Administration and Leadership

There was a cartoon series entitled Pogo that was popular during the Vietnam War. Pogo was a possum that lived in a Georgia swamp. Life in the swamp satirically represented society. One of the most popular quotations that came from the widely read cartoon was the phrase We have met the enemy and he is us. The phrase subsequently became the mantra for Earth Day and reflected the fact that pollution and similar environmental issues are largely the responsibility of humankind. Unfortunately, the same phrase can be easily applied to EMS.
Communications & Dispatch

ST. PAUL, Minn.-- Imagine a 911 call center without telephones.At the new Dakota (Minn.) Communications Center, handheld receivers are considered a thing of the past. Teams of dispatchers will sit or stand at adjustable workstations, taking calls through headsets while monitoring six flat-panel touch screens.For power, each of 23 workstations will have 48 electrical plugs. For smarts, they ll rely on three hard-drive towers, or central processors.
Administration and Leadership

PORTLAND, Ore.-- When union leaders heave insults, workers aren t the usual target.But the union representing about 500 Portland-area paramedics and emergency medical technicians labeled its members nonsensical, unrealistic and out of touch with reality when it abruptly disowned the bargaining unit last month, days before members were to vote on a contract with their employer, American Medical Response.
Ambulances & Vehicle Ops

CHICAGO-- The ambulance transporting the only runner who died in the Chicago Marathon earlier this month got lost on the way to the hospital, had to flag down another ambulance to get directions and then ended up at the wrong emergency room, authorities said Tuesday.The ambulance from Niles was one of 30 suburban crews called into the city to assist when record heat caused 300 runners to seek treatment Oct. 7.
Ambulances & Vehicle Ops

FORT WORTH, Texas-- Late on a June night in 2006, Keenan Bridges lost control of his motorcycle on a winding stretch of Farm Road 664 in Ellis County, Texas.The accident, about five miles north of Bridges home in Waxahachie, sent him flying into a roadside ditch, his body so battered he was unable to move and barely able to breathe.Paramedics from the Midlothian Fire Department quickly arranged for Bridges, 45, to be transported by helicopter to a Dallas trauma center.
Ambulances & Vehicle Ops

FORT WORTH, Texas -- When Fort Worth, Texas, emergency medical services personnel need to call air ambulances, they do what most other EMS teams do throughout the country:Instead of using a centralized dispatch focused on getting the closest helicopter to the scene, they make their own calls.That method was not an issue when the only major operator in the area was CareFlite, the Grand Prairie-based nonprofit service.But the air ambulance industry has changed dramatically in recent years, drawing more for-profit operators.
Communications & Dispatch

FLINT, Mich.-- About five years ago, a swarm of wasps stung Paul Fortino outside his home. He s severely allergic.His wife administered an EpiPen shot, but the Gaines Township (Mich.) supervisor was failing fast. She called 911. Moments later, local firefighters from a mile or so down the road arrived to administer oxygen. I don t think I can tell you how glad I was to see them, Fortino said. I was dying. But is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
Ambulances & Vehicle Ops

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- As North Carolina waistlines expand and people get heavier, EMS workers are feeling the strain.EMS agencies are treating growing numbers of obese patients and answering more lifting assistance calls. To cope, they re having to use extra personnel, buy special equipment and reinforce training to prevent injuries.