Philadelphia Mayor and Firefighters Grapple Over 1-and-1 Staffing Plan - News - @ JEMS.com


Philadelphia Mayor and Firefighters Grapple Over 1-and-1 Staffing Plan

Commission to hear plan for reducing paramedic staffing on ambulances


 
 

JENNY DEHUFF, The Philadelphia Daily News | | Wednesday, March 26, 2014


The Philadelphia Civil Service Commission today will hear a pitch on how the Nutter administration plans to make staffing changes to ambulance runs - but not without resistance from the union that represents the city's firefighters and paramedics.

Nutter is seeking approval from the Civil Service Commission to allow the Fire Department to implement a new deployment plan for 9-1-1 calls - one that replaces the two paramedics who are dispatched with one paramedic and one EMT. Paramedics receive more in-depth training than their EMT counterparts.

Officials said they reached their decision based on recommendations made by the 2012 Berkshire Advisors Efficiency Study, which conducted a top-to-bottom review of the Philadelphia Fire Department and called for sweeping changes, both operationally and administratively.

Read the Report
An Efficiency and Effectiveness Study of the Philadelphia Fire Department


"We want to address the fact that, currently, in our deployment today, we're sending too many EMTs in cases where they may end up on a critical call. Then we're sending two paramedics on a basic call that maybe neither of them are needed on," said David Gallagher, deputy commissioner for Emergency Medical Services.

"We're trying to distribute all of our resources equally, seven days a week. We'll have one paramedic and EMT on every call, and if we need it, we'll be able to send that extra paramedic for the backup they may need."

The proposal was met with icy reception from the firefighters. Joe Schulle, president of the firefighters union, Local 22, said the underlying reasoning behind the change in procedure is so the city can save money during a tight budget season by reducing overtime.

"Paramedics are so severely overworked right now," he said.

"Our concern is that on the critical emergencies, one paramedic is simply not enough to give adequate care to the patient. Nearly every major city across the country acknowledges the necessity of two paramedics on an advanced-care response. Philadelphia disagrees."

City Council, which largely backs the firefighters union, has no say over the decision. The Civil Service Commission will ultimately make the call.

Last year, according to Gallagher, the city paid more than $32 million in Fire Department overtime.

On Twitter: @RuffTuffDH

Mobile Category: 
News


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, staffing, Philadelphia

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

Three Injured in Philadelphia Collapse

Parapet wall falls through roof of store.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

California Firefighters save Man on Flight

Patient was conscious and talking when United flight landed.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Over Half of Seattle Fire Stations Test Positive for MRSA

Surprisingly high results come from test kits based on earlier study.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On February 2015

Here’s a look at this month’s product hands on.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Nightwatch Series Premiere Party

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman attends the series premiere of A&E's new reality show, "Nightwatch."
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Chemical Investigation

Chemicals and suspicious package are probed at two locations
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

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

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


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

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


More Product Videos >