cheat out the system. Your time is coming
Retired Firefighter

Pompano Beach, FL

#32 Mar 15, 2008
No matter what you think about firefighters, I never in my 35 years of service,heard any of you so called experts on our salaries and daily work habits complain about us when your house is on fire or you are sick or in and accident. The reason LBTS is in this mess in the first place is because of greedy politicians and backdoor politics. We get paid for putting our lives on the line everyday. We work 24 hour shifts not 8 hours like AMR we train everyday and are required to keep our skills up so we can protect all of you winers. Having dealt with the morons on the board in LBTS, this will be the beginning of the end. Kudos to "Worked for AMR" for your honesty. BOZOVILLE RIDES AGAIN.
Mike

West Palm Beach, FL

#33 Mar 15, 2008
AMR EMS wrote:
To get to the AMR Presentation, Click on the following link
http://lbts.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php...
And then under DISCUSSION ITEMS, Click on # 1. Emergency Medical Services - RFP# 07-12-01 Proposers Presentation
All their Paramedics are State Certified.
They are certainly a Professional Organization which recently was awarded the FEMA contract to provide EMS service to 21 states along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, including Florida.
AMR has been in business since 1992 and has nearly 18,000 Certified Paramedics, EMTs, nurses, doctors and support staff. It is the largest private ambulance emergency service in the USA and a leader in the emergency medical services sector.
Wow, a FEMA contract, do they make trailers also? The real question is will this jerk-water commission, so desparate to return and reward their paid "volunteer" fireboys club, make a private EMS vendor actually GUARANTEE, by contract, adequately drug tested, criminal background checked, high quality EMS personel with the decade or more of experience promised and require them to have all necessary contractual relationships with Holy Cross, 911,mutual assistance, etc. in place prior to awarding them the business? And if they are such hot stuff in Key West, why are those arrangements not already in the works here? Will the Commission monitor any deterioration in service? Or will you only find out that your new EMS provider, while State "certified", was rejected by all other professional EMS providers in south Florida, when you stare into his blood shot eyes and he says "no hablo "nitro" senor?" But don't worry, the 50= year old, 300 lbs paid "volunteer" fireman or a commissioner will be standing there, holding a beer and available for translations. I'm not in favor of BSO's coercive "unbundled" bid of $3m+, so why don't we keep what we have right now, and restructure the RFP to promote more bids? If we took serious "bundled" bids from Pompano and Fort Lauderdale, the citizens might actually benefit from an RFP, even if it means the VFD would actually have to become a real volunteer force there to supplement the professionals in an emergency. I'm sure the fireboys club members can do without their fireboy payments a few more months while we try to have more bidders, but the primary objective seems to have less to do with town safety than making sure whoever the EMS provider is, it fits into a system with the paid "volunteers" as our only fireprotection. If the Vice Mayor thinks his motives are not transparent,and have little to do with cost savings for the town, he must think we all are absolute morons?
FFPM

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#34 Mar 15, 2008
The private ambulance companies were driven out of emergency response in Broward County in the mid 80's. Why, you might ask ? Because they put profit before people whether the people were their patients or employees.
Example: man shot 4 times chest and abdomen. Broward EMS didn't have transport vehicles and contracted with AIC. AIC response to the shooting:45 minutes.Why ? Because, as told by their own employees who were volunteering to respond to the shooting, "continue on your routine call" <guaranteed insurance money> by their dispatchers.
Example: Elderly person with shortness of breath and worsening. AIC response time 45 min. <ironically the parent of one of AIC's lawyers>
Example: Special needs child in cardiac arrest is resuscitated 3 times on scene while waiting for AIC response. Time 30 minutes. Result: dead child.

AIC paramedics receive the instruction to become paramedics that a Fire Dept. medic does. Because the AIC paramedic responds on routine transports for the bulk of his/her career. Fire Dept paramedics respond to calls to 911 which includes fires, medical, auto crashes, Haz-Mat incidents.

Classroom training is 40% of learning the job, OJT is the other 60%.

Two guys in an ambulance can't properly handle serious medical calls.

LBS will get what they pay for which is their right. Let the bodies fall where they may.
For Profit

AOL

#35 Mar 15, 2008
Make MONEY on Life wrote:
One can only question why there is such a difference in the proposals. Think about this, BSO is a paid PROFESSIONAL Fire/Rescue department. AMR is a FOR PROFIT company. They charge the city less, bill the insurance company and then bill the patient for the rest of the money. If you do not pay the bill, they will put you in collections. Our local fire/rescue departments do not do that because we pay taxes. You will get a higher level of service with more paramedics from BSO. I hope the residents of Lauderdale by the Sea do there homework and find out all the facts. I would not want AMR running rescue on my fammily.
AND BSO is not a "for Profit" business? Get real, they are just as bad as a private company or even worse.
Jenne is the Proof behind the BSO machine. Big business at any COST.

Davie brought in AMR due to the fact if they gave up that right to BSO they might not recover from BSO's "Business" moves. AMR is disposable, BSO is not. BSO is a bulldozer running over anything. AMR is out in the middle of the road and BSO hides behind the "PROFESSIONAL" label.

Take on AMR and watch them good.
Push back that bulldozer even if Jenne is not driving, BSO is the same business doing business under new management.
Mike

West Palm Beach, FL

#36 Mar 15, 2008
To "Just the Fats" er..I mean Facts. All due respect to your extensive legal training, but why are #8 & #13 on your list "legally, most important". You might think an alleged breach of contract involving needed equipment was more important than whether a group of formerly paid "volunteers" continued to recieve stipends from the City to make their pick-up truck payments, but then again it is all about the VFD, isn't it? Can a few grand a year be that important to you ole boys, to rip the town apart over it? If so that is pathetic.
lbts

AOL

#37 Mar 15, 2008
Retired Firefighter wrote:
No matter what you think about firefighters, I never in my 35 years of service,heard any of you so called experts on our salaries and daily work habits complain about us when your house is on fire or you are sick or in and accident. The reason LBTS is in this mess in the first place is because of greedy politicians and backdoor politics. We get paid for putting our lives on the line everyday. We work 24 hour shifts not 8 hours like AMR we train everyday and are required to keep our skills up so we can protect all of you winers. Having dealt with the morons on the board in LBTS, this will be the beginning of the end. Kudos to "Worked for AMR" for your honesty. BOZOVILLE RIDES AGAIN.
The reason we're in this mess is not only because of our greedy politicians, but more importantly because of your deceitful and corrupt union (IAFF). Your job is not that dangerous; not even close to the 10 most dangerous jobs and less dangerous than the occupational average of 9 of our states in the US. Also, 24 hour shifts are not as efficient as 8 hour shifts because a person working more than 10 hours becomes tired and ineffective.

You are trained and certified to perform a job of trying to save people and property. If you don’t do this job, then you should be fired. Any other employer would do the same.

The South Florida FFs only fight structure fires 1% of the calls. Your main job is performing paramedic duties which are done by ambulance paramedics at 1/2 the cost without a pension. That’s what South FL FFs should be making around $40,000 with 401k’s.
Mike

West Palm Beach, FL

#39 Mar 15, 2008
lbts wrote:
<quoted text>
The reason we're in this mess is not only because of our greedy politicians, but more importantly because of your deceitful and corrupt union (IAFF). Your job is not that dangerous; not even close to the 10 most dangerous jobs and less dangerous than the occupational average of 9 of our states in the US. Also, 24 hour shifts are not as efficient as 8 hour shifts because a person working more than 10 hours becomes tired and ineffective.
You are trained and certified to perform a job of trying to save people and property. If you don’t do this job, then you should be fired. Any other employer would do the same.
The South Florida FFs only fight structure fires 1% of the calls. Your main job is performing paramedic duties which are done by ambulance paramedics at 1/2 the cost without a pension. That’s what South FL FFs should be making around $40,000 with 401k’s.
Oh yes, your average Ford assembly worker makes $75,000 full loaded each year and you want FF and paramedics to make about 60% of that in South Florida, given our cost of living. Lord save us from experts like you who apparently have an axe to grind with firefighers. Certainly public employee unions sould be less greedy, but making silly assertions the other way does not help.
Blinders

AOL

#40 Mar 15, 2008
FFPM wrote:
The private ambulance companies were driven out of emergency response in Broward County in the mid 80's. Why, you might ask ? Because they put profit before people whether the people were their patients or employees.
Example: man shot 4 times chest and abdomen. Broward EMS didn't have transport vehicles and contracted with AIC. AIC response to the shooting:45 minutes.Why ? Because, as told by their own employees who were volunteering to respond to the shooting, "continue on your routine call" <guaranteed insurance money> by their dispatchers.
Example: Elderly person with shortness of breath and worsening. AIC response time 45 min. <ironically the parent of one of AIC's lawyers>
Example: Special needs child in cardiac arrest is resuscitated 3 times on scene while waiting for AIC response. Time 30 minutes. Result: dead child.
AIC paramedics receive the instruction to become paramedics that a Fire Dept. medic does. Because the AIC paramedic responds on routine transports for the bulk of his/her career. Fire Dept paramedics respond to calls to 911 which includes fires, medical, auto crashes, Haz-Mat incidents.
Classroom training is 40% of learning the job, OJT is the other 60%.
Two guys in an ambulance can't properly handle serious medical calls.
LBS will get what they pay for which is their right. Let the bodies fall where they may.
Take your blinders off. The other day BSO had a structure fire in Cooper City. They ran the fire engine, rescue and a ladder from Cooper City. Then they ran a fire engine from Weston, a fire engine from east of 441(23), a Bat Chief from Pines and I95 and oh yeah a haz mat team, a tower ladder, another rescue, support truck ran from east of 441. If you add up how many cities and fire stations that they ran by just to protect "their turf" the tax payers would be pissed.
It kind of sounds like AMR.
Ronald M

AOL

#41 Mar 15, 2008
Retired Firefighter wrote:
No matter what you think about firefighters, I never in my 35 years of service,heard any of you so called experts on our salaries and daily work habits complain about us when your house is on fire or you are sick or in and accident. The reason LBTS is in this mess in the first place is because of greedy politicians and backdoor politics. We get paid for putting our lives on the line everyday. We work 24 hour shifts not 8 hours like AMR we train everyday and are required to keep our skills up so we can protect all of you winers. Having dealt with the morons on the board in LBTS, this will be the beginning of the end. Kudos to "Worked for AMR" for your honesty. BOZOVILLE RIDES AGAIN.
Bozoville's Boss is now serving time. Hello Jenne how's life?
lbts

AOL

#42 Mar 15, 2008
Mike wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh yes, your average Ford assembly worker makes $75,000 full loaded each year and you want FF and paramedics to make about 60% of that in South Florida, given our cost of living. Lord save us from experts like you who apparently have an axe to grind with firefighers. Certainly public employee unions sould be less greedy, but making silly assertions the other way does not help.
The following is the total payroll cost with benefits for 2007-2008 BSOFD employees in LBTS

Battalion Chief $167,620
Lieutenant $146,262
Driver/Engineer $137,185
Firefighter/Para $128,440

And the schooling requirement is only 1.5 years of community college

How many people make this kind of total compensation? Not many. Who makes this kind of compensation? I would say educated professionals with doctorate degrees and difficult careers, most with student loans and no paid pensions who have to promote their own business. In fact, soldiers who are much more in danger, make much less.

Oh and by the way, the average Broward County salary is $38,000 without a paid pension.

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