Wednesday, November 3, 2010

FDNY farming out EMT duties?

From the NY Post:

Some city emergency medical technicians are "turfing out" low-priority 911 calls to nonprofit volunteer ambulance units in Queens, several sources told The Post.

That allows the nonprofits to pick up patients and receive payment -- money that otherwise would have gone to the city.

"Yeah, it happens. Some of the guys are turfing out calls to other guys who work for the community crews," said a longtime volunteer with a Queens community-ambulance team.

"It's only low-priority calls they don't want to take, or if they're really jammed up," the volunteer said. "They'll text or call a 'vollie' and say 'there's a pick-up on this street, you want it?'"

One longtime worker at the FDNY's Emergency Medical Service said: "It's a bit deceptive to the patient. When people call 911, they expect to see an FDNY crew roll up, not a volunteer unit."

The FDNY units still respond to the calls, said several volunteer EMTs.

"But maybe they'll just go a little slower to let the volunteer crew get a head start so the vollies do the transport if a patient needs to go to the hospital," said one of the volunteers.

Instead of worrying who's picking the patients up, maybe the press and politicians should concern themselves with where they're taking them to, since we're down a bunch of hospitals.


cntrysigns said...

What are the volunteers for if not to help out the understaffed fdny emts?

Anonymous said...

This takes up back to the "Gangs of New York" days when there were multiple volunteer fire companies responding to fires. One could imagine multiple volunteer ambulances responding to each incident based on monitoring radio frequencies and competing for the "turf" as the NY Post puts it.