Ambulance Task Force seeks bidders

Ambulance Task Force seeks bidders

There are 6 comments on the Buffalo News story from Apr 6, 2009, titled Ambulance Task Force seeks bidders. In it, Buffalo News reports that:

The future of a life-support ambulance service for all of Genesee County could be the same as it has been for the past 10 years with one exception: Communities will no longer have to pay a share.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Buffalo News.

Since: Dec 08

Hamburg, NY

#1 Apr 11, 2009
To the residents in the City of Batavia:

You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. Currently, you have a fire deptartment-based EMS system. Because of that affiliation, your paramedics have quality equipment and are also familiar with the area that they serve. There is a little bit of "hometown pride," so to speak in your EMS system right now. All in all, that translates into excellent care for you and your loved ones.

To switch to a private EMS company (specifically Rural/Metro), you will lose that local touch. Don't be fooled. You might get a tiny break in your taxes but if you ever require emergency medical care, you'll be sorry. To get an idea, look to Buffalo. Ambulances cruise around with 300,000 plus miles on them, blowing smoke out the tailpipes because of constant wear and tear. Oh they might look new on the outside because of a new paint job, but the rust will poke through eventually. Cabs have duct tape holding up the headliners, or in some cases they have towels stuffed up there to control the leaking windshield. It's embarrassing to say the least. Instead of a fire dept that puts the needs of YOU first, you'll get a company looking to make a buck at every opportunity. They'll cut corners wherever they can - please trust me. Take a trip to downtown Buffalo and see for yourself.

And not to speak against emt's and medics working for private companies (because I am one), but you risk losing a certain "personal touch" when you replace medics who are city residents with out-of-towners. Ask any medic you bump into who has the more satisfied workforce with better equipment and access to more resources...private or municipal EMS. I guarantee the answer will be municipal every time.

It may seem like a great idea on paper to take ambulance service off the city's payroll, but ITS A MISTAKE. There are too many benefits to list that you are about to lose. Corporations put SHAREHOLDERS AND EXECUTIVES ahead of everyone - including their customers. Again - look at Buffalo...or at least talk to a medic that knows the industry. Do not rely on the sales pitch that you get from a company. Your paramedics are fighting for their jobs right now not only because it's their livelihood, but because they actually care about their job and the quality of care that your city will get.

You might have better luck with a private company that isn't publicly traded, but I hope my point is getting across. At any rate, good luck.
Life Coach

Amsterdam, Netherlands

#2 Apr 11, 2009
As you can see from my "What Do Volunteer Firemen Do Best" thread, I think it is very important to have a well-pain and highly-trained professional fire department.

How you YOU feel about having Batavia switch over to 100% volunteer medics?

Since: Dec 08

Hamburg, NY

#3 Apr 11, 2009
To my knowledge, they are looking at a private company to provide EMS service...not volunteers. But to answer your question more generally, I think that in areas with high call volume (cities, large townships, etc) a paid service should be in place.

In more rural areas, it may not be practical to have a paid service simply because there aren't enough calls to justify it. Many volunteer companies also get new equipment fairly frequently (not all, though) so they don't have to deal with the number of mechanical breakdowns that paid services deal with. There are pros and cons and I won't bash the volunteer service in general.

I think of it this way: I'm a Paramedic. It's how I identify myself because it's my primary profession. I take my job seriously and I'd like to think that's reflected in my patient care. So do I find it frustrating sometimes when we are confronted with 10 volunteers on a call, not in uniform, some just standing around doing nothing in particular, taking care of a patient that my partner and I could handle by ourselves? Sure. But that's how it goes. For every call I find myself saying that to myself, we respond to 2 or 3 calls where the vollies are excellent and give us a reason to be proud of the service we provide. To say that all volunteers are incompetent, useless or just siren-happy isn't right. We have those people in the paid service, too. Many volunteers are very good EMS providers and/or also work in the paid service - and the skills that they practice every day on a paid ambulance are put to use in the volunteer setting.

In regards to Batavia, switching away from a municipal EMS system will be a mistake. Look around the country - more and more towns are realizing the BENEFITS of joint fire/ems departments. They share resources, know the area, get decent equipment, etc.

Sorry if I rambled. The volly subject opens up a whole other can of worms and I could go on to explain a lot more, however, my purpose here was to alert people of what 3rd party (private) EMS coverage will mean for the citizens of Batavia, not to go on a tangent about volunteers.

Since: Dec 08

Hamburg, NY

#4 Apr 11, 2009
Life Coach

Germany

#5 Apr 11, 2009
NYS Medic wrote:
To my knowledge, they are looking at a private company to provide EMS service...not volunteers. But to answer your question more generally, I think that in areas with high call volume (cities, large townships, etc) a paid service should be in place.
In more rural areas, it may not be practical to have a paid service simply because there aren't enough calls to justify it. Many volunteer companies also get new equipment fairly frequently (not all, though) so they don't have to deal with the number of mechanical breakdowns that paid services deal with. There are pros and cons and I won't bash the volunteer service in general.
I think of it this way: I'm a Paramedic. It's how I identify myself because it's my primary profession. I take my job seriously and I'd like to think that's reflected in my patient care. So do I find it frustrating sometimes when we are confronted with 10 volunteers on a call, not in uniform, some just standing around doing nothing in particular, taking care of a patient that my partner and I could handle by ourselves? Sure. But that's how it goes. For every call I find myself saying that to myself, we respond to 2 or 3 calls where the vollies are excellent and give us a reason to be proud of the service we provide. To say that all volunteers are incompetent, useless or just siren-happy isn't right. We have those people in the paid service, too. Many volunteers are very good EMS providers and/or also work in the paid service - and the skills that they practice every day on a paid ambulance are put to use in the volunteer setting.
In regards to Batavia, switching away from a municipal EMS system will be a mistake. Look around the country - more and more towns are realizing the BENEFITS of joint fire/ems departments. They share resources, know the area, get decent equipment, etc.
Sorry if I rambled. The volly subject opens up a whole other can of worms and I could go on to explain a lot more, however, my purpose here was to alert people of what 3rd party (private) EMS coverage will mean for the citizens of Batavia, not to go on a tangent about volunteers.
What about the arson situation?

Why is that the overwhelming majority of time, firefighter involved arson involves volunteer firemen?

Since: Dec 08

Hamburg, NY

#6 Apr 12, 2009
Again...your other post addresses that. Please do not distract from the issue of this one.

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