NY Daily News Today-9/23/21

memorymaster

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I confess to be computer operationally deficient so I'll throw this out there. Today's NY Daily News has a guest editorial regarding the paltry salaries of FDNY EMS personnel and the idea of making EMS a stand alone City agency. I don't know if this is something that can be found on line, but, if it is perhaps someone could post it here for all to see. Thanks Gents.
 

STAjo

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While Mr. Brannan raises some perfectly valid points regards Low Pay for NYC's Brave & Dedicated
EMS Force; his suggested solutions, as well as his blaming FDNY for EMS Personnel Pay Scale is
short-sighted and invalid.
Historically, NYC EMS displayed some tragically poor performance at Management & Administration of
a vital Uniformed Emergency Service. So separation would be a return to a failed Method of Operation.
As to Low-pay for EMS Uniformed Personnel, that too is a historic Administrative failure which FDNY should, in fact,
work to correct. But, again, I think here too, separation would be more counter-productive than helpful.
Of Course, as mentioned by Mr. Brannan, Pay Rate is an item for Union-NYC Management Labor Bargaining.
Here; Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics & Fire Inspectors FDNY Local 2507, has had some success under New Leadership:

"In August, FDNY Local 2507, led by President Oren Barzilay, reached a tentative deal with New York City for a contract that includes retroactive raises of 2% to 4% a year dating back to 2018. Closing the pay gap between firefighters and his members – paramedics, EMTs, inspectors and EMS workers with the FDNY"
https://local2507.com/web/the-2021-new-york-city-labor-power-100/

All things considered, separation of EMS from FDNY is just a Bad Idea. It is though, a nice way for a NYC pol to get his Name in The News.
 

Extra One & One

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STAjo makes some very valid points. Over my lifetime I've seen or heard about consolidations or breaking offs of fire departments, police departments and even public school districts. The real key to success is the leadership at top. Does he/she have a vision of where they want to take take their organization and can they implement a coherant plan to get there? I am aware of consolidations that failed and some succeded. I'm aware of break-offs that have failed and some have exceeded.

I have a question which probably goes beyond the scope of this thread. How is NYC covered by FDNY Ambulances and Voluntary Hospital Ambulances? From what I understand there are some parts of the city where a hospital based ambulance is first due. If it's a minor call which doesn't get a CFRD engine, then theoretically no city employee even shows up at the scene. Would a break-off of the ambulace service do away with the voluntary ambulances? I am sure the medics & emt's from hospital based ambulances are very good, but do they run any Haz-Tech ambulances or Rescue Medics?

I guess what is confusing from the outside looking in, is that no other agency that I know of in NYC doesn't cover the whole city. Whether fire, police, building department or water authority, they cover the whole city. You don't hear that southern Staten Island is covered by the Staten Island Police, or the north Bronx water system is maintained by Tri-State Water Technology.

I suspect it has something to do with finances but I'm not sure. When someone calls 911 I don't think they care if the ambulance pulling uo is Red, Pink, or Green, so long as a competent crew is aboard. So how does it all work?
 

TRAC@1854

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Especially in the late '70s to early to mid '90s EMS had some of the worst response times in communities of color
 

NY Hawk

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STAjo makes some very valid points. Over my lifetime I've seen or heard about consolidations or breaking offs of fire departments, police departments and even public school districts. The real key to success is the leadership at top. Does he/she have a vision of where they want to take take their organization and can they implement a coherant plan to get there? I am aware of consolidations that failed and some succeded. I'm aware of break-offs that have failed and some have exceeded.

I have a question which probably goes beyond the scope of this thread. How is NYC covered by FDNY Ambulances and Voluntary Hospital Ambulances? From what I understand there are some parts of the city where a hospital based ambulance is first due. If it's a minor call which doesn't get a CFRD engine, then theoretically no city employee even shows up at the scene. Would a break-off of the ambulace service do away with the voluntary ambulances? I am sure the medics & emt's from hospital based ambulances are very good, but do they run any Haz-Tech ambulances or Rescue Medics?

I guess what is confusing from the outside looking in, is that no other agency that I know of in NYC doesn't cover the whole city. Whether fire, police, building department or water authority, they cover the whole city. You don't hear that southern Staten Island is covered by the Staten Island Police, or the north Bronx water system is maintained by Tri-State Water Technology.

I suspect it has something to do with finances but I'm not sure. When someone calls 911 I don't think they care if the ambulance pulling uo is Red, Pink, or Green, so long as a competent crew is aboard. So how does it all work?
The Voluntary Hospitals run ambulances in the NYC 911 system strictly for monetary purposes.

Years previous, Voluntary Hospital ambulances (mostly ALS) used to bring the cardiac and other seriously ill patients back to their own hospital, while taking homeless, intox, or other non-insured patients to the city run hospitals. One cardiac patient could mean over $200,000 for the institution, while an intox would provide almost enough to cover a meal. This kind of steering patients is not legal and is not done as much now. Patients transported by FDNY EMS ambulances are transported to the nearest, appropriate facility. Patients have become more sophisticated and know to request choice hospitals, as the Voluntary Hospitals now have a good history. Also, Medicaid is also paying more for the under insured (not much, but more).

Hospitals are needed in NYC and politicians know it, so Voluntary Hospitals continue to provide ambulance services for the community, and it saves NYC millions of dollars. I should note the Voluntary Hospitals usually hire very good EMTs and Paramedics. The hospitals do not want bad press and will fire someone at the drop of a dime. The Voluntary Hospitals also used to have top of line equipment, but FDNY has spent big bucks and FDNY ambulances also have great equipment (IMO).
 

Elmerj

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STAjo makes some very valid points. Over my lifetime I've seen or heard about consolidations or breaking offs of fire departments, police departments and even public school districts. The real key to success is the leadership at top. Does he/she have a vision of where they want to take take their organization and can they implement a coherant plan to get there? I am aware of consolidations that failed and some succeded. I'm aware of break-offs that have failed and some have exceeded.

I have a question which probably goes beyond the scope of this thread. How is NYC covered by FDNY Ambulances and Voluntary Hospital Ambulances? From what I understand there are some parts of the city where a hospital based ambulance is first due. If it's a minor call which doesn't get a CFRD engine, then theoretically no city employee even shows up at the scene. Would a break-off of the ambulace service do away with the voluntary ambulances? I am sure the medics & emt's from hospital based ambulances are very good, but do they run any Haz-Tech ambulances or Rescue Medics?

I guess what is confusing from the outside looking in, is that no other agency that I know of in NYC doesn't cover the whole city. Whether fire, police, building department or water authority, they cover the whole city. You don't hear that southern Staten Island is covered by the Staten Island Police, or the north Bronx water system is maintained by Tri-State Water Technology.

I suspect it has something to do with finances but I'm not sure. When someone calls 911 I don't think they care if the ambulance pulling uo is Red, Pink, or Green, so long as a competent crew is aboard. So how does it all work
 
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Lebby

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1) The city is split into areas, which are then bid on by the city and the voluntary hospitals. Who ever wins gets the right to put an ambulance there and collect the billing that ambulance generates.
2) Yes, in certain parts of the city such as the upper west side, it is very common for no city employee to be present.
3) Probably, not as I doubt the system itself would change.
4) No
 

Elmerj

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Heres a different take on things ....

Change takes time, Its been 25 years but in the grand scheme of things its a drop in the bucket. Growing pains during and after the merger, yes they existed. Growing pains always exist with change. Some people could not manage the change and they left. That might have been a good thing. Did it take time for EMS units and Fire Units to get acquainted and comfortable with each other ? Absolutely ! I have found the best way to get respect is to give respect.

Behaving poorly towards a CFR company because you think they are not up to standards is usually not a good thing. Be humble and reasonable, do your job as best you can and stop looking at what the other guy is up to. Look professional and conduct yourself in a professional manner. That includes your language when addressing each other as well as the public. Stay current on new procedures and medications. Read the latest OMA bulletins. Show up for ALL training as ordered. Listen twice as much as you speak. Be a sponge and soak up any and all information about your chosen profession. Here's a good one ...Check the ambulance per the procedure and actually do a checklist ! Be a leader not a follower. Correct your own environment before you go complaining about someone else.

As far as compensation and benefits, stop looking at what others have fought hard to get and have gotten through hard work. Don't be a hater. Go to a union meeting(s) make your voices heard. That is the only way your elected leadership can establish what you want as a union and work toward getting it. Look at the Haz Tac and Rescue differentials for example.

Hospital based ambulances in the system, I think it go's back to hospitals wanting to serve the community and the politics that go along with it. I don't see that changing anytime soon. Nor do I see an "un doing" of the FDNY EMS merger. I think the EMS merger was a good thing, Embrace it and make it work for you.
 

Elmerj

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1) The city is split into areas, which are then bid on by the city and the voluntary hospitals. Who ever wins gets the right to put an ambulance there and collect the billing that ambulance generates.
2) Yes, in certain parts of the city such as the upper west side, it is very common for no city employee to be present.
3) Probably, not as I doubt the system itself would change.
4) No
Number 1 above is an inaccurate statement. There is no bidding process. As I recall if a hospital wants to participate in the 911 system they contact the FDNY who does an analysis to determine areas of need. If the area of need as identified by the FDNY is agreeable to the hospital asking to participate then they go thru the process to be in the system. The hospital can either elect to service the area of need identified by the FDNY or can withdraw their request to participate.
 

memorymaster

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Just prior to the merger, a Chief who is now the FC, rode an ambulance for a few days in Queens on a 1000x1800 shift to "get the feel of things." Subsequently a "suit" from the FC's office came to visit each EMS Station promising untold changes for the better would be forthcoming upon merger completion. Soon after the merger the FD was shocked to find that EMS personnel had to go for NYS State refresher courses every three years on City time. They were also taken aback by the fact that NYS Dept. of Health inspection certifications were done yearly on all ambulances. There were other agendas also that they were unaware of and surprised to say the least.
In the long run, over the years mutual respect between EMS and FD has become the norm and I was lucky enough to be assigned to the Staten Island combination house for my last four years prior to retirement. To make it short and sweet, it was the best four years I ever had. A great house with great people on both sides.
 

Extra One & One

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1) The city is split into areas, which are then bid on by the city and the voluntary hospitals. Who ever wins gets the right to put an ambulance there and collect the billing that ambulance generates.
2) Yes, in certain parts of the city such as the upper west side, it is very common for no city employee to be present.
3) Probably, not as I doubt the system itself would change.
4) No
Thanks, Lebby, short and to the point. As I was typing out my questions I thought you'd be the one to answer!
 

memorymaster

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Willy, regarding the other "combo" house, it is Rockaway, Queens. EMS Battalion 47, Engine 265, Ladder 121 and the 47 Battalion quarters.
 

Lebby

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Number 1 above is an inaccurate statement. There is no bidding process. As I recall if a hospital wants to participate in the 911 system they contact the FDNY who does an analysis to determine areas of need. If the area of need as identified by the FDNY is agreeable to the hospital asking to participate then they go thru the process to be in the system. The hospital can either elect to service the area of need identified by the FDNY or can withdraw their request to participate.
That's what I was always told, but I'll ask around to double check. I know of instances where hospitals haven taken over areas that were once the fire department's. Regardless, I'd like to point out that COD Richardson is riding on the bus every Friday to become better acquainted with the system. Which shows amazing leadership on his part.
 

Elmerj

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That's what I was always told, but I'll ask around to double check. I know of instances where hospitals haven taken over areas that were once the fire department's. Regardless, I'd like to point out that COD Richardson is riding on the bus every Friday to become better acquainted with the system. Which shows amazing leadership on his part.
You are correct that units have been moved around both voluntary hospital and FDNY units. Many reasons why that happens but mainly operational needs are the driving force behind those moves. I have also heard that the COD is riding the bus to gain insight. Total Respect for the man.
 

Len90

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Hospitals are needed in NYC and politicians know it, so Voluntary Hospitals continue to provide ambulance services for the community, and it saves NYC millions of dollars. I should note the Voluntary Hospitals usually hire very good EMTs and Paramedics. The hospitals do not want bad press and will fire someone at the drop of a dime. The Voluntary Hospitals also used to have top of line equipment, but FDNY has spent big bucks and FDNY ambulances also have great equipment (IMO).
The five boroughs are grossly understaffed when it comes to hospital beds. We saw this highlighted during COVID but sad to say this happens all the time. Staten Island has a total of around 1100 hospital beds for a population of 475,000 or 2.3 per 1,000. The national average is around 2.9 per 1,000. Add in the overcrowding at the hospitals backing up into the ED with a bunch of admitted holds thus your ED gets overcrowded and ambulances get caught up waiting extended times at the ED. It's a huge issue and nobody is addressing it.

As far as equipment. The newest stuff my hospital has are 2017s. When one goes down for maintenance or repairs we are looking at backups that are 2008-2010. Sometimes they run a 2012 on front line as well.
 

mack

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Very interesting thread with a lot of conflicting comments, opinions, facts. That's good. All opinions welcomed but let's keep them respectful to all services and respective members. FDNY members, fire and EMS, are professionals, well-trained, and perform difficult, dangerous and thankless duties. They also typically work well, day in, day out, with other FDNY counterparts and NYPD and other city agency personnel.

Also, the combination of NYC fire and EMS took place a relatively long time ago. This took place in NYC as well as most cities, counties and departments across the country. Although initially resisted by many, and even though difficulties were encountered, it has proven to be a more efficient and more effective way of using available assets and saving lives. A retired chief I knew well would often say "We save more lives now with CPR and emergency medical care than we used to save with aerial ladders. It is almost standard in the fire service to have a combined Fire-EMS department. In the department I was in, the combined fire and medical responsibilities were accepted, complimentary and usually resulted in much better and effect use of department personnel.

A few other comments:

- It is very difficult to obtain accurate or specific data to compare, analyze or criticize "the way it was" and "the way it is" regarding fire and EMS integration. Most of the integration "history" is from memories of individuals' perspectives who probably were unable to see the "big picture".
- Technology, better communications, medical costs, drug ODs, use of EMS to replace PCPs, homelessness, etc - there have been many factors which have caused EMS calls to increase dramatically from the levels in the 1960s and 1970s before department integration. Resources are costly and limited.
- Combining EMS and fire services also reduced overall management overhead, enabled more standardized training, improved assessment and treatment response time, improved cooperation at fires, MVAs, major emergencies and incidents.
- Combined Fire-EMS departments usually result in better career opportunities, diverse assignments, more training dollars.
- Combining Fire and EMS functions places fire unit members consistently in direct contact with the public in critical settings and results in positive support and recognition for the department.
- Combining departments with different functions or responsibilities is not simple. When NYC combined Housing Police and Transit Police into NYPD, resistance existed and problems were encountered. Same in most other cities, counties and towns.
- Combined Fire and EMS incident command at incidents is much easier and more effective with a combined service.
 
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