Paramedics Unhappy with Director, System


 
 

| Tuesday, July 15, 2008


JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- A group of paramedics says the Jersey City Medical Center's director of emergency medical services is driving the city's ambulance corps into the ground.

The Hudson County Association of EMS Professionals announced a motion of "no confidence" in Director Christopher Rinn in a recent letter to The Jersey Journal.

The fraternal organization, which has more than 100 members, says that under Rinn's leadership, JCMC's emergency medical services have been weakened by a system that prioritizes more lucrative non-emergency calls, such as transporting patients from the hospital to nursing homes.

Michael Alessi, a JCMC paramedic since 1977 and secretary/treasurer of the group, said that such calls, as well as a computer system that directs ambulances to areas where emergencies occur frequently, rob responders of flexibility.

For example, he said, ambulances had to be called in from Newark during a severe fire on St. Pauls Avenue on Mother's Day.

"There isn't room in the system for what we call 'surge capacity,' or out-of-the-ordinary incidents," he said.

Alessi added that sitting in vehicles at street corners for entire 12-hour shifts takes a "tremendous toll" on emergency responders and drains morale.

But hospital officials say that the Mobile Area Routing Vehicle Location Information System (MARVELIS), the system the paramedics are criticizing, has cut response times dramatically.

"Senior management has looked at the allegations and has come down solely on the side of Director Rinn," said John McKeegan, spokesman for Liberty Health Systems, which operates JCMC, adding that the system is "widely recognized as among the best practices" in the country.

"It prioritizes all calls based on whether they are life-threatening," he said. "This system seems to work."

Alessi countered that the statistics boasted by JCMC are old and don't take into account units that have recently been shut down. He said he submitted the complaints to Liberty Health CEO Joseph Scott two weeks ago but has not received a response.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Leadership and Professionalism, Operations and Protcols

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

NTSB investigates crash that killed four.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


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 >


More Product Videos >