Entries Tagged 'Paramedics Plus' ↓

Busy Sioux Falls City Council Agenda

It all starts on Monday at 10 AM with a press conference;

News conference to share the 2017 annual Ambulance Contract Performance Report

What is troubling about this report on Monday and later on Tuesday at the informational meeting is that the city council will get a first reading (Item #8) on a rate increase for Paramedics Plus Tuesday night at the council meeting, hardly enough time to review the increase. Why wasn’t this report provided a couple weeks in advance of the 1st Reading? Either way, due to the complicated contract, the council has NO choice but to approve the increase. So why even vote on it?

Item #6, the council will be voting on giving affordable housing more money. I have been a little critical of this program because instead of spending the money to refurbish older homes (which would be more equitable and give us more affordable housing) the city tears down houses and builds new homes that 1) don’t really fit into the neighborhoods 2) sell at a loss (to taxpayers) to make them ‘affordable’. I think to preserve neighborhoods we should be focusing on refurbishing older homes instead of bulldozing them. $2 million dollars could probably save 60-70 homes from destruction instead of just building a dozen new homes.

Barth on the B-N-B show this morning

Jeff made some great points about crime and its relationship with population increases, he also stated the obvious about ambulance service in Sioux Falls; all we are asking for is more mutual aid.

A Father’s Plea – REMSA, June 28, 2017

A father wants answers and closure following the accidental death of his son but no one in authority will help him. Most involved seem to have a reason to not help Brian Neal of Sioux Falls. So on June 28, 2017 he attended the Sioux Falls Regional Medical Authority (REMSA) meeting in search of anyone who would help him figure out why a phantom ambulance was sent first for his dying son back in April.

No ambulances available is a daily occurrence in Sioux Falls, SD. So what do we do about it? We do not condone this behavior or blame our hard working ambulance staff. Like Brian, we are looking for answers to many questions.

Remember our contract compliant ambulance service? You know the one, proudly exclaiming they found an answer to Level Zero or “no ambulances available” service? Their answer is to issue a 980 call, sending out a phantom ambulance to keep contract compliant.

How many phantom ambulances have you seen on Sioux Falls streets since the program mere mortals aren’t able to understand, was put into effect? Our city of Sioux Falls Health department actually said it was too complicated to explain so guess what? We have to accept people dying or permanently disabled because the phantom 980 ambulance didn’t show up.

Just ask your neighbors, the Orvilles, Brians, Joshuas and more searching for answers while missing all or part of their lives. Do you want to be the next victim of a contract compliant phantom ambulance or a served by a real one?

Sioux Falls REMSA Meeting (Full) June 28, 2017

Publisher’s Note: I encourage everyone to watch this entire video. When I advocate for transparency and recording ALL public meetings, there are reasons why; important discussions and decisions are made in these VOLUNTEER PUBLIC BOARD MEETINGS. While it may make the board members uncomfortable, open government is important. If any of these members take issue with this, they can, at anytime, for any reason resign.

Don’t you love it when we call for an ambulance and they send out the phantom? Why should you expect an ambulance to show up in an emergency? Who do you think you are anyway? 980, what’s a 980?

Recently speakers in this video went public stating the use of the phrase “phantom” ambulances when they aren’t sending you one was a bad choice of words. Not bad policy, just a bad use of words. This city board is the Sioux Falls Regional Emergency Medical Authority or REMSA. Listen for the problem we have with this board’s responsibility. A 980 ambulance is a phantom or fake ambulance. A method designed to skirt contract penalties for not showing up.

The board’s mission is contract compliance first. Got that? We have a contract to give an authorized ambulance monopoly to a company who hornswoggled our town’s top notch contract negotiators. Nowhere in the contract is patient care the top priority. We have city employees who seem to find ways to keep 980 or phantom ambulances in contract compliance while people drive themselves to the hospital, if they are still breathing.

This meeting usually lasts less than an hour on the last Wednesday of the month if they meet at all in an out of the way meeting room in the health department. They complain the public doesn’t show up to see them and then don’t want to be recorded. Well, Cameraman Bruce decided to show up on June 28, 2017 to catch the public’s phantom 980 wambulance wrath.

Would it be in Paramedics Plus best interest to sell their Sioux Falls branch?

Paramedics Plus also runs an EMS school in Sioux Falls

I’m not sure what plans the company has, if any. But if they are looking to sell it would have little to do with the recent ‘Phantom’ ambulance fiasco.

As you know, the company as a whole is being investigated in almost every state they are in by the Feds except in South Dakota (so far). It wouldn’t be to far-fetched for them to cut their losses and get out of the Sioux Falls market before that hammer drops, if it ever does.

Let’s say they do sell, how will that affect ambulance service in Sioux Falls? Will we have to start the contract process over before the buyer can just move in?

Like I said, I have no idea if they are looking to sell, but something to ponder if it does happen.

REMSA supports transparency, fooled me

All of a sudden Gary Meyers and The Bride of Franken are claiming they are all about transparency, even B-N-B chimes in and says ‘It sounds like you are being transparent’ (Greg had to call a city official the night before for questions to ask Franken and Meyers).

I call BS on both of them, heck, all 3 of them.

Franken has said to councilors and the public in the past when asked to explain the new 980 policies that it was ‘too complicated to explain’ and buried herself in a hole. It is also rumored she was ushered off to Texas for a brief period to learn the NEW system.

Meyers says he has NO idea who Commissioner Barth is, even though Barth sits on the county medical board.

Meyers says you can come to their meetings that they are open, yet they often change the schedule of the meeting at the last minute and REFUSE to have the meetings recorded (with the backing of the mayor) so the public can view them later online or in replay on Channel 16.

As I have told the mayor during public input in the past, saying your transparent and ACTUALLY being transparent are two different things.

Here is a transcript of the show (it gets interesting at about page 8); 2017-06-22-belfrage-show

The Chamber gives their SLANTED view of city government

Nothing like the Chamber Advocate for a little light reading about how the city of Sioux Falls is running like a well oiled machine.

First they would like us to know OUR rights when it comes to Public Input and the 1st Amendment;

However, if a public body agrees to hold public input sessions, then some limited constitutional rights are extended to the speakers. Still, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that a public body has the right to put time, manner and place restrictions on speech as long as those restrictions are generally content neutral and serve a governmental purpose. Courts have also noted that the purpose of these meetings, City Council for example, is to conduct city business and not to take public input. That recognized purpose permits the Council to legally restrict public input.

We of course have had this debate here before, and I have come to the realization that the city council CAN restrict public input. I get it. That wasn’t my point. My point is, that IF the city is going to allow Public Input, which they do, then they shouldn’t restrict our 1st Amendment rights during that time period by chastising us for speaking. If you don’t want us to ‘redress our grievances’ than eliminate public input, which I think would be difficult. As pointed out above, these meetings are for the city council to conduct business, a lot of decisions are made, based on input from the public, or at least should be.

In other Advice from the Advocate, they would like us to believe an OPT-OUT by the school district is for our own ‘safety’;

In other words, increasing the opt-out puts a safety net in place and ensures the District is able to provide a high-quality education for all students for years to come.

Make no mistake, if a governmental entity has the power to increase your taxes, they will use that same power to spend that money. Their is no such thing as a ‘safety net’ or ‘savings account’ in government. They WILL spend every last penny that they suck out of us, and you can almost guarantee that $5 million dollar ‘possible’ increase is already spent. The Chamber of course advocates for property tax and regressive increases on food taxes to help fund education because they are protecting members from an income tax.

The Chamber also decides to weigh in on the ambulance service in town. They have determined that it is what we are willing to pay for that determines what kind of quality of care we are getting . . . imagine that, always about the bottom line with the Chamber;

We will close with this. It appears our emergency medical response system is working when the objective data is considered. Also, the REMSA Board, not an elected lay council, is the right way to manage the system. The Council, by Charter, is a policy setting and legislative body and is to avoid administrative and management issues. It also appears that six of our councilors generally agree the system is working and the structure in place is valuable while two spearheaded the critical questioning.

However, we also understand that if your 911 call is one where there is a delay, you will have a concern. The provision of public services is always a balance between resources and expectations. If we expect (as an exaggerated example) a two-minute ambulance response for every emergency call, we can probably achieve it – but you won’t want to pay for it. Quality assurance conversations are important and we encourage them using the right data and in the right context.

We wouldn’t need more than two mutual aid agreements if PP would just staff more ambulances, but they won’t, as the Chamber has pointed out, too expensive. Yet, ironically our first responders, the SFPD and SFFD seem to show up first, subsidized by the tax payers while PP rides to bank with the profit from the transfer and delivery of a patient. All the more reason showing us a PUBLIC ambulance service not only would save patients money, it would probably save tax payers money (because we would be reimbursed for those calls), but more importantly, it would probably be 10X faster and more reliable than a FOR PROFIT ambulance service.

The Chamber has members to protect, we get it.

Bride of Franken does some more Phantom Splaining on Propaganda 16

Health Director Franken needs to Lose the Tude

After watching the 2 hour presentation yesterday during the Sioux Falls city council informational, there is one thing I took away from it more than anything, Jill Franken has a horrible attitude and lacks respect towards the city council (elected, not appointed officials) and not much regard for citizens (patients) – blowing off the fact that there was ‘ONLY’ 300 exemptions. Former County Commissioner, Bob Kolbe even suggested during public input at the city council meeting that Jill be reprimanded for her awful behavior.

Quite the opposite I would say about EMS coordinator Julie Charbonneau who conducted herself professionally throughout the presentation.

FF: 11:00

Besides someone waking up on the wrong side of the bed, what else did I learn from the meeting?

  • Apparently Paramedics Plus is so busy with calls they couldn’t send anyone to the meeting to defend their contract.
  • We only have a mutual aid agreement with Dell Rapids and Humbuldt, but not one in writing with Brandon (Med-Star) Both PP and MS blame each other for why they can’t come to an agreement.
  • We had over 300 exemptions for PP ambulance calls. Jill felt we dwelled to much on them, and councilor Starr had to remind her that these patients ARE actual people.
  • When asked why Metro 911 and PP use the language ‘Phantom’ in their policy, Franken replied “I have no idea why they use that word”, neither did Julie. But they would advise them on the revisions to use a different word. I think ‘Casper’ was suggested.

Not sure if we learned much, except the fact that we need Med-Star to sign a mutual agreement, and we need to eliminate these exemptions, that is all the council and public is asking for.

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’?