Ambulance responding, March 2012, by The Observer
I will tell you how the Observer was--just sad about it all. Sad that an ill conceived and thought out plan had been put into action. Sad that almost every complication that was forecast has come to pass. Sad that no one is willing to admit the obvious: That this was a mistake, and while we can't bring MAST back, to take an honest no-BS look at the thing and ask how it can be made better then it is now.
I am no EMS expert, but I am a sensible person who has some ideas and concepts that if used, could improve things.
1. Quit thinking that fire suppression people know EMS and get real EMS experts to run EMS.
2. Split shifts in busy houses--12 hour shifts for EMS assigned personnel in the busiest firehouses for ambulance calls.
3. Consider the creation of lighter response vehicles that respond to assist ambulance crews, and lessen the number of times a pumper truck responds.
4. Allow dynamic units to actually use fire houses to post--I keep seeing units at QuikTrips--is this the choice of the crews? (So much for getting rid of the dynamic post and all of its supposed horrors.)
Is anyone thinking of new ways do the job of EMS in Kansas City?
There has been a great loss of experience and expertise as former MAST paramedics and EMTs have left the fire department for other jobs or fields--a real brain drain. Some people have reported an unfriendly work environment and an unwillingness to hear real concerns. In extreme cases, the MAST people feel run off and the KCFD people feel the former MAST people are just chronic complainers. It gets played out in the back rooms and kitchens of firehouses, the EMS rooms of hospitals and the comment sections of blogs. NONE of this stuff actually helps the delivery of EMS to the citizens of Kansas City.
It is time for the mayor, city council and fire department brass to put their faces to the wind and bend to the task of correcting the mistake of three years ago.