EMS Week

19May12

We’d like to acknowledge the dedication of Stratford’s volunteer EMS service. With all of the other politics that permeate this Town, these volunteers show up every single day and use their training, skills and talent to…well…save our lives. Those of us who have had to initiate a 911 call for ourselves or a relative or friend know how important it is that a Stratford ambulance with a dedicated crew on board shows up and provides the finest service available in the State. The paramedics, AEMT’s, EMT’s and MRT’s take their responsibility very seriously and are dedicated and trained to deal with our emergencies. When we are at our sickest, most injured or weakest, these volunteers are there for us. This is a week we get to thank them for that.

For more information about how to help Stratford EMS, we can contact: president@svemsassociation.com

Although, like most emergency responders they all seem addicted to coffee, doughnuts and pizza.*

*I have been advised to add “anything chocolate”. Any combination would do e.g., bags of candy, cakes, cookies, etc.

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12 Responses to “EMS Week”

  1. 1 jezebel282

    The American College of Emergency Physicians has designated the week of May 20 as National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. This year’s theme highlights that EMS is “More Than a Job. A Calling.”
    EMS providers include a wide range of individuals. They are state-certified Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs), Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), and licensed paramedics. Whether they receive a paycheck or are volunteers, they are all professionals who receive the same training to save a life.
    EMS providers have a unique job that is part of the public safety and health care systems. Choosing to work in these fields is a commitment that requires a passion for helping others, especially during times of crisis.
    EMRs, EMTs and paramedics provide a wide range of medical care, many of which are the same critical treatments that are provided in our hospital emergency department. All their treatment is done under the direction of emergency physicians, through written protocols and direct radio contact. The major difference is that EMS providers are delivering their medical care wherever we need them.
    EMS personnel may begin treatment in a patient’s bedroom, and then carry him or her down flights of stairs. They perform CPR, insert breathing tubes, and administer medications — but they may have to do this in a small bathroom with little room to maneuver.
    After responding to a motor vehicle accident and evaluating their patient, they may have to apply a cervical collar, safely remove a victim onto a backboard, administer oxygen and perhaps start an IV — all on the side of the highway, in the pouring rain, at night.
    So, yes, EMS is a field that requires commitment, passion and dedication. After their initial training, EMS providers must maintain their skills through ongoing training and testing.
    St. Vincent’s Medical Center is proud of our EMS providers. Our sincere thanks go to all the EMRs, EMTs and paramedics who respond to help the sick or injured in the community, providing critical care and safely transporting patients to a hospital emergency department.
    During National EMS Week, please join us in thanking these individuals who have chosen to work in the field of Emergency Medical Services.
    We appreciate the job they do, and understand that for them it is more than a job — it is truly a calling.

    Ken Kellogg
    EMS Coordinator

    Bennett Goss
    EMS Medical Director

    St. Vincent’s Medical Center
    Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Providers-of-emergency-medical-services-deserve-3569133.php#ixzz1vJcMjIFC

  2. 2 1george1

    I second the motion and emotions of jeze EMS POSTS, per EMS.

  3. 3 1george1

    JEZE = Don’t FAINT:

    The Blue
    “Star of Life”
    The Emergency Medical Care Symbol

    by Arline Zatz
    Just as a pharmacists have the motar and pestle and doctors have the caduceus, Emergency Medical Technicians have a symbol, its use is encouraged both by the American Medical Association and the Advisory Council within the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The symbol applies to all emergency medical goods and services which are funded under the DOT/EMS program.

    We see the “Star of Life” constantly, whether it be on ambulances or uniforms. But, how many realize what this symbol represents and how it was born? Not too many, judging from the random survey I conducted after having realized I had no idea myself.

    Designed by Leo R. Schwartz, Chief of the EMS Branch, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the “Star of Life” was created after the American National Red Cross complained in 1973 that they objected to the common use of an Omaha orange cross on a square background of reflectorized white which clearly imitated the Red Cross symbol. NHTSA investigated and felt the complaint was justified.

    The newly designed, six barred cross, was adapted from the Medical Identification Symbol of the American Medical Association and was registered as a certification mark on February 1, 1977 with the Commissioner of Patents and Trade-marks in the name of the National Highway Traffic Safety and Administration. The trademark will remain in effect for twenty years from this date.

    Each of the bars of the blue “Star of Life” represents the six system function of the EMS, as illustrated below: The capitol letter “R” enclosed in the circle on the right represents the fact that the symbol is a “registered” certification.

    The snake and staff in the center of the symbol portray the staff Asclepius who, according to Greek mythology, was the son of Apollo (god of light, truth and prophecy). Supposedly Asclepius learned the art of healing from the centaur Cheron; but Zeus – king of the gods, was fearful that because of the Asclepius knowledge, all men might be rendered immortal. Rather than have this occur, Zeus slew Asclepius with a thunderbolt. Later, Asclepius was worshipped as a god and people slept in his temples, as it was rumored that he effected cures of prescribed remedies to the sick during their dreams.

    Asclepius was usually shown in a standing position, dressed in a long clock, holding a staff with a serpent coiled around it. The staff has since come to represent medicine’s only symbol. In the Caduceus, used by physicians and the Military Medical Corp., the staff is winged and has two serpents intertwined. Even though this does not hold any medical relevance in origin, it represents the magic wand of the Greek diety, Hermes, messenger of the gods.

    The Bible, in Numbers 21:9, makes reference to a serpent on a staff: “Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered.

    Who may use the “Star of Life” symbol? NHTSA has exclusive rights to monitor its use throughout the United States. Its use on emergency medical vehicles certifies that such vehicles meet the U.S. Department of Transportation standards and certify that the emergency medical care personnel who use it have been trained to meet these standards. Its use on road maps and highway signs indicates the location or access to qualified emergency care services. No other use of the symbol is allowed, except as listed below:

    States and Federal agencies which have emergency medical services involvement are authorized to permit use of the “Star of Life” symbol summarized as follows:

    1. As a means of identification for medical equipment and supplies for installation and use in the Emergency Medical Care Vehicle-Ambulance.

    2. To point to the location of qualified medical care services and access to such facilities.

    3. For use on shoulder patches worn only by personnel who have satisfactorily completed DOT training courses or approved equivalents, and for persons who by title and function administer, directly supervise, or participate in all or part of National, State, or community EMS programs.

    4. On EMS personnel items – badges, plaques, buckles, etc.

    5. Books, pamphlets, manuals, reports or other printed material having direct EMS application.

    6. The “Star of Life” symbol may be worn by administrative personnel, project directors and staff, councils and advisory groups. If shoulder patches are worn, they should be plain blue “Star of Life” on a white square or round background. The function, identifying letters or words should be printed on bars and attached across the bottom separately. The edges of the basic patch and functional bars are to be embroidered.

    Special function identification and physical characteristics must be adhered to when applying the “Star of Life” to personal items, as follows:

    a) Administrative and dispatcher personnel must use a silver colored edge, and the staff of Asclepius should be with a silver colored serpent. These items do not need a white background.

    b) The shoulder patches and other EMS patches may be displayed on uniform pockets and the symbol can also be placed on collars and headgear.

    This article was taken from Rescue-EMS Magazine, July-August 1992

    THE STAR OF LIFE
    Each of the six “points” of the star represents an aspect of the EMS System.

    They are:

    Detection

    Reporting

    Response

    On Scene Care

    Care In Transit

    Transfer to Definitive Care
    The staff on the star represents Medicine and Healing.

  4. 4 1george1

    The caduceus (☤; /kəˈdjuːsiːəs/ or /kəˈdjuːʃəs/; from Greek κηρύκειον kērukeion “herald’s staff”[2] ) is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris, the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings. In Roman iconography it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury, the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars, and thieves.[3]

    As a symbolic object it represents Hermes (or the Roman Mercury), and by extension trades, occupations or undertakings associated with the god. In later Antiquity the caduceus provided the basis for the astrological symbol representing the planet Mercury. Thus, through its use in astrology and alchemy, it has come to denote the elemental metal of the same name.

    By extension of its association with Mercury/Hermes, the caduceus is also a recognized symbol of commerce and negotiation, two realms in which balanced exchange and reciprocity are recognized as ideals.[4][5] This association is ancient, and consistent from the Classical period to modern times.[6] The caduceus is also used as a symbol representing printing, again by extension of the attributes of Mercury (in this case associated with writing and eloquence).

    The caduceus is sometimes mistakenly used as a symbol of medicine and/or medical practice, especially in North America, because of widespread confusion with the traditional medical symbol, the rod of Asclepius, which has only a single snake and no wings.

  5. 5 jezebel282

    Thank you, George. That was very nice.

  6. 6 1george1

    Jeze, you and people you support of the Volunteer EMS deserve props.

    I am confused by a missing picture & editorial related to the Transfer
    Station, on which I wanted to post?

    There are a series of sanitary / health issues in Town, which may
    possibly cause issues about which EMS may need to respond?

    > CT POST full disclosure story by Brittany Lyte won an award for
    reporting issues of UNHEALTHY Ground Water & Gas (VOC) which
    the report strongly suggested was linked to a little girl’s Cancer.

    > If there’s privatization of SEWER TREATMENT & TRANSFER station
    using questionable oversite, can related HEALTH ISSUES be far
    BEHIND?

  7. 7 jezebel282

    Update:

    Stratford to Partner with Digitech for EMS Billing Services
    07/22/2012
    “We’re expecting a lot from Digitech,” said Stratford Mayor John Harkins. “Stratford EMS is a dedicated, hard-working group of individuals, and they deserve to have a dedicated, hard-working team of professionals covering collections for the services they provide to our community. We expect that improvements to our bottom line will enable Stratford EMS to increase our response rate, respond to more calls, and provide better emergency medical service to our constituents without any additional burden to the taxpayer.”
    http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/2012/07/stratford-to-partner-with-digitech-for-ems-billing-services.html

    Clarification: The Town’s current policy is to bill medical insurance companies for all services. This revenue pays for the ambulances, medical equipment, lights, electricity, water, gas, diesel, maintenance etc. If you are a Stratford resident and your insurance company denies payment or you have no insurance, all fees are waived. Never ever hesitate to call 911 in an emergency if it is a matter of payment.

    That being said, administrative salaries have risen over 300% at EMS. Harkins has levied “fees” on EMS much like he did with the WPCA causing the 34% rise in sewer use “fees”. EMS must now also pay “rent” to the Town and subsidize the Town’s payroll for “services” provided by the HR Director, Purchasing, the CFO (accounting) and Public Works. All of these “fees” are, of course, swept into the Town’s General Fund. Think of it as a tax on sick and injured people.

    It remains to be seen how much, if any, of this touted increase in the revenue stream will actually stay in EMS.

  8. 8 1george1

    Rumor is that some of the EMS Volunteers want to be paid,
    as full time and that a $ 10,000 a year payment to 6 senior
    people cold have gotten almost full management coverage?

    This was prior to Harkins hiring a couple people.

    It that true?

    I was told by an active EMS person, they only wanted one (ft)
    manager until increased coverage and revenues increased the
    available funds to pay for a second, due to better management.

    Then as each new manager helped increase revenue, then and
    only then could an added manager happen.

    Some people claim Harkins man doesn’t know how to manage?
    Some claim destruction of volunteer EMS is an obljective for
    them to go pro, per the BEST Lawsuit?

    What are your positions?
    I’m not involved in day to day, nor do I have as many direct
    connection or indirect connections as others?

    Several EMS people had posted here in the past.

  9. 9 jezebel282

    George,

    If you look at the proposed EMS budget (the actual has not been posted yet) you will see that there are five full time paramedics who haven’t gotten a raise in about five years now and theoretically 18 per diem EMTs/AEMT’s plus a few per diem paramedics. None of the per diem staff receive benefits.

    As with any volunteer service, staffing during the week and overnights are a challenge. Whether or not they wear a uniform, people still have to eat. Thus the time periods that are not covered by volunteers are filled with per diem staff. In this case, per diem is a 12 hour shift.

    Here is the key; revenue is only generated when an ambulance rolls out on a call and sometimes not even then. There are refusals of medical care or patients who simply have no resources. If you are not riding on an ambulance you are overhead.

    As for turning the service into a paid professional service that is impossible. Stratford EMS would be competing with the largest commercial ambulance service in the U.S. (possibly the world). That is American Medical Response (AMR) which was recently purchased by private investors for approx $2 billion. They employ nearly 17,000 paramedics and emergency medical technicians. Currently they are the primary response service for Bridgeport & New Haven. There is also a privately held much smaller company called “Nelson” that covers Fairfield and New Haven counties. But for any commercial service their profit margin does not come from emergency services. The real money in commercial ambulance service comes from pre-approved transport services. Hospital to nursing home, nursing home to dialysis, hospital to residence etc.

    Stratford EMS does not have the charter nor equipment and staff to provide those services. Nor will it ever. The fact of the matter is that in a Town of 50,000 there is only so much emergency service you can provide. It’s not like Stratford EMS can build a sales department to market car crashes and heart attacks.

  10. 10 stfdprofessor1

    “administrative salaries have risen over 300% at EMS. Harkins has levied “fees” on EMS much like he did with the WPCA causing the 34% rise in sewer use “fees”. EMS must now also pay “rent” to the Town and subsidize the Town’s payroll for “services” provided by the HR Director, Purchasing, the CFO (accounting) and Public Works. All of these “fees” are, of course, swept into the Town’s General Fund. Think of it as a tax on sick and injured people.”

    Not a tax on the sick and injured, just another sign of what a CROOK JOHN HARKINS IS.

  11. 11 1george1

    Professor & JEZE – I suspect you understate the mess & hardships
    Harkins / Mirons & others are causing.

  12. 12 jezebel282

    George,

    “I suspect you understate the mess & hardships
    Harkins / Mirons & others are causing.”

    Oh, I dunno. Taking money from the care of sick and injured people is pretty bad.


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