Entries Tagged 'SFFD' ↓

UPDATE: Most of the Sioux Falls City Council still in denial we are subsidizing Paramedics Plus

FF: 1:32:30 – Sioux Falls City Council Meeting, 11/13/2018

Watch the discussion about the six-year contract extension for the private ambulance service.

I guess you can continue to repeat a lie hoping people will finally believe you. Certain councilors continue to say we are NOT subsidizing PP, but we are, and it costs taxpayers a lot. The SFFD and the SFPD usually are the first to show up to a medical emergency. Just a few years ago, a study from the SFFD showed that over 90% of fire calls are medical emergencies. We also are going to now have ALS trained firefighters so they can use life-saving procedures when they are the first to arrive. Which is awesome, since we have no idea when our private contractor is going to show.

Last I checked our firefighters and police were NOT volunteer, and the gas that fuels their vehicles is not FREE. By showing up first to these emergencies we are essentially subsidizing PP and getting no reimbursement. Taxpayers are swallowing that cost.

Some councilors are so against a public ambulance service they continue to peddle the lie that it would cost taxpayers more. Not sure what math they are using. Right now we get ZERO reimbursement for being the first responder, if we provided the entire ambulance service we could bill the patients or their insurance provider.

I guess I kind of understand why some councilors are against a public ambulance service, because it will take a lot of work and initial capital to get one started. But please, just admit you are against it, and STOP LYING to the public. We are subsidizing PP, and that’s a fact.

UPDATE: FF: 1:09:40 – Changing time limit of public input for 2nd readings to 5 minutes.

You know my feelings on this. I think if it is a 2nd reading and people are trying to protect their neighborhood, property or welfare as long as they are being pertinent to the topic and not repeating other testimony, they should have no time limit. This is how the Minnehaha County Commission handles it, and it works well. Brekke has proposed they change it from the very restrictive 3 minutes to 5 minutes. While I will applaud her effort in making it better, we could go further. Other councilors including Councilor Neitzert agree it was too restrictive and needs to change. I thanked Greg last night for his testimony. He pointed out the real problem with public input had more to do with the previous chair than the public itself. The former chair ran the meetings horribly, and treated citizens with extreme disrespect. I predicted when they made the changes that they were not needed because the chair and a certain other councilor who were contributing to the disruption would be gone. Council is now realizing that is exactly the case, and I am happy some of them are seeing it.

Now they need to overturn Rolfing/Erpenbach’s horrible majority vote council seat resolution.

So fire sprinklers in parking garages are useful

Call me a MORON, no really, please do. When they were planning the parking garage for Village on the River I questioned why it needed a sprinkler system, apparently they are useful;

The first arriving crew found a porta potty on fire 15 feet inside the first floor (Washington Square) garage entrance. The fire was under control by the building’s fire sprinkler system. The fire was extinguished within a couple minutes of crews being on scene. Additional fire crews checked the remaining parking area and found no fire extension. Residents were alerted by the fire alarm system and were moved to the adjacent city parking garage until the fire sprinkler and alarm systems were checked and controlled. All residents were allowed back in the building after about 15 minutes.

Of course it was a porta potty and NOT a car. Funny part is I saw those porta potties a few weeks ago when I parked in there and thought to myself, “Why is there porta potties in a parking garage?” I guess they won’t be there anymore.

I also found this part of the SFFD’s press release interesting;

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue responded with 5 fire trucks, 2 support vehicles, and 21 personnel. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue was assisted on scene by Metro Communications, Sioux Falls Police Department, and Washington Square management.

I’m sure because they thought the high rise with several million dollar condos was on fire, but it just turned out to be the shitt’r in the garage. They also left out this part on the press release;

Paramedics Plus showed up 2 hours later, didn’t see anything so drove off.

Just kidding.

UPDATE: Is Paramedics Plus looking to renew 5 year contract early?

UPDATE: Please tell me that the TenHaken administration is looking at public ambulances;

It’s unclear if Mayor Paul TenHaken’s administration intends to support REMSA’s recommendation, though T.J. Nelson, deputy chief of staff in the mayor’s office, said TenHaken and the city health department will bring a recommendation of their own next month.

“We’re still formalizing what our recommendation will be,” he said.

Paramedics Plus executives could not be reached for comment.

Ultimately, the decision about extending Paramedics Plus’ contract lies with the City Council, which has members who have been critical of service in Sioux Falls.

I have heard from within the SFFD that many of the higher ups support a public ambulance service, and have for years, but have gotten resistance from the former mayor and chief. Maybe this will create a golden opportunity for TenHaken to achieve that goal. Maybe taxpayers will actually get something back from providing the service instead of just subsidizing a private service.

Rumor has it that the Sioux Falls city council was recently informed by the Health Department that PP was looking to renew their 5 year contract early. It isn’t scheduled to expire for another 2 years(?).

I find it a little suspicious with all the talk about public ambulance service and the SFFD training in ALS (Advanced Life Support) that PP is looking to renew 2 years early.

Could they be concerned the city may change it’s service to another company or better yet public ambulances within 2 years? The city could certainly fast-track and have a public ambulance service available within two years.

It will be interesting to see what the reasoning is behind the early renewal and if the city will allow it.

Should we tie Police Precincts in with Firestations and Public Ambulance?

While Jolene Loetsher got beat up in the mayoral campaign over police precincts, I didn’t think the idea itself was bad. They are used across the state and in the 2nd largest city in SD, Rapid City.

Where the idea went off the tracks was putting the precincts in community centers. While Jolene argued the buildings already exist and could save us money by retrofitting them, I felt it was the wrong place.

I think the precincts should be put in the fire stations which are already safe zones and built like fortresses throughout the city. The other benefit would be while retrofitting the locations for precincts, you could add public ambulances to the fire stations and have the first responders under one roof.

If we are going to spend the money to get the Fire Department ALS (Advanced Life Support) trained, we might as well go whole hog and set a new public safety network. At the end of the day, it will help to reduce crime as well and make us a safer and healthier community.

What a concept?

It was Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr. Why not just say his name?

Mike Huether’s administration decided to take the ‘passive agressive’ approach when throwing a fellow elected official under the bus;

Recent comments made to a local news organization regarding Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and the Sioux Falls emergency medical services (EMS) system are a disservice to the residents and visitors of our city. When it comes to medical emergencies, our community is in safe hands.

What were the comments and who made them? Your press release doesn’t mean anything unless you tell us these important details. Maybe Mike’s communication director needs to go to ‘Writing a Press Release 101’ class.

Oh, and it gets better;

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is exploring the potential to utilize paramedics, currently employed within their department, to be advanced life support responders during specialty incidents. Specialty incidents include events like water rescues, structural collapses, and SWAT responses. The addition of this response capability will have no impact on the City’s contract for surface ambulance service.

It will in fact have a HUGE impact. First off, we will be subsidizing our private for-profit ambulance service more AND we will finally be allowing 1st responders from our SFFD to perform advanced life support instead of waiting for a phantom ambulance to show up.

It’s time to move forward with a public ambulance service and stop the games.

Sioux Falls Fire Department proposing coming one step closer to having a Public Ambulance service

As the SFFD points out in their presentation at the 4 PM informational meeting today, why not use the Paramedics we have to respond to emergency situations;

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is exploring the potential to utilize paramedics, currently employed by Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, as Advanced Life Support (ALS) responders during specialty incident responses.

Also, if we are going to be paying for this important training that I agree with 100% why not go whole hog and put in public ambulances so that taxpayers get some kind of reimbursement from the service;

  • Budgetary Considerations
  • Staff Considerations
  • Certifications
  • Skills validations
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Medical Guidelines will need to be adopted by Sioux Falls Fire
  • Rescue and REMSA
  • Collaboration with the Sioux Falls Firefighters Association

It seems blatantly obvious that we would be paying for all the training and equipment to provide a public ambulance;

This expanded response capability would allow Sioux Falls Fire Rescue to provide immediate initial advanced life support to victims of a specialty response incident.

And with the purchase of the ambulances and expanded parking facilities we would have a complete public ambulance service instead of the taxpayers currently subsidizing a private entity’s profits, an entity currently being investigated by the Federal Government.

I’ve heard rumblings from within the SFFD that many in management support a public ambulance service but the former SF Fire Chief fought it by convincing the Mayor that it wouldn’t be cost effective. Not only would it save taxpayers millions in public safety, it would be a more reliable service that the city and public could monitor more closely.

The only REAL drawback is that the city would probably have to hire a 3rd party private contractor to collect insurance and other fees for a commission.

Will the SFPD get serious about fireworks violations this year?

I first want to clarify something, I’m NOT a fun hater. As a child growing up, fireworks at my grandparents farm was a BIG tradition. My uncle and grandpa would buy tons of fireworks. My grandparents acreage was about a mile out of town and we would NEVER shoot them in town. Fireworks are fun, if enjoyed properly.

I guess it’s not the noise that bothers me the most about people illegally shooting fireworks in city limits, its the fire hazard. I keep telling people, do we have to wait until an entire neighborhood burns down and several people die before we get serious about fireworks in town and the fire hazard they cause?

While we cry and complain about 8 inch grass, guess what, if that grass gets to be 9 inches, it won’t burn down your house.

The SFPD does have a good argument when it comes to cracking down on the problem; they have to catch them in the act, I get it. My suggestion to them and the city council last year was they used unmarked police cars and plain clothes officers to catch the offenders in the act when responding to complaints. When people see flashing lights coming down the street, the first thing they do is hide the fireworks. Duh.

I just find it extremely hypocritical calling people BAD NEIGHBORS because they have 9 inch grass, but if those same neighbors are creating a fire hazard in your neighborhood the police just say, ‘Oh Well.’

So please, don’t shoot off banned fireworks in city limits, and if you do, I hope the SFPD catches you and fines you accordingly.

Phantom Directors of Health and EMS quality talk Phantom Ambulances

It’s Alive! Sioux Falls Health Director, Bride of Franken

As if they caught the ghost of Tuthill Park, suddenly Jill and Julie decided to show up to a meeting and start splaining what an ambulance is, and what it does (Notice they are calling this the ‘101’ course on ambulance contracts with ParaPhantom Plus). As if our city council and public are so naive.

The public is ignorant because there has been ZERO information provided to them. It’s about that whole transparency thing I speak of, like if you are a SFPO and you accidentally shoot at a shadow in the dark, yah tell someone . . . wait.

It will be fun to listen to the Double J’s tell us what we already know; Greed is why Paramedics Plus has convinced Metro 911 to not call in mutual aid (there’s a couple of other reasons also).

Why does this all seem like an episode of ‘Scooby Doo’?

New Fire Chief Questions

Maybe the city council needs to be asking appointed fire chief Goodroad these questions Tuesday Night during his approval process by the city council.

1. Property loss caused by fire damage has almost tripled in the last three years, what is your plan to reduce/reverse this trend? (Other than focusing on increasing the department’s social media presence?)

Data from the Department’s Annual Reports:

Fire Property  Loss

2016

Not published yet

2015

$  4,500,000

2014

$  3,176,788

2013

$  2,536,859

2.  What was the fire property loss for 2016? (The department has the data, it just hasn’t been published yet). (If he is taking the job seriously, he should have looked at the numbers before going into this meeting).

3.  When you managed the fire department’s training center, you advocated and followed a 4-day work week as much as possible for yourself and your staff. How did that best serve the department’s mission? Do you plan on working that schedule as fire chief?

4.  As of the last published Standards of Coverage manual (2015), the department was not meeting its required response times for re-accreditation  for medical calls, all code 3 & 4 calls, and Hazmat calls (See attachment). What is your plan to ensure the department is reaccredited?

These are just the questions that come up by looking at the Annual Report and Standards of Cover manual for 20 minutes. Imagine what someone who actually had access to the department performing a forensic audit could come up. So why is the Mayor going to put a clone of Sideras in there who might let the union run the show just like Sideras did the entire time he was chief.

Sadly most citizens really don’t care about the fire department. They can live off the goodwill of one big rescue operation for a long time even when realistically they are performing horribly (the numbers don’t lie).

Medical board member unknowingly makes case for public ambulance

Sumption’s attempt to defend Paramedics Plus may ultimately make the case for a public ambulance;

Police officers, often first on the scene in emergencies, are trained in first aid as well as procedures like CPR, the use of defibrillators and applying strategies to stabilize a patient. Police can assess the medical status of an individual and call in additional support if it hasn’t already been requested or dispatched.

Paramedics Plus, the fourth level of emergency care, provides stabilization and transportation for people who require hospital services.

Notice who the first three entities that are involved with an emergency call are, PUBLIC entities. Metro Communications (911), Police and Fire, all of which are subsidized by taxpayers. So wouldn’t it just make sense for the fourth and final entity to be Public also?

And the argument gets even stronger with this statement;

Sioux Falls benefits from an integrated emergency medical system that not only works very well, but is also very respectful of taxpayers’ money. Sioux Falls spends no city money on ambulance service other than the cost of quality oversight. None. Citizens don’t need to pay personnel or buy, supply and maintain ambulances and facilities. Only users of the transport service are billed as used.

This of course is only partially true. We actually are subsidizing the FOR-PROFIT ambulance service by being the first responders, but are receiving NO compensation for that subsidy.

Our contracted ambulance provider takes on all that expense and risk, while holding the city harmless for any costs.

Who takes on the risk if an ambulance doesn’t arrive but the SFPD and SFFD does? Well your guess is probably as good as mine. We do.

The way the system is set up now, as Sumption described in great detail, taxpayers are subsidizing the ambulance service with NO payback except fines while PP cashes in on the transport. If we went with a public ambulance service through the SFFD at least there would be some kind of reimbursement from patients, Medicare, VA or insurance. Right now we receive NOTHING for our assistance. I actually believe, as Sumption laid out, that if we went with a public ambulance service, not only would it be better and more regulated, it would probably be cheaper (the profit factor would be thrown out) and the city would ultimately be reimbursed for it’s services.

Isn’t it time we sent our FOR-PROFIT ambulance service packing and replace it with a public ambulance service that has a proven record of SHOWING UP?