1. #1
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    Default Fire Fighters Oppose Creation of Separate Federal EMS Administration

    The IAFF and several other leading fire service organizations have developed a consensus position opposing the recent proposal to establish a new EMS Administration within the Department of Homeland Security.

    The proposal, offered by single-role EMS providers, recommends raising the current level of representation that emergency medical services (EMS) receives within DHS. The IAFF, along with the International Association of Arson Investigators, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Fire Service Training Association, National Fire Protection Association, National Volunteer Fire Council and the North American Fire Training Directors, is arguing that a separate administration would only serve to fractionalize emergency response systems.

    In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff dated May 23, 2005, the group of fire service leaders wrote, “As the organizations which represent a substantial majority of EMS in this country, we fervently believe that the proposal would have a detrimental effect on EMS and undermine all progress made to date within DHS to coordinate and consolidate homeland security policies and programs consistent with the mission of your department.”

    Furthermore, none of these fire organizations – which represent the nation’s fire service at the national level – support the proposal to create a separate federal agency dedicated exclusively to EMS issues. Instead, fire service organizations support working within the framework of the federal government that now exists to address EMS issues. This framework includes the U.S. Fire Administration, the National Highway Traffic Administration, Health and Human Services and many others. Fire service groups also support enhancing the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services – as proposed in Congress – to address EMS issues.

    A Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) report released in support of the proposal overstates the role of single-role EMS providers, claiming that only 44 percent of EMS systems are fire-based when, in fact, among the 200 most populous cities surveyed, 90 percent reported that fire service personnel provide medical first response.

    In addition, the HSPI report maintains that EMS providers receive only four percent of the first responder funding allocated by DHS, but neglects to include fire-based EMS from its definition. In fact, EMS qualifies for and receives funding through a variety of DHS programs, including the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The HSPI recommendations would redirect homeland security funding to for-profit and hospital-based transport agencies.

    “EMS is only one component of an emergency response system, and creating a separate federal entity for EMS would balkanize emergency response and diminish the role of the U.S. Fire Administration,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “We must recognize the existing infrastructure for EMS within the federal government, use it where it has been successful and coordinate its activities both at the federal, state and local levels.”

    Because of the lack of support from any nationally recognized fire service leader and the opposition of several national EMS organizations, the IAFF and the other fire service groups have called for an open and public discussion within the first responder community to address this issue.

    Click on http://daily.iaff.org/images/Media20...5EMSletter.pdf to download a copy of the letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff.

    http://www.emsnetwork.org/artman/pub...le_16214.shtml
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    Default

    If I read this right, EMS is represented by 4 entities already-the Fire Administration, Health and Human Services, Highway Traffic Administration, and the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services. It would seem that adding another layer of bureaucracy is not necessary.

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    It seemed that nobody wanted to do EMS. In steps the fire service who saw a need and answered the call.We've gotten better and have always had a faster response time.

    Now they want to separate Fire and EMS? WTF?

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    I am sure it boils down to someone from somewhere sweating profusely because they may lose some $$$$ that would normally go to a Fire-Based EMS program. Oh well, deal with it and move on. If the government wants a FEMSA, they will have it. No amount of crying by S--tburger is going to stop it.

    And why do they always say "Firefighters Oppose....." just because the IAFF and all the other Fat Cats don't like it? Who cares if the IAFC, NVFC and the IAFF oppose something...doesn't mean I, as a firefighter, oppose it. It should read "Deep Pocket's Fire Administrators Oppose...."
    Last edited by TillerMan25; 05-28-2005 at 11:21 AM.
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    Default JUST WHAT WE NEED

    Another government agency. Just what we need. I thought the GOP was for less government.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    TillerMan - You pay your dues ,he speaks for you. Deal with it.

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    Default Not exactly

    Originally posted by Parrothead
    TillerMan - You pay your dues ,he speaks for you. Deal with it.
    He is a volunteer. He has some kind of weird hatred towards Harold.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    He has some kind of weird hatred towards Harold.
    Could be anyone in that position, I would still hate them. It just strikes me as hilarious that he fights so hard when it is his own coffers that might be getting slim....

    parrothead, I do not belong to the IAFF. I was grouping all firefighter organizations together. IAFF, IAFC, NVFC....I, as a Firefighter, would like to know what I am "opposing" before some official from the NVFC says I do. For the record, I, as a Firefighter and member of the Fire/Rescue Community, do NOT oppose anything that separates EMS and Fire Suppression.
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

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    Could be anyone in that position, I would still hate them. It just strikes me as hilarious that he fights so hard when it is his own coffers that might be getting slim....
    I've sat down and talked to the man several times.I believe he's the real deal. His job is to fight for Professional FF's and EMS providers.I don't have a problem when he does that, as he's doing in this case.

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    Originally posted by Parrothead
    It seemed that nobody wanted to do EMS. In steps the fire service who saw a need and answered the call.We've gotten better and have always had a faster response time.

    Now they want to separate Fire and EMS? WTF?
    hey parrothead, when was the last time you transported someone to the hospital? like, in an ambulance?

    Does your department provide ALS service? how many ambulances does your department have? now, using that number, can you say that EMS is a priority for your department?

    First response by FDs is important, especially for those municipalities that don't have their own ambulance service. but the majority of fire departments would consider their main focus to be FIRES, with EMS being an after thought or a neccessary evil. Plus, there are still many EMS providers that have nothing and want nothing to do with the fire service.

    so they want their own voice, who's focus is EMS and only EMS, and the fire service doesn't want to lose that power or that money.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    First response by FDs is important, especially for those municipalities that don't have their own ambulance service. but the majority of fire departments would consider their main focus to be FIRES, with EMS being an after thought or a neccessary evil. Plus, there are still many EMS providers that have nothing and want nothing to do with the fire service.
    Amen Doc!

    I am not anti-fire, nor pro-ems, I see both sides of this equation. However, there is a move right now to professionalize the EMS industry...bringing it to the same kind of level within the healthcare world that any other allied health professional has. Unfortunately, for this to happen, it is probably going to kill ALS in the Fire Service. The training requirements for licensure...yes licensure, not certification will be too high for the fire service to want to attain. In too many departments EMS is looked at as a burden to look good in the eyes of the municipal governments that determine where public safety jobs will be cut and what stations will be closed.

    Establishing a national EMS administration is absolutely necessary for this to happen. IAFF and IAFC don't want this to happen because they know there will be a massive switch to hospital and third-service EMS systems, and the cash cow that is ALS transport for so many departments will be gone.

    If you ask me...it stinks of politics, not the best interest of the public.

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    hey parrothead, when was the last time you transported someone to the hospital? like, in an ambulance?
    Does your department provide ALS service? how many ambulances does your department have? now, using that number, can you say that EMS is a priority for your department?
    The last time I assisted with a transport was several years ago,before I became a Truckie.Yes , it was in an ambulance (Rural Metro).

    Yes my department can provide ALS but does not on a regular basis (we have Rural Metro)because we don't have to usually.

    My department has one ambulance.

    Yes , I can say EMS is a priority in my department. We respond to most medical calls with Rural Metro and most times are first on scene.We start patient care and turn the patient over to the ambulance service when they arrive.

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    Originally posted by Parrothead


    The last time I assisted with a transport was several years ago,before I became a Truckie.Yes , it was in an ambulance (Rural Metro).

    Yes my department can provide ALS but does not on a regular basis (we have Rural Metro)because we don't have to usually.

    My department has one ambulance.

    Yes , I can say EMS is a priority in my department. We respond to most medical calls with Rural Metro and most times are first on scene.We start patient care and turn the patient over to the ambulance service when they arrive.
    So the last time you transported someone was serveral years ago and you were on a commercial ambulance. and ALS and transport is done by R/M, so you primarily do BLS first response. and you have one ambulance (Rescue 2 if I'm not mistaken), which rarely transports anyone (as R/M does all transports).

    PH, SFD first responds to Priority 1 and some P2 calls. not all P2 or P3s. you are a first respond agency, which means you send 2 guys in the mini pumper to stablize the patient until the ambulance arrives. that is what the job of a first responder is, to prevent whatever is going on from getting worse until the ambulance arrives. Sorry, but until you start staffing an ambulance with an ALS providers on a regular basis, and start treating and transporting the majority of EMS calls in your city, I doubt you will find anyone who will believe that your department's priority is EMS. it's fighting fires, and SFD is damn good at putting fires out. EMS is more like a neccessary evil.

    btw, The IAFF, the International Association of Arson Investigators, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Fire Service Training Association, National Fire Protection Association, National Volunteer Fire Council and the North American Fire Training Directors do not represent Rural/Metro, which provides EMS to Syracuse. so you have an EMS agency that doesn't have any representation at the national level.

    and therein lies the issue at hand.

    if you want to see this from the EMS providers point of view check out http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=70464
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    A classic case of the FD stepping in to clean up the mess occured in the late 1970's in Springdale, Arkansas. The owner of the local ambulance company, a funeral home director (can't you just see the irony here?)decided to get out of the business when the DOT established the requirements for EMS certifications and protocols "back in the day".

    This left the town of Springdale without any EMS coverage whatsoever. The funeral director donated the ambulance to the FD, and the Springdale FD took over the responsibility for EMS treatment and transport. TRaining breed confidence, and soon the Springdale FD's EMS flourished... and it ticked off more than a few individuals, who had plans of their own. A privatized EMS service went after the Springdale FD, using political influence to sway the communities elected representatives into putting the measure of whether to take away the EMS from the FD on the ballot. They used the usual excuse "it will save the community money, and you won't need as many firefighters".

    The people of Springdale saw through the charade and supported the FD based EMS system by a 3 to 1 margin.

    How do I know this, you ask?

    I had to do a term paper for a Fire Department Management and Operations course I took towards my degree and found the information I needed from an issue of Fire Engineering. I was laid up with a broken foot and out of work for six weeks, so I had plenty of time to do research!

    My take on a separate EMS sector in the DHS is...

    The privatized EMS providers are after one thing... money. They will do anything in their power to grab what they percieve is their fair share, ie, complete control of EMS at the local, county state and national level.
    ‎"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."
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    Parasite wrote:
    using that number, can you say that EMS is a priority for your department?
    I answered:
    Yes , I can say EMS is a priority in my department
    Parasite then wrote:
    I doubt you will find anyone who will believe that your department's priority is EMS
    Sorry , I do believe EMS is a priority in my department.
    It may not be the first priority but I can tell you there would be many patients that would not have made it if Rural Metro was the only EMS provider.

    do not represent Rural/Metro
    Maybe I should try to organize them?

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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    My take on a separate EMS sector in the DHS is...

    The privatized EMS providers are after one thing... money. They will do anything in their power to grab what they percieve is their fair share, ie, complete control of EMS at the local, county state and national level.
    CaptG, what you probably aren't familiar with is that there are many non-fire based EMS providers that are non-profit. yes, there are for-profit ambulance companies, but there are also many non-profit ones.

    and CaptG, if a department does a town's EMS (first response and transport), than I will agree that EMS is one of the towns priorities. however, that is not the case for the majority of the departments in this nation. Because of this, I would say that EMS needs it's own representative at the national level, and, dare I say it, Fire have too many different groups at the national level

    parrothead, if you were to organize the R/M guys, it would definately be an interesting change to the organization. maybe they would stop losing full time medics to other agencies, improve pay, and improve working conditions. couldn't hurt.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    Exclamation Separate EMS can work

    In the 1970's my paid on call fire department started providing basic EMS transport service to the community. A number of years later it became clear that we could not continue to meet the high level of continuing ed classes and also provide adequate staff.

    The solution: We joined an area EMS authority. I am now chairman of the board of that organization. Medic 1 is owned and operated by 17 member municipalities and has contract with three others. Each governmental entity is assesed an annual subsidy fee based on population. We also bill for services. We have a 7 M budget.

    We staff a minimum of six ambulances with two paramedics each plus a paramedic supervisor for each shift. We also operate a wheel chair van service for our citizens but we don't make money on it. We are one of only a handful of ambulance operations in the state of Michigan to receive national accreditation.

    Many area fire departments and a few police agencies provide MFR first response for serious calls and of course provide extrication for traffic crashes. Our 40 plus full-time, non-supervisory employees belong to a union. Our pay and benefit package is at the top of the list in SW Michigan. We also provide training and supplies for the MFR operations.

    Yes, a stand alone EMS agency can work. We just marked 30 years.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

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