Tuesday, May 8, 2012

KCFD Ambulance Response Issues

Ambulance responding, March 2012, by The Observer

I bet you have been wondering where I have been during the fracas that broke out last week over the ambulance response times falling so short of the standards.  Where was The Observer--how come there was no jumping on the fire department for its apparent failure at running Kansas City's EMS?
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.


Hyperblogal said...

It wasn't broke, but the fix was in, and now it is.

chuck said...

Sounds reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Till real leadership comes to KC-MO this issue will remain broke.

Running EMS in the fire dept will work. Just to bad none of the leaders in the fire service care to do it right or are just as the rest of the city leadersare and just don't give a damn.

Anonymous said...

agreed with superdave, on his comment. But smokey, came from the suburb sou'east of you all. He had amb services there. The services are simular in structure, the personnel are simular in dedication.
And the personnel are simular in training.
The management of the personnel is the problem. I don't mean the department heads, but the political heads. They don't realize where cost savings could exist, and where money's have to be added to the budget. Its cheaper to have the personnel located near a "house" but its faster to have the personnel mobile. Its cheaper to have the engine off, but faster to have the engine "warmed" to get out of there faster. There are more incostancies around that could be mentioned, but air is money.

Anonymous said...

You have no idea what you're taking about! It's not the politicians! Fire Administration has been lying to them for 2 years about the mess they've created. Dyer doesn't know jack shit about running an EMS system and he has managed to COMPLETELY destroy this company! Virtually every facet of this service is now a complete failure. The only thing left for the egotistical prick to do is run, which he is doing in a matter of weeks. The public has NO IDEA how fucked up this system really is....yet. It's coming. Just pray that it isn't you who is waiting 20-30 minutes for a paramedic and if and when you do get one, they don't make a critical error and kill you because they are sleep deprived from running their ass off for 24 hours straight.

Bob G. said...

Can't argue with a single word of your logic...well done.

And some excellent comments as well.

Whenever politics enters the realm of PUBLIC SAFETY with the express act of compromising it...the net result is always BAD.

Look at the screwups in Philly with THEIR politicians and "rolling brownouts" at firehouses there...cost 2 firefighters lives the other week.

Makes you wonder where the SAFETY part of "public safety" went.

Excellent post.

Stay safe out there.

Anonymous said...

Agree pretty much with Anonymos.."You have no idea". They need to restructure and make it a separate division and have someone who knows EMS run the system. I knew this would be ugly, but had no idea that it could get this bad. This is absolutely a system that is a threat to it's citizens and it's employees. They have not only "bled" experienced paramedics, they have also lost pretty much anyone who knows how to manage the system. They need to have someone with expertise take a look at this and it needs to happen yesterday.

Anonymous said...

I got a solution. Tell the paramedics to actually come to work. Maybe if they stopped calling in sick they wouldn't burden the rest to work so hard.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea. Actually staff the ambulances. Pumper and truck companies are never shut down yet ambulances are routinely not staffed. Blame the employees? You sound like someone who has no clue.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that Lesa Gonzales can spend all her time posting comments to this blog and the other but yet she can't be bothered to go to work. I didn't know try let psych PTs have a computer in the padded room.

Lesa said...

3:16, thanks for keeping up with me! BTW, the last name is spelled Gonzalez. I have more interesting things to do than write on these blogs until I was told I was being badmouthed. Sounds as if you have been in a psych ward yourself, to know they don't allow computers. LOL. Why don't you be a man or woman and come say these things to my face when I return to work, instead of hiding behind the Anonymous moniker? because you are a chicken and can talk big on blogs but tuck your tail and slink away on the job. A snake and a kool-aid drinker. See you soon!

chuck said...

Just for the record, yesterday at 87th and Troost, this Mexican gentlemen who was working in a building that I was working in, had what I think, was a heat stroke. He fainted, was a little combative, aggrevated and disoriiented. We got water on him, ice, cooled him down, his fellow workers were very concerned and the entire group was really nice. Nice folks.

Anyway, the ambulace was called bnefore I walked in the door. A Firetruck showed up about 10 minutes after I did and the Ambulance showed up about 5 minutes later.

Lets be clear here, I am NOT assigning blame, just adding to the info.

The Fire guys and Ambulance guys were professional, courteous and went thru their progressions as you would expect.

I wish I would have timed it, once again, NOT to assign blame, but to add to the info here. It did seem to me, that the arrival time was kinda slow.

In all fairness, that may be becasue I am aware of the ongoing dispute, however, like I said, it seemed like a while.

By the way, when I first got there, they were (HIs Friends) standing out on the street, looking kup and down the street, which would indicate to me that they too, even then, were wondering what the hold up was.

That is just what happened, don't take it wrong, have a nice day.