Safe at Home, the Fire and EMS Report is a Helpful Blueprint


 
 

EMS Blueprint | | Sunday, June 29, 2008


PITTSBURGH -- The city of Pittsburgh is under state oversight not just to fix its finances. It also needs to learn how to operate more efficiently.

Both themes surface in a study released Thursday on the costly yet critical areas of fire safety and emergency medical services. The TriData division of the Virginia-based System Planning Corp. has given Pittsburghers 152 recommendations for how to reshape and improve the Fire and Emergency Medical Service bureaus.

The points that will be most talked about include: closing three fire stations, possibly eliminating three engine companies, upgrading fire trucks and spending millions to repair fire and paramedic buildings. But other key findings bear on the quality and cost of public safety, too: limiting the daily work hours of paramedics to 16 (instead of 20), using conflict resolution to end the friction between firefighters and paramedics, improving the physical fitness of firefighters and rebuilding the fire education and code enforcement staff.

These and other recommendations will be a lot for city officials to digest. But Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and City Council would be remiss if they didn't give careful thought to the study, which was commissioned by the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority -- the state board overseeing the city's financial health.

It will be easy for these prescriptions to get lost in verbal battles involving union contracts, employee turf wars and political one-upmanship. But unlike studies done for Pittsburgh government that languish on the shelf, the TriData report deserves consideration, debate and, in many respects, adoption.

The mayor observed that the cost of implementation could be $40 million or more. But there are savings to be had, too. Fortunately, the ICA can use the legal leverage of its oversight role to insist on serious treatment for the report; it should also try to leverage some state dollars for these changes.

It's true that some of it will come down to what Pittsburgh can afford. What it cannot afford is the status quo.




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 ...

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

Mechanical CPR is Producing Resuscitation Results Beyond Expectations

Discover why clinical studies are finding mechanical CPR just as effective as optimally-performed CPR.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New Technology Helps Missouri Ambulances

Strategic GPS tracking helps in Springfield.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Profile: Hospital Wing Air Ambulance

Take a look inside this Memphis service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Monitors for Wyoming EMS

Grant helps Torrington EMS get new equipment.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

London Medics Increasingly Attacked

One medic describes her violent confrontation.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Violence, Arson in Ferguson

Crowds in Ferguson and elsewhere react to decision.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

California Bus Rollover

One killed and dozens injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Buffalo Residents Dig Out and Prepare for Flooding

Flooding expected as heavy snow melts.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

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


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >