Life Care owner hopes to stay in business - Journal Advocate

Full story: Journal-Advocate

The Journal-Advocate editorial board of publisher David McClain, editor Forrest Hershberger, news editor Sara Waite and regional editor Judy Debus, sat down this week with Doug Smith, owner of Life Care Medical, to discuss the proposed Logan Emergency Services Authority .
Comments
21 - 40 of 46 Comments Last updated Sep 27, 2010
citizen1

Sterling, CO

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#21
Oct 12, 2009
 
There will be a public meeting on Wed. at 7 p.m. at the Elks. Those who are interested in asking questions should attend.
Mike Burnett

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#22
Oct 12, 2009
 

Judged:

9

7

1

**Quotations indicate passages from previous posts**

"Hey, I got it. Lets combine the Logan County Sheriff's Office and the Sterling Police Department. Then build them a new sub station, hire 15 more cops, give them new cars, and new equipment.

The 'system' we have now has 2 stations and ~45 employees. Your logic simply doesnt mesh. If Life Care goes away, so does their building. LESA ambulances have to go someplace and somebody needs to handle that workload (so, we need some kind of additional building and the EMS personnel to handle those calls and transports).

Life Care indicates that its annual budget is somewhere around $1.2m, just the same as LESA's proposed budget -- yet the LESA system will give the average citizen so much more for every dollar spent (better equipment, a higher number of more advanced personnel, personnel 24/7 in both stations, etc.).

"The Fire Department handles 1500 calls a year and they want to double the department? They respond to medicals anyway, right? Do you really need both LifeCare and Fire Department there for a nose bleed or back pain?"

Again, flawed logic -- LESA is not 'doubling' the fire department. If Life Care goes away somebody has got to pick up that EMS workload. LESA would be handling both the fire service calls and EMS calls, so somebody needs to be hired to do that. LESA would add 15 advanced life support staff to handle those calls (three shifts). You'll be guaranteed 4 ALS providers on at least two ambulances at all times 24/7/365. If you're the one in a life threatening crisis and the first ambulance is already out on a call (which happens fairly frequently), wouldnt you prefer that the second ambulance be guaranteed to be staffed by people already in the station and 10 seconds away from pulling out with lights and siren, and with staff who can push drugs and perform skills that BLS providers cant?!? Life Care isnt even required by contract to have any ALS personnel actually riding on the second ambulance. The standard across the U.S. is that fire and EMS both run on all (or most) medical calls, and for a lot of very good reasons.

"Does the 1500 call a yr. include medicals? If so, that is really week and further shows we don't need a second Fire Department. What do they (Fire Dept.) do after the medical call is completed? Why can't they just transport patients to the hospital and then call it a day?"

If there is no second building, then where will the equipment be parked and where will the additional staff live? Neither fire trucks, nor ambulances can be parked outside (because of onboard water, meds, etc) and the current fire station is full and cannot support 4 or 5 additional ambulances. The LESA system (and the current SFD/LC system) would allow for fire units to return to service while EMS personnel treat and transport staff. Just as the benefit of a second ambulance, the benefit of this is that if you're house starts on fire, someone is immediately available to handle that -- they're not stuck in the ER on a medical call.

"However, building another Fire Department, Hiring another 15 people, Government run Health Care (in quasi-semi way), and taxing the people is not the answer either. This is not what Republican's (majority of Logan County) stand for, period."

Over 80% of the departments nation-wide are combined fire/EMS, government run operations. This idea is not unique to Sterling -- to the contrary the private EMS company we use IS the anomaly (with only a couple similar situations in the whole eastern half of the state). Its not a republican/democrat thing -- its the right thing! I dont like paying more taxes either but somebody would have to come up with a pretty outstanding argument to convince me that the proposed system is not safer and more stable long-term for everybody in Logan County.

**continued in next post**
Mike Burnett

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#23
Oct 12, 2009
 

Judged:

7

6

2

**continued from previous post**

I've been on the citizens committee since February. Since it was formed we've had more than 40 meetings (typically 2-3 hrs each) plus countless hours spent in research/development and meetings with local officials and attorney's in between. Take that times the number of people on the committee and you come up with maybe 1,000 or more man-hours that have gone into the planning for this (which equals almost 6 months of full-time work). That is not hasty work by any stretch of the imagination. I honestly went into this with no horse in the parade. I listened carefully to both ideas (LESA, and a stand alone EMS district presented by Life Care) and I honestly and openly compared both before voting on one or the other. That meeting (back in May, I believe) when the LESA proposal was chosen through a blind vote of the committee was the last time that any Life Care personnel showed up, even though everyone agreed unanimously that no matter which was chosen, everybody on the committee agreed they'd support that plan. If Life Care had continued to attend, many of the questions they've now raised could have been answered/resolved before they had to be addressed at public presentations (making both sides look less than thorough). They could have been there to help develop the plan and fill any gaps they saw as EMS professionals. I can tell you all that without exception, each and every member of the committee is there because they believe in the need and because they believe in the plan. I would absolutely not be there if I didnt believe that was the case -- someones integrity and character are really the only things we leave behind when we pass away.

I worked in EMS for 13 years before coming to Sterling, for a private ambulance company whose contract was subsequently cancelled and a combined fire/EMS agency was formed based on a tax increase (in Lincoln, NE). Being on the private side at the time, I was very much against the new plan and system and I campaigned heavily against it. And honestly the first couple years were rough administratively. But in all reality, the new combined system was a much better and much smarter idea for Lincoln. The benefits eventually outweighed any negatives. We went from 2 locations where one staffed ambulance each was kept (with on-call backups) up to 5 (fully staffed with two paramedics each on all five, plus 2 on-call backups). The private EMS personnel did not just transfer over into government jobs - they had to apply just like here. Many did and many got hired. Nobody there thought it was "the right time" either, at least not until after a year or two and the benefits started to show themselves. The city/county and the taxpayers are better off for it and a good majority would never consider going private again.

The same will happen here. As I said in a post on a different article, this is not about an individual or an individual agency -- it is about creating the best system for all of the citizens. Sometimes good things cost us a little more.

Advancing into the this century with EMS care is a positive thing, though it may be uncomfortable right now. I would personally invite anyone who has questions or issues to meet with the committee at any time (our normal meetings are at 7pm every Wednesday). Any one of us would be happy to try and set aside any fears or concerns you might have. That will be the most effective way for any of you to address things... because rhetoric, supposition and propaganda over the internet is neither pretty or effective.

Please contact the committee or its members for answers, or visit the website at www.citizensforlocanesa.com and post your questions there.

Please for YES on 1B and 5F, and do whats best for Logan County.

Mike Burnett
Citizens Committee for Logan Emergency Services Authority.
citizen1

Sterling, CO

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#25
Oct 12, 2009
 
tried www.citzensforlocanesa.com as quoted in the above blog: web page doesn't work. Is there a misprint?
citizen2

Sterling, CO

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#26
Oct 12, 2009
 
NO more Taxes NO 1B 5F

Sterling, CO

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#27
Oct 12, 2009
 

Judged:

8

5

2

Vote NO on LESA 1B and 5F, and do whatís best for Logan County. Donít let these liberals screw up things worse then they already have. Vote No TAX increase. More spending and more taxes are not the answer. Be realistic I donít think weíre all going to die if this stupid thing doesnít pass, as its proponents would have you fear. VOTE NO ON 1B & 5F. "Sometimes good things cost us a little more" I hear that Mecedes makes a nice car but I cant afford one, and my good old AMERICAN car works just fine. No need going broke to drive the car that cost a little more. Things like this are the reason this country is going down the tubes. VOTE NO ON 1B & 5F.
No On LESA

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#28
Oct 12, 2009
 

Judged:

8

5

1

L: LOCAL
E: ECONOMY
S: SUFFERS
A: AGAIN
Ironpig

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#29
Oct 12, 2009
 

Judged:

2

1

1

Looking past who should run the show... I know many have commented on this, but the Sterling water issue and extra taxes for LESA are going to hurt this town badly. Adding these into the economy mix is like getting punched in the face and having someone come along and start punching you in the groin. One spot at a time please! If Sterling water is killing us anyway I would rather focus money into that problem and decrease ambulance trips! Yes, Sterling water causes broken bones and most medical emergencies...in case you were wondering.
citizen1

Sterling, CO

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#30
Oct 14, 2009
 
Citizen 2: thanks for the corrected webpage address. I bookmarked it for future reference.
Thaks now we know

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#31
Oct 14, 2009
 

Judged:

5

3

what to VOTE NO ON. VOTE NO ON LESA
citizen1 wrote:
Citizen 2: thanks for the corrected webpage address. I bookmarked it for future reference.
FIXED INCOME

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#32
Oct 14, 2009
 

Judged:

7

3

2

Higher taxes wont help. Vote NO on LESA. Vote no to wastefull spending. This wont fix my income it it will break it. VOTE NO ON LESA
Time for change

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#33
Oct 14, 2009
 

Judged:

5

2

2

It is time to change our county commissioners or all we will have in or pockets is change if we are lucky.
Vegas here we come

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#34
Oct 14, 2009
 

Judged:

6

2

1

Rich O'Connell Logan County Economic Development Corporation (LCEDC) likes to take trips to Vegas to drum up business for NE Colo look at all of the good things his group has done so far. Just another group costing Logan county and the city more money with little or no results. Maybe we were going to open a poker chip factory next to the chicken factory. No wait I don't see any new businesses flowing jobs and income into the area. I bet if the LESA group goes to Vegas they will get to look at some new fire trucks, or something that will justify the trip. Get real VOTE NO on LESA. Maybe Richard can take some commisioners on the trip this time?
For DOUG

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#35
Oct 15, 2009
 

Judged:

6

5

If We in Logan county want new business in the area. Why are we going to close one business to make a larger Goverment? It just does not make like a good move. Vote NO on LESA. Higher Taxes? who in their right mind would want to pay more money? The only ones that have really deep pockets? Deep pocket people (the leader of our government now) more than likely they do not live on a very planned out budget and work every hour that they can to make it.

NO NO NO on LESA NO NO NO

The people behind LESA need to wake up and rethink their plan. LESA is Dumb.

NO ON LESA.
Think it through

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#36
Oct 15, 2009
 

Judged:

6

5

4

Face it people - Life Care is done on Jan 1, one way or the other. Supporting Doug Smith, or voting against LESA can only do one thing, and that is put your family at risk. Articles have indicated there is a backup plan, but if LESA gets voted down the city and county will be forced to cut other programs or projects in order to fund and run some sort of lesser system.

Life Care has not done responsible business with the county. Making a "political statement" by not paying overdue bills (which then need to be subsidized by the citizens anyway) only shows a lack of integrity. Is that kind of business one that you really want to depend on saving your life? We have no guarantee they could be there when we call.

If mediocre and half-assed is acceptable to you, then by all means, vote against LESA.

If you want to guarantee excellent emergency care with good equipment and two teams of advanced life support personnel staffed in two locations around the clock immediately available to save your life, then vote yes on LESA. Anything less than that is just putting lives in jeopardy.

You can either stay on a sinking ship with no hope of rescue, or you can get onboard with a better plan.

VOTE YES
For DOUG

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#37
Oct 15, 2009
 

Judged:

4

3

2

Think it through
You are not thinking it through because the way the question on fuding LESA is wrote they can rise taxes at anytime with out even asking the voters when LESA is SINKING because LESA can not manange their money or collect money from insurance groups. So you really need to think it through.

SO VOTE NO on LESA.
Think it through

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#38
Oct 16, 2009
 

Judged:

3

2

1

For DOUG wrote:
Think it through
You are not thinking it through because the way the question on fuding LESA is wrote they can rise taxes at anytime with out even asking the voters when LESA is SINKING because LESA can not manange their money or collect money from insurance groups. So you really need to think it through.
SO VOTE NO on LESA.
LESA cannot raise taxes after its formation without another vote of the people. If you doubt that, you should speak personally with the county attorney.

Best to have your facts straight before you post next time.
duh

Denver, CO

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#39
Oct 16, 2009
 

Judged:

4

4

2

lol. you people for LESA make me laugh. You must be the same people that voted for Obama. Thanks you by the way. By voting for him, you helped arm America by putting 650,000 guns into the hands of responsible Americans. But thats besides the point. LESA is (from an insider's view mind you ;)) a bad decision. Why would we usher in full time firefighters to a new position without having to apply and test for it. Half of the full time firefighters now dont even have the Basic EMT skills that are written in their own bylaws! They require volunteers to have Basic EMT skills, yet the ones who will benefit from this the most (the officers in the fire house) dont have even the most minimal of skills! It takes more than just CPR and bandaids to run the back of an ambulance! Sure times got tough with Doug, but thats what loyal employees deal with! How many firefighters have skipped town in the last 6 years because of trouble in the big red trucks? 8! Now, even a knucklehead can see that the problems inside the firehouse between the crews has come to a head. Vote no on LESA. The right choice, the only way to vote!
Name says it all

Great Falls, MT

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#40
Oct 17, 2009
 

Judged:

3

2

1

duh wrote:
lol. you people for LESA make me laugh. You must be the same people that voted for Obama. Thanks you by the way. By voting for him, you helped arm America by putting 650,000 guns into the hands of responsible Americans. But thats besides the point. LESA is (from an insider's view mind you ;)) a bad decision. Why would we usher in full time firefighters to a new position without having to apply and test for it. Half of the full time firefighters now dont even have the Basic EMT skills that are written in their own bylaws! They require volunteers to have Basic EMT skills, yet the ones who will benefit from this the most (the officers in the fire house) dont have even the most minimal of skills! It takes more than just CPR and bandaids to run the back of an ambulance! Sure times got tough with Doug, but thats what loyal employees deal with! How many firefighters have skipped town in the last 6 years because of trouble in the big red trucks? 8! Now, even a knucklehead can see that the problems inside the firehouse between the crews has come to a head. Vote no on LESA. The right choice, the only way to vote!
Duh, your name says it all!!!
LOL

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#41
Oct 17, 2009
 

Judged:

4

4

2

duh wrote:
lol. you people for LESA make me laugh. You must be the same people that voted for Obama. Thanks you by the way. By voting for him, you helped arm America by putting 650,000 guns into the hands of responsible Americans. But thats besides the point. LESA is (from an insider's view mind you ;)) a bad decision. Why would we usher in full time firefighters to a new position without having to apply and test for it. Half of the full time firefighters now dont even have the Basic EMT skills that are written in their own bylaws! They require volunteers to have Basic EMT skills, yet the ones who will benefit from this the most (the officers in the fire house) dont have even the most minimal of skills! It takes more than just CPR and bandaids to run the back of an ambulance! Sure times got tough with Doug, but thats what loyal employees deal with! How many firefighters have skipped town in the last 6 years because of trouble in the big red trucks? 8! Now, even a knucklehead can see that the problems inside the firehouse between the crews has come to a head. Vote no on LESA. The right choice, the only way to vote!
Talk about completely clueless. Buddy you need to get your facts straight before you post anything. First off every Firefighter that is full time at Sterling is at least a basic EMT. Many of them are ALS. And secondly volunteers are not required to be basics. And by the way if you are from AZ, what right do you have to talk about the topic anyway. Please reply I'd love to hear your anwsers.

Tell me when this thread is updated: (Registration is not required)

Add to my Tracker Send me an email

Type in your comments below
Name
(appears on your post)
Comments
Characters left: 4000
Type the numbers you see in the image on the right:

Please note by clicking on "Post Comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

•••
•••