Private EMS At Philadelphia’s Disposal - News - @ JEMS.com


Private EMS At Philadelphia’s Disposal

Dispatchers will be able to summon the fleet of 300 private ambulances currently working in the city.


 
 

JEFF SHIELDS, The Philadelphia Inquirer | | Thursday, August 26, 2010


Private ambulance companies will be at the disposal of the municipal 911 system in case of major disasters or "mass casualty incidents," under a program announced by Mayor Nutter on Wednesday.

Dispatchers will be able to summon the fleet of 300 private ambulances currently working in the city to aid the fleet of 35 to 50 city medic units that operate at any given time. City officials described it as "a new milestone" in public-private EMS cooperation.

With the aid of a $400 state-funded rebate to cover half the cost of each new radio, 80 private vehicles are now capable of communicating with the city's system and being on call as "surge ambulances," as Nutter called them. That includes volunteer outfits such as the Burholme Emergency Medical Service.

Everett Gillison, the city's deputy mayor for public safety, described the conditions that would call for the ambulances as "an unusually large number of casualties" or an incident that required the evacuation of a hospital, for instance.

"The city has conducted multiple tests, and the system works," Fire Commissioner Lloyd M. Ayers said.

Amid the ongoing controversy over rotating closures of fire companies to save money, union leaders questioned whether the move was a step toward privatization. The city handled 221,000 emergency medical service calls last year and its emergency medical service is stretched to the limit.

"We'd like a real clear definition of what a 'mass casualty incident' is," said Jerry Kots, a trustee of Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

George A. Butts Jr., Philadelphia's regional emergency medical services chief and architect of the system, said the plan was "scalable" and could be used at varying levels of demand.

But Gillison said, "We're not using this to privatize EMS services." He said the city's agreement with the Federal and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agencies is specifically for large, surge-type events.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, private EMS, Philadelphia, mutual aid, communications

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >