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Genesee County, NY

Ambulance Task Force seeks bidders

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

Buffalo, NY

Ambulance Task Force seeks bidders

http://bataviaambu lance.com/facts.ht m  (Apr 11, 2009 | post #4)

Genesee County, NY

Ambulance Task Force seeks bidders

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.  (Apr 11, 2009 | post #3)

Genesee County, NY

Ambulance Task Force seeks bidders

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...privat e 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.  (Apr 11, 2009 | post #1)

New York

A look at the biggest cuts in NY state budget

I agree with you in the statement that Medicaid is needed and that people will talk sh*t about it until they need it. I also agree that to cut Medicaid would hurt the health care industry. (Though Medicaid's reimbursements to companies/institut ions that provide medical services are very low anyway.) However, that's only because it's to the point now where so many people (who don't need it) are dependent on it. Unfortunately, it is obscenely abused by people who don't really 'need' it but who live off it nonetheless. I can't tell you how many houses I go to that have little or no furniture but a TV fit for a drive-in movie spot, a nice car in the driveway, and eventually the Mastercaid card is brandished. Then, instead of them driving that car somewhere, they go by ambulance (which we all pay for) to the hospital to be treated for stuff like stuffy noses and toothaches. No I'm not kidding and it happens alllllll the time. I'm not heartless...I know people legitimately need help, but if I could only tell you half the stories I have about abuse of the system. It's disgusting. People know how to milk the system...it's become an art form. Why work and help yourself when there are thousands of working taxpayers that support you? And at the same time, I know people who have jobs, but because of unforeseen circumstances, they can't pay their bills and barely get by. Do they get assistance? Nope...they make...waiiiit for it... too much money. Welfare was designed to help people help themselves...not for them to live off it. Obviously people with certain handicaps (downs, etc) need the support...but that's what it's there for. Not to keep the baby factory pumping out kids in the city when Mom can't afford what she's already got. I don't know what the answer is. I think some personal responsibility and ethics would go a long way but there's no way to enforce any of that. Health care is a black hole for a lot of our money. Reforming medicaid to stop rewarding system leeches would go a long way I think.  (Dec 17, 2008 | post #12)

WIVB Buffalo

Hard hits in Paterson's budget

And as a classic example of how this state wastes absurd amounts of money by continuing to finance broken systems... guy called 911 last night saying he needed to be seen for something that could have been taken care of at a pharmacy. The real reason for calling was for us to take him across the city so it would be easier for him to take a bus up north...he came right out and told us. The kicker: we can't refuse to take these people where they want to go. Guess who paid for it? We did. Mastercaid...accep ted everywhere. Fix the broken systems that our tax dollars support. Work harder and pay more taxes...thousands of people on welfare depend on it.  (Dec 17, 2008 | post #17)