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."
CHARLTON, Mass. A few local communities have it, some are in the throes of planning for it and Charlton is about to get it: staffed fire and EMT service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, starting July 1. A significant advance in the plan for around-the-clock staffing came with the May town meeting approval of a $1.3 million fiscal 2008 fire department budget. The vote provided a 16.6 percent increase over this year, primarily in salary and equipment.
NORTH BROOKFIELD, Mass. After a financially troubled year, the North Brookfield Emergency Squad has a new home, a new ambulance billing service, and a stronger-than-ever commitment to provide residents here and in neighboring communities with round-the-clock paramedic-level emergency medical service.Holly J. Wielsma, who took over as director of operations in February, said the private, nonprofit rescue squad has moved from its quarters at 84 South Main St., taking up residence in the town fire station on School Street.
MIAMI Claiming they were pushed into a corner by a pending county law, Surfside commissioners voted in favor of a resolution to withdraw the town's fire-rescue services from Miami-Dade County and switch over to Miami Beach.The switch will not take effect immediately, and conceivably may not happen at all, though it does seem likely. It was presented at Tuesday's commission meeting as a preemptive step in the event the county commission passes a proposed ordinance that would prevent municipalities from opting out of the county's fire and rescue service district.
Fitchburg, Mass. Leominster's Finance Committee Chairman Dennis Rosa said he would caution cities who want to create a city-run ambulance service as a financial solution."If I was looking at another community that didn't have (a city-run ambulance) service, I wouldn't have such high hopes that I was going to put an ambulance service together and start getting positive revenue," Rosa said this week. "I would be looking at it as a superior service to provide for our residents."
ATLANTA, Ga. The decision by DeKalb County's lone trauma center to opt out of the state trauma network will have deadly consequences, the doctor who oversees it said Thursday."People are going to die in the back of the ambulance on the way to Grady, that's the bottom line," said Dr. William Hardcastle, DeKalb Medical's chief of trauma.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. Carbon County will get $2 million from the state to upgrade the county's 911 equipment and capabilities, county commissioners announced Thursday.The county 911 Communications Center on Broad Mountain in Nesquehoning has gotten new computers, emergency dispatcher's consoles and a computer-aided dispatch system totaling about $1.3 million. The state Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the county $2,011,392 for improvements that have been completed and for two improvements that are continuing.
Companions tried to get an ambulance to take her to another hospital LOS ANGELES In the 40 minutes before a woman's death last month at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, two separate callers pleaded with 911 dispatchers to send help because the hospital staff was ignoring her as she writhed on the floor, according to audio recordings of the calls."My wife is dying and the nurses don't want to help her out," Jose Prado, the woman's boyfriend, told the 911 dispatcher through an interpreter.
PORTLAND, Ore. Portland's 9-1-1 center was overwhelmed early Sunday morning by three phone calls at once.Only three operators were on duty at the time two others had gone on break when a MAX driver called to report a house fire in Gresham. One operator was already taking a report on the non-emergency line about someone missing from an adult care home. The remaining two operators were immediately occupied with the fire call: One talked to the MAX driver while the other sent the fire trucks rolling.
YORK COUNTY, Pa. After about a year of relatively comfortable staffing levels, York County's 911 center is again well below its full complement of dispatchers. The center hovered near full staffing for about a year but began having problems in November, said Audrey Rychalsky, operations manager. With the unexpected departure of several dispatchers, the problem has gotten worse over the last few months, she said. The center is now down 11 of 66 dispatchers, she said.