Communications & Dispatch

BLACKSBURG, Va. "We've been hurt," the voice whispered, terrified, into a cellphone.On the other end of the line, Virginia Tech Police Lt. Debbi Morgan could hear gunfire. It was so loud that it sounded as if someone was shooting right into the receiver."Where are you?"Morgan asked, doing her best to stay calm."Two-Eleven Norris Hall," the voice said so softly that it was obvious to Morgan that the person did not want to be heard.There's a shooting!211 Norris Hall!
Communications & Dispatch

STOCKTON, Calif. A Stockton police officer remained in serious condition at San Joaquin General Hospital late Sunday night after an ambulance collided with her patrol car early that morning. The officer, Kimberly Sailius, was the driver of a patrol car struck by an American Medical Response ambulance about 3:30 a.m. in the intersection of El Dorado Street and Weber Avenue, police reported.
Communications & Dispatch

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. A bus carrying people home from a family reunion crashed on an interstate in southern Kentucky early Monday while passengers were asleep, killing one person and injuring 66 others, officials said.Police said it appeared the driver had dozed off. State Police Trooper Steve Pavey said the bus veered off the right side of the highway, struck a concrete culvert and stopped when it rammed a concrete bridge pillar.
Ambulances & Vehicle Ops

NATIONAL Almost daily, Lt. Matthew Partyka flies into the most dangerous spots in Iraq to pick up someone who has been shot or injured in an accident.There is always the threat of enemy fire and explosions from homemade weapons, but it is the landings that make the job exceptionally dangerous."At our most critical point, we are going out to where the patient is. . . . The wind from the helicopter is kicking up a lot of sand and we lose sight of the landing spot," said Partyka during a telephone interview from Iraq.
Communications & Dispatch

STRATFORD, Conn. The town is considering a $2 million project to renovate and transform the old firehouse on Main Street into a new Emergency Medical Services center for its 120-member corps.The local EMS, made up almost entirely of volunteers and marking its 50th anniversary this year, has been housed in the basement of Police Department headquarters for decades.
Communications & Dispatch

SALT LAKE, Utah Christmas Eve 2006 is a day Joseph Treadwell finds difficult to talk about.It was on that day nearly six months ago - in the early morning hours when children in homes across the country were anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus - that the Murray City Fire Department captain and emergency medical technician was rushing to the scene of a two-car crash. He knew by the tone of the dispatcher's voice that the accident was critical.
Ambulances & Vehicle Ops

PORTLAND, Ore. Unionized workers for the Portland area's largest ambulance service rejected a contract offer and authorized a strike, union leaders said Wednesday.But the union set no strike date, and the workers employer agreed to extend their contract 15 days to provide more time to bargain. With the contract extension, the earliest a strike could occur is July 16. "We're hopeful that the sides will continue to negotiate and come to an agreement," said Dr. Gary Oxman, Multnomah County health officer.
Administration and Leadership

COOK COUNTY, Ill. Cook County's top doctor is slashing spending and services in the county's ailing health system with the steely urgency of an emergency room veteran who would lose the leg to save the patient.Dr. Robert Simon said the crisis plan he launched in January is the only way he knows to save a system that lost more than a billion dollars from 2002 to 2005, while following his mandate to cut spending by $130 million this year.
Administration and Leadership

NEW YORK In his heart, Dennis Smith says he would still like to be fighting fires. Jumping into a fire engine, rushing to the scene of the disaster, tending to the wounded, helping the stranded - these are the everyday challenges of a firefighter that Mr. Smith describes wistfully these days, and with such success long ago in his best-selling "Report From Engine Co. 82."
Administration and Leadership

OWENSBORO, Ky. By November, city leaders are hoping to have a detailed, in-depth look at the operations of the Owensboro Fire Department as the city begins the process of conducting operational audits of each of its 14 departments.Fire Chief Ronnie Heep said he is looking forward to the audit, which could begin next month and will take several months and $50,000 to complete. "We hope we're doing well. We want to be," Heep said. "I think they probably will have some very good ideas for us."