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?



2 comments ↓

#1 Reliable Voter on 06.05.17 at 7:17 pm

Sumption is vague and doesn’t define the level of care that EMT’s can provide. With the exception of auto-dosage injections for allergic reactions, EMT’s may not give injections or preform procedures that break the skin. They can administer CPR, backboard victims, and provide oxygen by mask. The skill level is basic. Not what most folks imagine they will have in terms of skills and care when they call an ambulance.

#2 The D@ily Spin on 06.06.17 at 8:19 am

Personally, the sooner I can get into a private ambulance the better. Initial public response is fine but the professionals are private care. Police and fire are minimal help. Neither gets enough training and those well trained leave for better pay raises at other cities. What I’d like to see is more than one ambulance service with the closest satellite tracked ambulance dispatched. It’s also time to eliminate the political payola to get an ambulance contract.