911…Please Send Help Immediately!


Read, and weep - tears of joy

Here’s a bit of exciting news coming out of the County Health Care Agency that is the local entity that oversees Emergency Medical Service provision. A new trend may be emerging.

It’s about the idea contracting with private service providers for paramedic services. The model is pretty simple: the paramedic goes with the ambulance, not with one of a city’s fire engine companies, who necessarily escorts their paramedic to an accident scene then has to toodle on over to the hospital to pick up their boy who has meanwhile accompanied the private ambulance to the ER.

And never a fire in sight; a fire crew mostly just driving around in their big shiny engine, sight-seeing.

Don't you watch the news?

The present scenario is so dysfunctional it’s amazing that it has lasted as long as it has. And that’s a backwards tribute to the “firefighter” lobby who knew fires were decreasing a long time ago and got their foot in the paramedic door; and to the supine politicians who let them do it.

But, as they say, that was then. And this is now. Municipalities are being crushed under the burden of “public safety” salaries and pensions and the current way of doing things is apparently no longer deemed to be carved in stone.

Amen. Maybe we can all be Hero now!

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  1. #1 by Hollis Dugan on February 28, 2011

    To have an honest discussion every city should at least get a bid on the cost to go outsource on paramedics. Until we know the price for a service we are subject to self serving lip service from all sides. Let the fire service in Fullerton make their case after we get a price from CARE ambulance.

    There is no reason the fire department should have an exclusive right to bid on the paramedic part of public safety. Obviously the training and equipment are not the same as fire fighting.

  2. #2 by just a guy on February 28, 2011

    Fullerton should take some bids. With a bajillion dollar pension lability, we really could use some less expensive heroes right about now.

  3. #3 by Joe Sipowicz on February 28, 2011

    You get what you pay for.

    Oh, no. That’s not true, is it?

  4. #4 by Big Red on February 28, 2011

    If we yanked paramedic service from the fire department, we’d have nothing to do all day.

    This message is sponsored by La-z-Boy® Furniture.

  5. #7 by Johnny Donut on February 28, 2011

    “There are no prohibitions against this method of providing paramedic services.”

    Oh my! How did the fire unions forget to plug this loophole?

  6. #8 by Richard Geere on February 28, 2011

    Can private paramedics be heroes too or is that category reserved for those in a public employee union?

  7. #9 by SauceBrick on February 28, 2011

    Ouch. The Health Care Agancy just threw local fire unions under the bus.

    When they run out of taxpayer fat, government hogs start to eat thier own.

  8. #10 by dkmfan on February 28, 2011

    Well it’s not like the OCHCA is a shining example of productivity and public benefit.

    This is a joke.

    • #11 by Joe Sipowicz on February 28, 2011

      What do you mean?It employs that Prevatt creep.

  9. #12 by havegunwilltravel on February 28, 2011

    A little history. Prior to 1974 the Fullerton Fire Department had firefighters trained in First Aid. The Police Officers were also trained in First Aid. Ambulances were independent, and would come to you, and were also trained inFirst Aid. Using Federal Revenue Sharing funds( a very efficient revenue transfer program), the Fire Department funded a two person paramedic van, that would be dispatched, along with a fire engine to provide a much higher level of field medical support. Eventually demand for paramedic responses became so large (thanks to our immigrant population, and uninsured individuals), that the City moved to Paramedics on four of its seven engines, who respond to close to 9,000 calls per year. The City could easily dump the firefighter/paramedics, and go to paramedics on the ambulances, when their was a medical aid call. Problem is, that in order for all of us to have cheap fire insurance, we have to have a certain level of fire response capability, so now we have 2/3 rds of the prior fire staffing, sitting around and escorting ambulances to medical aid calls, we get no money for our responses, and the ambulances get $800+ for a call plus supplies. I don’t know what the answer is, but we need to look at alternatives. Back in the old days the Fullerton PD had a practice called “scoop and run”. That meant when you got to an accident or medical emergency, you put them in the back seat of the cop car , and hauled ass for the hospital emergency room.

    • #13 by James Dugan on March 1, 2011

      I believe the FFD bill people for their services. I don’t remember those paramedic vans.

      I saw a Santa Ana City paramedic truck going down 1st St. the other day so I guess they are doing the whole enchilada in-house.

  10. #14 by van get it da artiste on March 1, 2011

    good idea!, I could never understand when my 80 year old neighbor had a reaction to her insulin and became comatose why paramedics arrived in a separate unit followed by a fire truck and the ambulance had to jockey for space around the fire truck

  11. #15 by 4SD Observer on March 1, 2011

    Has anyone asked the ambulance companies about whether or not they like the current arrangement of fire based EMS?

    Given the worship of the “for profit” motive on this board, I would think the opinion of the private group most impacted would be of some concern.

    • #16 by Who Cares... on March 1, 2011

      …what the ambulance companies think? put out the RFP and watch them jump at it. So……

      Next time the ambulance contract is up, let’s add paramedics!

  12. #17 by I Eta Pi on March 1, 2011

    Why don’t you call them and report back.

  13. #18 by Johnny Donut on March 1, 2011

    4SD, the fire departments have a pretty right relationship with the ambulance companies. I doubt any of them are going to stick their necks out and risk their current contracts by insulting the department.

    Wait… why do you care what the ambulance companies think? I want the best deal for the city and taxpayers. If they can give us a better deal while providing the same level of service, let them bid.

    • #19 by SauceBrick on March 1, 2011

      Don’t bother. That dude is an unconditional apologist for every bit of government waste known to man.

  14. #20 by 4SD Observer on March 1, 2011

    I Eta Pi :
    Why don’t you call them and report back.

    Johnny Donut :
    4SD, the fire departments have a pretty right relationship with the ambulance companies. I doubt any of them are going to stick their necks out and risk their current contracts by insulting the department.
    Wait… why do you care what the ambulance companies think? I want the best deal for the city and taxpayers. If they can give us a better deal while providing the same level of service, let them bid.

    A simple NO would have been adequate.

    Thanks.

  15. #21 by Doug Anderson on March 3, 2011

    Hey,van get it da artiste
    If the Captain on that engine is a paramedic he gets a paramedic incentive (bonus) around 4-600.00 per month and is never required to actually perform as a medic!

  16. #22 by Oliver Stone on March 4, 2011

    Amazing, logic and reason out of a government agency. Maybe we are turning a corner here.

  17. #23 by Ghost_Medic on May 11, 2011

    Tweet-Tweet… Time 4 the Ghost_Medic to chime in and speak!

    Fire Unions not about U! All they want is the tax dollar brew!
    Medics mean power to the hose jocks. justify votes in their tax box
    MORE EMS=BIG fire budgets=more firefighters=BIGGER UNION!
    Private EMS = No Tax $ubsidy, Local Control, Less Tax $$$, NO SERVICE INTERUPTION!!! Less $ spent = Less hidden agendas!

    Peps of Fullerton, its upto U… don’t get caught in the FDs BS STEW!!!

    Kick the rascals OUT!!!

    TWEET TWEET – don’t forget to RT!

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