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  1. #1
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Question Rural/Metro...what do you think?

    What do youthink about Rural/Metro? Wave of the future
    now that the money is getting tight? High turnover rate?
    They have Paramedics too, are they just as good as AMR,
    Southwest, etc?

    I know the brothers/sisters at Scottsdale, AZ arent happy.

    Fill me in...What do you think?


  2. #2
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Ask AMR how well they did when they entered the Chicago market. They lasted 2 years tops. I will keep our fire department ambulances thank-you.

  3. #3
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    In My Own Humble Opinion:

    Warning... Strong opinion enclosed. Click here if you don't want to hear it. Rural/Metro.


    Two things about private "public serivce" companies:

    1. They must EARN money to survive.
    2. A unit that isn't EARNING money is COSTING company.

    So, in a perfect world, there is no such thing as an available unit. If you have to maximize profits to stay afloat, you must always have as many units as possible assigned to income earning tasks. Based on a flat overhead of staffing a unit, the highest level of income can only be earned if it is busy as much as possible, out of service as little as possible, and suffers no costly mechanical failures or requires little maintinence.

    Also, the bigger a company grows, the cheaper it is to buy everything in bulk. This limits the company to several few benefit providers and equipment providers, and as they conglomerize other districts, those employees who were previously getting excellent health care in their area must now choose only from the big HMO's that have a contract with "mega-fire-ambulance" and may not even offer inexpenisive care within 50 miles. By buying bulk equpiment they get a better deal too, but that leaves no room for site specific stuff like studded tires for the winters and hoses that fit the hydrants. It's cheaper to buy chains for the units that need winter traction, and cheaper to supply all the units with fittings to increase or reduce the outlet size on the hydrant to that to the cheapest avaiable hose.

    Now, I know that not all fire districts have the biggest budget, and in some cases "mega-fire-ambulance" may be able to provide a better service for the dollars, but typically, "mega-fire-ambulance" will only go for those places that have the potential to EARN the big bucks, leaving the small districts to themselves. And, in the event that "mega-fire-ambulance" finds themselves in a losing situation, they don't stick around long, leaving the district to scamble to put something together. But they will fight tooth-and-nail for a large metropolitain area that has big buck potential.

    I feel that, properly run, there is potential for a private to do it well and inexpensively, but my experience with one "mega-service" is that "well run" is something to stive for, but not attainable.

    PS: Why is ti that i awlays find my speling errors after I post adn not wehn I previwe?
    Last edited by BoneyT; 11-26-2002 at 12:59 PM.

  4. #4
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Default We Got The Oldest........

    April 11, 1927 has been listed as the date of the founding of the Prince Georges County Rescue Squad, And ,as far as we know, We're the oldest Fire-based rescue/ambulance organization to serve an entire county. The years have brought huge changes, but the concept has endured, a neighborhood fire station operates the ambulance service for it's area. Do I see Rural Metro or AMR moving in on us?? No, for a couple of reasons. 1. The facilities and equipment are owned by both the county and individual volunteer fire/ems organizations. (vols own 75% of the stations and over 50% of the apparatus) 2. I do not see the profit margin being there to support a for-profit company and, I know this is scary, but I really believe our elected officials are very anti-privatization. And last, the IAFF local and the Vol Fire/Rescue Assn. are strong enough to beat this stuff up real good. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Mikey, you stole my thunder. We are headed down a dangerous road if we are going to turn EMS into a profit driven entity. To elaborate on what Mikey posted about AMR.

    The came into the chicago area poised to take over. In addition to their own units, they bought out a few of the existing private ambulance companies. These companies did the bulk of their business doing non-emergency transports. AMR's efforts to make a dent in emergency response failed. The few privates who contract medics to fire departments held on to their contracts. AMR vanished. No one has came into the area since, and the privates who have contracts aren't exactly expanding their business.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Businesses like predictability to make money. They buy insurance to compensate for the unexpected.

    So it's kinda a tough business to run, preparing for the unexpected. Do you buy more of what you might need, or return it to investors as part of their dividends?

    I don't like wasting taxpayer money. I don't mind spending it, I just want it spent well. And well spent doesn't mean "cheapest."

    Our town just did it's every-five-years change of school bus contractors. Don't worry, the new firm (they switch between Ryder and Laidlaw or whatever the two companies call themselves) will hire all the same bus drivers. Of course, they'll all start off at the bottom of the pay scale again, but hey, the contract's cheaper.

    Talk about a scam those two firms have going -- we'll swap contracts every few years, so few employees build up seniority and reach higher pay grades!

    If you have mis-management, or poor management, you deal with the mis-management. Contracting away to a private company is not usually the best long term solution to public problems. They're looking to pull 15% or better off as their profits.

    It's not say everything has to be done by public crews -- our Highway Department can higher contractors with bigger equipment when needed instead of buying it themselves. Private EMS crews can help provide additional coverage in our area while also handling interfacility work.

    Looking to staff & equip fire stations though? That's best handled locally and not-for-profit, whether it's a department of the local government, or a private fire company acting as a public agency.

  7. #7
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    I think they should give it up and GO AWAY. Let me ask you all a question. Why did you take the job or volunteer? Now why does AMR, Rural Metro and all the others get involved? Right, to make a profit. Now what happens to the American people when corporations get involved? (Enron) They screw everybody. I think that the whole idea of private anything in public safety is wrong, wrong, wrong.
    This space for rent

  8. #8
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
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    Rural/Metro took a HUGE beating in Western PA. They dried up all but one station in Mercer County.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

    E6511

    "Who's Who Among American Teachers" - 2005, 2006 Honoree

  9. #9
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    There is nothing wrong with making a profit. That is what the American free enterprise system is all about. Not every private business is out to screw people.

    That said, there is plenty of money to made in the ambulance business. However, it is all in the private, non-emergency transport end of the business. 911 will NEVER make money. How do we know? How many ED's make money? Answer-few if any. I saw a study someplace which said the collection rate for an ED is like 30% Hard to turn a profit like that.

    BTW-this is about the 10th time this topic has been posted. Does anybody ever stick up for the scabs?

  10. #10
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    I prefer to call 'em poachers. Pretty descriptive if you ask me.

  11. #11
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    Thumbs down unknowing tax payers

    Yes, it's true. Rural/Metro has to earn the money it makes. Unlike some who are simply handed an arbitrary chunk of money from the taxpayers and are expected (but not required to or held accountable)to serve the public. Rural/Metro employees HAVE to serve the public for the very reason that we indeed EARN our keep. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  12. #12
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    Dear Rural Metro man, let me tell you why this for profit thing will not work, they run your medic's all over town without any down time causing them to become burnt out, example, at a working house fire a few years ago two crews were so tired from there money making day that they were SLEEPING in there unit while an interior attack was in progress and a patient was sitting outside and not being evaluated, the crew inside encountered a flashover causing posable burns and they lost there line when it burnt through, it was an unbelievable thing to have to wake up the rural metro crew to check out brother firefighters, and this isn't all they walk patents that shouldn't walk and treat them like they don't even want to do there job, this is what happens when you run your crews all over town without any down time, as far as I am concerned I will take a fire based crew anyday over a rural metro crew because there method of business is just that, its not about patient care its about profit.

  13. #13
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    The basic mission of any fire or EMS agency is to have a populace safe and free from fire. In other words, 0 runs. But that goes against the basic mission of a for-profit fire or EMS agency. Kind of an interesting paradox, huh?

  14. #14
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Gee last time I checked, we operated on a budget that was approved by the City Council. That kind of blows your "arbitrary chunk" of money theory. Spoken like a true company man though.

  15. #15
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default Re: unknowing tax payers

    Originally posted by ruraldrexmetro
    Yes, it's true. Rural/Metro has to earn the money it makes. Unlike some who are simply handed an arbitrary chunk of money from the taxpayers and are expected (but not required to or held accountable)to serve the public. Rural/Metro employees HAVE to serve the public for the very reason that we indeed EARN our keep. Wake up and smell the coffee.
    Arbitrary chunk of money? FD's have to fight for every penny they get in their budgets. When cuts have to be made in municipal services...where do the politicians look first...

    City Hall? No, we can't cut expenses there...it would be a disservice to the taxpayer.

    Police? No, we have to protect our citizens from crime!

    Public Works? No. We want our streets maintained, parks cleaned, trash collected, etc.

    Schools? The sacred cow. School departments almost always come into budget time asking for double digit increases...and whatever they get, they are never satisfied!

    Fire? Sure... we can cut their budget...they have always done more with less!

    Not accountable? What a bunch of bovine scatology!!

    If R/M is so great...then why are they in danger of losing their "crown jewel"...the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, home of their corporate offices?

    PS: RuraldrexMetro...how is your pension plan doing?
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  16. #16
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    Captain Gonzo shoots.............HE SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. #17
    Forum Member Smoke20286's Avatar
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    Firefighting for profit is IMHO an aberration. we are not here to make money for anyone. The best possible shift, for everybody involved would be 0 runs, unfortunatly it very rarely occurs

  18. #18
    Forum Member FiremedicMike's Avatar
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    Two questions

    Axman - where in Ohio is EMS run by privates?


    Question 2 - Does implementing EMS billing make us any better than them?

  19. #19
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Smile Well..

    Yeah, I think there is a difference between a publicly funded organization (Fire Dept.) that recoups SOME of it's operational costs by billing for certain things like a ride to the hospital, plans review, standby for hazardous work, Etc. and a for profit company. By far, my biggest concern is an organization that will not respond if you are unable to pay. I have NEVER heard of a Police Dept. that refused to respond because the alleged crime victim had no insurance. While they are very, very, few indeed, there are Fire organizations that have refused to respond over financial disputes (anyone in Alaska know about this?). I think the best system at this time is that which most of us have, a tax-supported "standby" system that, IF the management so desires, can recover some costs incurred in providing service. A FOR-PROFIT Company is just that, an organization that intends to make money, usually by the "no matter what" methods like cutting costs by deferred upkeep of facilities and vehicles, buying "low-bid" Etc. I'll take Public over Private any day, to the extent that, as a taxpayer, I demand nothing less. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  20. #20
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    Two and a half years ago the Ontario government downloaded responsibility for running EMS to the upper tier Municipalities. Rural Metro and AMR (name CMR for it's Canadian acquisitions) bought up a few services in order to establish a presence in the Province. Needless to say they learned very quickly that we weren't nearly ready for their style of EMS. The scads of money they thought they would make just didn't appear since the Provincial government refused to change the laws of billing. Boy were we sad to see them go when most of the Municipalities decided to run EMS themselves.

    Rural Metro also approached a few Municipalities regarding private Fire as well and I am proud to say were told in no uncertain terms by the Councils in these areas where they could put their sales pitch.

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