E.M.Mess

31Mar13
Don't Let Politicians Drive

Don’t Let Politicians Drive

We have heard much (actually, way too much) about the “situation” and “morale” at Stratford EMS. There is no doubt that the people who work across the street from EMS headquarters bungled the entire management process and cost the taxpayers ten of thousands (probably more) of wasted tax dollars. The good news for us is that the dedicated volunteers and professionals who show up every day to get on the ambulances and come to our homes and businesses to help us when we are sick or injured will pretty much do that no matter what Town Hall does. They certainly don’t do it for the money or the “recognition”.

We hope that whatever happens during this election season that someone considers how badly we need Stratford EMS to be there and be effective. As for the EMT’s and paramedics who are working right now as you read this, we hope they keep showing up and jumping on the ambulances when we call them.

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15 Responses to “E.M.Mess”

  1. 2 jezebel282

    Mike,

    Maybe the Town is going for two out of three court decisions? They are 0-1 in this series.

  2. 3 jezebel282

    Update:

    The definition of poor pattern recognition skills:

    https://stratfordcharter.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/donna-best-vs-town-of-stratford.pdf

  3. 4 mikereynolds

    sigh….As much as I’d like to see the Best regime ended at Stratford EMS its hard to argue with their complaint. The town has screwed this up from the get go.

  4. 5 jezebel282

    Mike,

    “Doctor, it hurts when I do this….”

  5. 6 matpcat

    This whole situation is fairly ridiculous and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. More importantly what will be the final cost of this arrogance be to the taxpayer.

  6. 7 jezebel282

    Mat,

    It occurs to me that managing an Emergency Medical Service requires a fairly knowledgeable person with the ability to manage immediate and long term problems. In addition, those problems must range from paper towels to, well, those that are as serious as a heart attack. Therefore, I do not feel qualified to pass judgement. It is not your typical supervisory position where mistakes can be fixed later and all is better.

    However, politics is a whole ‘nother matter:

    “Ridiculous” is being kind. Right now there are three (count ’em, 3!) court decisions telling the Harkins’ administration that they have acted illegally.

    “How come people are not arguing?” Harkins asks. “We work in a gentleman-like fashion. Four years ago it was a lot different than it is now.
    “When politics becomes personal, it becomes destructive,” Harkins added. “We haven’t done that here, and I refuse to do it.”
    http://www.stratfordstar.com/8957/harkins-finds-positive-results-from-a-gentlemanly-manner/

    What should we make of the above statement? How does a municipality lose three consecutive court decisions and still refuse to acknowledge the result? Is that “gentleman-like”? Does anyone even have any sort of reason this issue has dragged on for years? It is certainly not forthcoming to us.

    “We do inform the council people and make sure they have information,” Harkins said.”
    (Ibid)

    Maybe there is a Councilperson that can explain this to us? Slowly. After all, we are only voters.

    We can hardly wait for Assistant Fire Chief Murray’s case to begin.

  7. 8 jezebel282

    “Stratford’s Fire Department’s union moving into this century with Facebook and Twitter along with full transparency
    Posted by Gary J. M. McTrottes, June 26, 2013 at 02:30 pm
    http://stratford.patch.com/groups/gary-j-m-mctrottess-blog/p/stratfords-fire-departments-union-moving-into-this-century-with-facebook-and-twitter-along-with-full-transparency

    A year later I am still waiting for a letter from the head of the EMS operation confirming that Stratford EMS will not get within five feet of me during a medical emergency or face a law suit.
    The EMS log the political types at town hall get every month is like starting out with horse meat and presenting New York strip steak.”

    I just couldn’t let this one go. Apparently, if you are not a member of the IAFF (International Association of Firefighters) Mr. McTrottes doesn’t think much of you.

    Personal experience tells me that the members of Stratford EMS are highly skilled, well trained, dedicated and caring. Having saved a family member’s life not once but twice there is no one that can tell me that the EMT’s and paramedics of Stratford EMS are less than amazing. Further, most of Stratford EMS members are either volunteer or are paid a paltry per diem rate i.e., part-time, no benefits. Unlike every firefighter. Also unlike every firefighter, paramedics must commit to over 1400 hours of classroom training as well as Lord knows how many hours of ER rotations, written exams, practical (skill) exams, internships, evaluations during hundreds of actual calls and constant required continuing medical education and recertification programs. Oh, and $7,000 in tuition payments. For all of this, the Town of Stratford is willing to pay the enormous sum of $21/hour with no benefits. (“Thanks for saving my life. Here’s $20 for your trouble”.)

    In addition, it would be illegal and highly unethical for any EMS service to sign the kind of letter Mr. McTrottes desires. I have to wonder whether or not Mr. McTrottes would sue the EMT’s that found him unresponsive and not breathing on his floor and worked their butts off to bring him back. He probably would if he wasn’t too busy pulling the wings off of butterflies.
    My advice for him would be to print out a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, sign it and post it on his front door.

    Stratford EMS responds to about 6,000 calls per year. That’s 16 calls per day. How much does this cost the Town of Stratford? The amazing answer: NOTHING. How much do all the ambulances, medical equipment and supplies cost the taxpayer? Again, NOTHING. In fact, Stratford EMS contributes about $350,000/year to the Town’s General Fund.

    So, Mr. McTrottes, when you denigrate the service of Stratford’s EMT’s and erode the confidence the citizens of Stratford have in them, let me be the first one to disagree with you.

  8. 9 matpcat

    You might want to check that 350k number Jez. That certainly was the case in the past. I’m not sure its the case today unfortunately. They certainly didn’t realize the 6 to 800k that was supposedly “left on the table”. Which was of course the reason for the shake-up over there. And of course the legal cost of the whole shake-up, which someone recently told me recently, could reach up to 1 million dollars. I don’t know how true that is, but that’s a big number if it is in fact the case.

  9. 10 jezebel282

    Matt,

    My apologies. I made the mistake of using the numbers you and your fellow members presented to us.

  10. 11 jezebel282

    Matt.

    While we are on the subject, one might asked why the 2013/14 approved budget (You know, the one we will getting the bill for next week?) has never been posted on the Town website. Remember voting for it?
    Maybe you can point us to the line item in the 2012/2013 Budget for 1 new fire engine at $369,000? I can’t seem to find that anywhere.

    “And of course the legal cost of the whole shake-up, which someone recently told me recently, could reach up to 1 million dollars.”

    Are you saying that cost would not be included in the $1.8 million already in the Town Attorney’s budget for which, of course, there is absolutely no accounting? Does anyone at all know what the legal fees are for Best v. Town of Stratford or for that matter Murray v. Town of Stratford (That’s right. It has been 16 months since Assistant Chief Murray retired and he has still not received a penny from the Town.)

    Is it the Council’s and mayor’s belief that no one reads this stuff? Perhaps the belief is that we will just pay whatever bill comes in the mail?

  11. 12 matpcat

    The cost of legal fees generated by these suits, Best, Murray, Murray and a litany of others created by HR’s mishandling of municipal contracts would stagger the mind, I’m sure. The council has asked for a legal accounting but as of yet has not received anything. Funny that.
    The new fire truck was approved in the CIP. It was in the schedule, and not an emergency forced upon us. It all stinks. And now that the charter has been deemed meaningless, I fear the council won’t get any answers. It seems when Mr. Miron said “I’m the Mayor, I can do what I want” he was right. The only recourse for the people of Stratford is in November. Yet if all the candidates (from both sides) are cut of the same cloth, then the people are pretty much screwed. And I just got my bills, the amount I pay in property tax on my motor vehicles is more than my brother pays for his house in another state.

  12. 13 jezebel282

    Update:

    Main Street detours expected in mid-November
    By Greg Reilly on August 26, 2014 http://www.stratfordstar.com/27645/main-street-detours-expected-in-mid-november/

    “Any detours on Main Street near the airport are of great concern to Stratford Public Schools administrators, because route changes will effect school bus routes and times. The fleet of buses for Stratford Schools is parked off of Main Street, south of the work area.”

    Certainly school buses are important. But when you can’t breathe or have crushing chest pain that’s kind of important too. As a result of the “deal” Harkins made with Bridgeport, Main Street will be permanently changed making the 8-10 minute trip from, say, EMS Headquarters to Lordship (1200+ families) longer. It will be even longer from PD headquarters on Longbrook.

    What is the Town’s plan to deal with this? HAHAHA! Don’t be silly. There is no plan.

  13. 14 mikereynolds

    Perhaps its time to station a BLS unit in Lordship like they do for Oronoque.

  14. 15 jezebel282

    Editor’s note: BLS = Basic Life Support. ALS = Advanced Life Support

    Mike,

    Are we going to start applying reason and logic in this Town? Providing municipal services to taxpayers?

    It won’t happen for a couple of reasons. The chief reason being that neither the mayor nor the Council chairman live in Lordship (or the South End). The second being the enormous expense of $34 – $38 an hour to provide a BLS or ALS unit. After a couple of years that could add up to..oh, wait a minute, it doesn’t cost the Town anything.

    I’m afraid the residents and taxpayers will just have to suck it up and drive themselves to the hospital or hope that a neighbor is home.


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