You Can DO This

10Jan12

So many times we hear about “giving back” to the community on blogs, in letters to the editor and, of course, from politicians. There is no way more valuable to give back to the community on so many levels than becoming an EMT. Every citizen of Stratford needs the services of volunteer EMT’s. Even if you are not in need of medical care, volunteer EMT’s reduce taxes for everyone. Stratford EMS happens to be a very busy emergency medical service handling 6,000+ calls per year. If you don’t think your effort is needed, you are wrong. If you think “Oh, I can’t do this.” you are wrong again. Yes, you can. You can do this. You can make a huge difference for your neighbors and friends.

Stratford EMS will teach you how to make a difference. Here is why; they want you to be an effective EMT and will work with you to get it done.

A new class begins on January 24th. Sign up and be the one who makes the difference in someone’s life.

Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 10 p.m. from Jan. 24 through June 2, with additional sessions Saturdays, Feb. 18, March 24 and June 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Classes will meet at Lordship Volunteer Firehouse #3, located at Prospect Drive and Oak Bluff Avenue (Behind Stratford Fire Department Co. #3).

The cost is
$525 for Stratford residents
$625 for non-residents
$325 for full-time students and youths ages 16 to 18
$275 for active members of the Stratford police and EMS Explorer posts.
The cost includes the course fee, books, CPR card,

Information and applications can be obtained by sending an e-mail to webmaster@svemsassociation.com or calling
Bunnie McQuilton at 203-378-5333

Course Application

Oh yeah, and there’s that whole ‘lights & sirens” thing too.

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35 Responses to “You Can DO This”

  1. 1 1george1

    Suppose 45 members of EMS wanted to address a PUBLIC SAFETY
    ISSUE at TOWN COUNCIL PUBLIC FORUM that just happened &
    was NOT on the AGENDA?

    They could not speak to Town Council on topic of their choice IF
    potential rule changes take place that will be discussed at
    ORDINANCE COMMITTEE!

    Last month RTC already shut down Stephany Philips request to
    discuss items during Town Council Meeting, which are not on the
    Monthly AGENDA.
    EFFECT: Control the ISSUES

  2. 2 1george1

    I admire people who can do EMT / EMS / MD / NURSE.
    It is NOT something I can do.
    There are ways I can or try to help.

    I posted information and warned people of possible ramifications
    of certain changes in EMS, that were WARRANTED, yet could be
    used to OPEN DOORS that EMS Volunteers wouldn’t want.

    The EMS got changes they wanted.

    Almost immediately there were Public Safety changes proposed
    which I (generally) warned against. Those changes were shot
    down and gradual changes were implemented which I believe
    are in EVERYONE’S BEST INTEREST to minimize potential abuse.

  3. 3 jezebel282

    George,

    “Suppose 45 members of EMS wanted to address a PUBLIC SAFETY
    ISSUE at TOWN COUNCIL PUBLIC FORUM that just happened &
    was NOT on the AGENDA?”

    From my experience of calling upon EMS on several occasions, you will probably never meet a more non-political group anywhere. The thought of addressing the Council or even emailing the mayor (does he even read his email?) would never occur to them.

    Pretty much they only want to get on the ambulance and get to your house to help you.

    Now me, on the other hand, find Harkins’ agenda to “charge back” Stratford EMS for Town “services” like Human Resources (Ron Ing) or financial accounting (Sue Collier) at arbitrary rates to be unconscionable. What’s worse is that it is double taxation for EMS volunteers. They already pay substantial taxes to the Town to perform these “services”. Now they are asked to donate their time to support these “services” as well? Ridiculous!

    With only a couple of notable exceptions, no one at EMS wants to get involved in Town politics at all. Period.

  4. 4 jezebel282

    George,

    “There are ways I can or try to help.”

    Absolutely you can! You know many, many companies. EMT’s and paramedics write information down on their gloves or tape on their pants because there are no memo pads or pens. Getting companies to donate memo pads and pens sounds like something you can do.

    Also, many of the EMT’s and paramedics I’ve met are seriously addicted to Dunkin’ Donuts/Starbucks coffee and donuts/bagels/muffins. Drop offs of these items seem to be very welcome.

  5. 5 sudds

    “6 to 10 p.m.”

    I’m out… I haven’t been up passed 9 p.m. for like 6 weeks now!!

  6. 6 jezebel282

    Just wait till he gets his driver’s license and YOUR car!

  7. 7 1george1

    Jeze,
    If Bob Calzone emails me noting his experience and positions
    with volunteer EMS and paid position, with a list of items the
    EMS could use, like pens, certain paper / pads, and things you
    describe, I will virtually guarantee donations from at least some
    of these locations:

    Walgreens – Rite Aid – CVS – other pharmacies

    Walmart – Staples – Home Depot – Dollar Store

    Shop Rite – Stop N Shop – Big Y

    About 1999, I worked in Shelton and was asked to see if I might
    get some donations for a Christmas charity? I collected about
    $ 500 in miscellaneous pens/papers from about 4 stores

    Most store managers can easily find $ 20 to $ 50 in retail value
    including whole cases.

    However, I have NO STANDING with the EMS.

    If Bob Calzone emails me a list with verifiable contact information,
    I will be glad to make some phone calls and arrange for EMS
    personnel in EMS uniform to be able pick up the listed supplies.

  8. 8 jezebel282

    George,

    “However, I have NO STANDING with the EMS.”

    You have plenty! You are a resident and citizen. You don’t need anyone’s permission to donate anything to EMS. Besides, EMS personnel rarely deal with people who are standing.

    If you wish, you can call the office (203) 385-4060 and tell them what where and when you would like to contribute something. (Umm…coffee and donuts can be brought in person).

  9. 9 1george1

    Jeze,
    I have seen Bob Calzone a couple times since 9/16 trip to ST V.
    No one got hernia.

    Bob is former Town Council chairman, EMS volunteer, & works in
    similar capacity professionally. (No – I don’t hold TC against him)
    > He would also make for an interesting D – Mayor candidate.
    > I would still run FOR STRATFORD & AGAINST POLITICAL PARTIES.

    Something from Bob, on EMS letter head, listing requests and why,
    could be dropped off to 10 -12 likely donators.

    I would be glad to call & to drop off requests.

    I do NOT want to touch any products, nor money.
    I much prefer to actively solicit on behalf of EMS, with their
    authorized permission and set up a time for EMS to stop by
    with official vehicle, in uniform to accept donations.

    I would further suggest a photo op at a Town Council Meeting
    for each of the managment to have pictures taken with Mayor,
    EMS, & Council, both as individuals and as a group.

    Press would eat that up. The managers can email pictures & press
    upstairs, Mayor & Council can have credit, EMS has some needs
    supplied by companies who can well afford donations.

    Everyone wins, except those who don’t donate, nor were asked
    to donate, so I would like help with the list to contact and the
    specifics of whatthe VOLUNTEERS / ORGANIZATION needs.

  10. 10 jezebel282

    George,

    “I would further suggest a photo op at a Town Council Meeting
    for each of the managment to have pictures taken with Mayor,
    EMS, & Council, both as individuals and as a group.”

    I thought it was about memo pads and pens?

  11. 11 1george1

    If managers donate $ 50 – $ 100 “of stuff” to EMS, don’t they
    deserve something to promote their store & themselves?

    There are so many donut, deli, pizza, fast food, & other places
    who could donate free food or 50 % off to VOLUNTEER EMS that
    within 1 year, they might pass my weight.

    They could rotate grocery stores weekly to keep them in supplies
    & freah produce / bakery / beverages …

  12. 12 jezebel282

    George,

    I do not disagree with you at all. But this is Stratford. Nothing is easy. Besides, I’m not sure Stratford EMS is willing to put up signs on the ambulances like “EMS Runs on Dunkin’ Donuts”.

    Maybe if you contact the new Constituent Representative?

  13. 13 1george1

    Wholes or no wholes?

  14. 14 jezebel282

    George,

    “Wholes or no wholes?”

    Wholes. Stratford EMS is operated wholly by dedication.

    I have read the variety of discussions concerning paid versus volunteer services. Stratford has a unique blend of both. A small amount of research (no, really; it’s a small amount) will show that no matter what volunteer service is being discussed it is nearly impossible to adequately staff it during the week between say, 6 AM to 6PM with volunteers only. Stratford and some other communities compensate by utilizing paid staff and usually on a per diem (read no benefits). Mortgage payments in denominations of dedication are usually not accepted.

    On the other hand, you have the paid services such as AMR (American Medical Response). AMR ( a division of EMSC) was recently sold by it’s venture capital company for $1.6 billion. AMR provides services to more than 2,100 communities, employing 17,000 paramedics and EMTs.

    Commercial EMS companies generate their revenue by the obvious service of pre-hospital emergency medical care but a large portion of their revenue stream comes from patient transport. This is the service of transporting patients from one hospital to another, to and from a hospital to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility, from residence to dialysis treatment centers or any other requested transport service.

    Clearly, this is not something Stratford EMS is equipped to do. I do not know why politicians here think that Stratford EMS could ever compete on that level. Stratford EMS is an emergency only service that absolutely needs the participation of dedicated volunteers to survive. To contemplate converting it to a commercial service is idiotic. It would only be a matter of weeks before AMR or other commercial services would crush any Stratford competitive service.

    But I suppose that the small gross profit generated by Stratford EMS due to it’s volunteers is just irresistible to politicians.

    Regardless of that discussion, Stratford EMS needs volunteers. Anyone reading this can participate.

  15. 15 1george1

    Thank you for your FYI.

    After I posted, I realized I misspelled my intended wise crack,
    which was supposed to be “holes” or “holes.”

    And, yes, there was intent to read double meanings and missing
    word(s) from that description ….

  16. 16 jezebel282

    George,

    “Thank you for your FYI.”

    You’re welcome. However the biggest threat to Stratford EMS is not a commercial service, but our own Town Hall.

    Instead of spending our tax money wisely, this administration wants to squeeze as much revenue as possible from this service. There is a plan (if not already implemented) to charge Stratford EMS $5,000/month for rent on the land their building is on. But it doesn’t stop there; the plan is to charge EMS for the “services” of Ron Ing, Tim Bishop and Sue Collier. This is not even accounting for the more than doubling of its administrative costs.

    If you are a resident and you are volunteering, you are essentially paying taxes twice. Once with your property taxes and once with your labor.

    It is simply outrageous.

  17. 17 1george1

    Figures lie. Liars figure.
    If the above is true, it has to be passed by the Town Council.

    Can’t stop it.
    Can expose it.

  18. 18 jezebel282

    George,

    “If the above is true, it has to be passed by the Town Council.”

    Oh, it’s true alright. With an 8-2 majority on the council what do you think will happen?

  19. 19 1george1

    Can’t stop em.
    Can make it public before they vote.
    Can build records after they vote.

    Acts have ramifications, like a “threatened” strike by EMS,
    protesting the THEFT of SERVICES and TAXATION with
    MISREPRESENTATION.

    With over taxation and increasing numbers of people writing
    letters to the EDITOR or posting on the PATCH, sooner or
    later TAX PAYERS besides TEACHERS, POLICE, & FIRE will be involved.

  20. 20 ronmoreau

    Jez,
    “There is a plan (if not already implemented) to charge Stratford EMS $5,000/month for rent on the land their building is on.”

    The way I see it, that’s $60,000/yr.plus on the revenue side of the budget that tax payers don’t have to pay.

  21. 21 jezebel282

    Ron,

    “The way I see it, that’s $60,000/yr.plus on the revenue side of the budget that tax payers don’t have to pay.”

    Now add $185,000 in “administrator” expense, plus full benefits, plus two Town vehicles for personal use, plus gas, plus insurance, plus legal fees*, plus chargebacks for Sue Collier, Ron Ing, Tim Bishop and public works (ambulance, repair and maintenance services).

    Then take away revenue Stratford EMS does not get from calls where medical attention is refused/declined, Stratford residents who cannot pay and are not billed, Medicare reimbursements that are denied, Medicaid reimbursements that are almost always denied and 3rd party billing fees. Also take away the expense of paying for the building out of revenue (free to taxpayers).

    What’s left (if anything) is what it costs to actually provide emergency medical aid to Stratford residents and businesses. That includes 5 underpaid full time paramedics (who provide Advanced Life Support services) as well as a about a dozen per diem (no benefits) EMT’s, medical supplies, radios and computers.

    By far the largest source of revenue to Stratford EMS are the hours contributed by volunteers for the princely sum of one uniform shirt and one uniform pair of pants per year.

    As has always been the case in the past, whatever gross “profit” that remains after expenses has been swept into the general fund of the Town. A reasonable enterprise. Not so with this “plan” which siphons revenue regardless of expense.

    However, to support Town Hall operations with the labor of volunteers is simply morally and ethical wrong. It is one thing to say, “Hey! There is money left over!” It is an entirely different thing to say “Just fork it over.”

    *This entire amount is due to decisions made by John Harkins.

  22. 22 ronmoreau

    Jez,
    “Now add $185,000 in “administrator” expense, plus full benefits, plus two Town vehicles for personal use, plus gas, plus insurance, plus legal fees*, plus chargebacks for Sue Collier, Ron Ing, Tim Bishop and public works (ambulance, repair and maintenance services).”

    All these expenses paid out of the EMS budget? Much better than I thought.”

    By far the largest source of revenue to Stratford EMS are the hours contributed by volunteers for the princely sum of one uniform shirt and one uniform pair of pants per year.”

    Every Stratford elected official has donated thousands of hours doing town buisness. Myself included. To this day The only thing I have recieved from the town is a framed letter of appreciation for my ‘unselfish and dedicated service”. I’d rather have a new pair of pants and shift every year.

  23. 23 jezebel282

    Ron,

    “Every Stratford elected official has donated thousands of hours doing town buisness. Myself included.”

    And what happened when you made a mistake or couldn’t show up? Did someone die? Did you lose your license? Or did you just amend the minutes?

    If I understand you correctly it is OK with you if the Town bills for your services and then taxes you for those services as well?

    I don’t see any volunteers at any other enterprise fund in Town and to be honest, I kinda resent paying my taxes to operate Town Hall and then ask a dedicated volunteer to pay for the salaries of the people who are supposed to be paid by my tax payments.

    “All these expenses paid out of the EMS budget? Much better than I thought.”

    Actually, no. But the Finance Director hasn’t posted any updated information since October. Maybe she’s “just swamped”?

  24. 24 ronmoreau

    Jez,

    “And what happened when you made a mistake or couldn’t show up? Did someone die? Did you lose your license? Or did you just amend the minutes?”

    You are comparing apples to oranges. The town of Stratford would not exist today if it wasn’t for volunteers. As a taxpayer and resident of Stratford it’s refreshing to see a return on the investment taxpayers made on a multimillion dollar proffessional EMS facility with all the bells and whistles.

    Perhaps all the ‘enterprize’ zones that taxpayers invested in all these years should follow suit.

  25. 25 jezebel282

    Ron,

    “You are comparing apples to oranges.”
    No. That was your comparison. I just went with it.

    “As a taxpayer and resident of Stratford it’s refreshing to see a return on the investment taxpayers made on a multimillion dollar proffessional EMS facility with all the bells and whistles.”

    I agree. That would be great. Sadly for your point, the Town (taxpayers) did not make that investment. That came and will come from EMS operations. (BTW, have you thanked Gavin Forrester yet?)

    As someone who waited desperately for an ambulance to show up and was so relieved when the volunteers jumped out and made a real life saving difference on many more occasions than I ever want to remember, I resent them being treated as commodities or line items on a politician’s budget.

  26. 26 ronmoreau

    Jez,

    Volunteer,

    1.a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking.

    2. a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.

  27. 27 jezebel282

    Ron,

    Misappropriate,

    verb
    to take (something) without right and with an intent to keep

    The Stratford Emergency Medical Service was established in December of 1977 by the Town of Stratford (Connecticut) to provide emergency medical services to its community. We prove 24 hour coverage, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The guiding principle of the organization is the same today as when it was founded: to provide quality patient care and safe emergency transportation to the sick and injured of our community.
    http://townofstratford.com/content/1302/402/607/1608.aspx

    It does not exist as a revenue source for John Harkins or the RTC.

  28. 28 jezebel282

    Ron,

    Oh by the way, that makes Stratford EMS 35 years old. Something I’m sure we’ll hear about soon.

    I hope you have your checkbook out and ready to make a donation. Oh wait a minute, if the Town is just going to take the funds and pay Ron Ing with them are you still going to donate something? Maybe you should just make the check out to Harkins?

  29. 29 1george1

    Come back Shane!
    (Shame)

  30. 30 jezebel282

    George,

    “Come back Shane!”

    After Bailey Savings and Loan was bought by Bank of America, Shane was laid off from his manufacturing job after they moved operations to Jiangsu, China. As a result, he couldn’t pay his mortgage and property taxes here anymore and his house was foreclosed and he had to move. I think he’s working in retail in a southern State where the property taxes are less than $800 year.

  31. 31 jezebel282

    Shameless plug:

    WINE TASTING & SILENT AUCTION with proceeds to benefit South End Community Center & Stratford Emergency Medical Services. Tuesday, May 8th, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm Oronoque County Club 385 Oronoque Lane, Stratford Light fare will be served Tickets $25.00 each. For reservations and tickets call: Barnum Wines & Spirits 1340 Barnum Ave, Stratford 203-375-1077, Atria Stratford Assisted Living 6911 Main St, Stratford 203-380-0006, or Stratford Rotary Joe Dolan 203-610-057. Sponsored by Stratford Rotary Club & Barnum Wines & Spirits of Stratford

  32. 32 1george1

    Jeze,
    Whatever happened to the request for donations for PENS,
    STATIONARY, etc for EMS?

    In the silent auction, would they disqualify a verbal BID?
    You know how I get worked up or like pushing the envelope? 🙂

  33. 33 jezebel282

    George,

    Absolutely nothing.

  34. 34 1george1

    If EMS calls Grocery store and Pharmacy managers for
    $ 25 – $ 50 donation of products like pens …. they are
    too glad to donate.

    Get their picture in the paper for publicity for the HQ
    and it helps their careers, for cheap publicity.
    Everyone wins.

  35. 35 jezebel282

    George,

    “If EMS calls Grocery store and Pharmacy managers for
    $ 25 – $ 50 donation of products like pens”

    Well, that would be for the benefit of you know, volunteer EMT’s. Hardly as important as, say, another supervisor or paying “land use fees” to the Town. It’s all the way down there with winter coats or a $9 can of coffee for volunteers.


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