Industry News

MINNEAPOLIS - Divers checked submerged cars in the Mississippi River Thursday for a count of victims still trapped beneath the twisted steel and concrete slabs of a collapsed bridge. As many as 30 people were reported missing as the rescue effort shifted to recovery.
Major Incidents

MINNEAPOLIS - It looked as though an earthquake had hit.From across the Twin Cities and from small towns beyond, rescue workers, doctors, nurses and construction workers flooded into downtown Minneapolis early Wednesday night, making their way past Twins fans at the Metrodome, past thousands of gawkers aiming their cell phone cameras at the crumpled steel frame and a bridge deck sliced into three pieces.
Ambulances & Vehicle Ops

Because the Spencer Rescue and Emergency Squad works so closely with the Police and Fire departments and the Spencer Emergency Management Agency, many people assume the ambulance service is a town department supported by taxpayers. Not so, said Gary D. Suter, executive director of the private, nonprofit emergency medical service off Route 9 behind the police and fire stations. Founded in 1959 by a group of businessmen, the squad has always been financially independent of the town, not spending any of the taxpayers' money, Mr. Suter said.
Cardiac & Resuscitation

You and your partner are just finishing up shift change with the off-going shift when you're dispatched to a local golf course for a person down. En route, you're informed that an elderly patient has collapsed on the golf course and appears not to be moving. On arrival, you find the patient lying on his side with his wife kneeling beside him. As you interview the man, he tells you he passed out while preparing to tee off on the eighth hole.
Administration and Leadership

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a rule in the July 12 Federal Register that would require ambulance staff to sign a statement during transport if a Medicare beneficiary is mentally or physically unable to sign a claim form and has no representative available to do so. The proposal appears as part of the proposed Physician Fee Schedule Rule, which also includes a proposal that CMS announce the annual Ambulance Inflation Factor on the CMS Web site by mid-July each year, instead of waiting until each November to publish the AIF in the Federal Register.
Administration and Leadership

RALEIGH -- While the Triangle grows at a breakneck clip, the workers tasked with responding to emergencies are not keeping pace. Heads of Triangle EMS agencies are concerned with a population boom not matched by the available Emergency Medical Technicians. "The gap has taken a huge jump in the last couple of years," said Skip Kirkwood, the chief of Wake County's EMS agency. Wake County, Orange and Durham make up the difference by stretching available staff.
Communications & Dispatch

American Medical Response (AMR) and the National EMS Association (NEMSA) -- the labor union that represents about half of AMR's unionized employees -- reached an agreement on Sunday, July 29 to avert a strike called to begin at 7 a.m. July 30, 2007. "Overall this workforce actually achieved more than what was demanded. We are very pleased in AMR's willingness to agree to a fair contract for these dedicated EMS professionals," says NEMSA President Torren Colcord.
News

(WBZ) BOSTON There will be no strike on Monday after Colorado-based American Medical Response reached a tentative agreement with EMS workers in eastern Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. We are pleased that we have been able to negotiate an agreement that we believe is fair and equitable for both employees and the Company, and we look forward to an ongoing collaborative relationship with the union in the future, said Brendan McNiff, AMR general manager.