EMSA Contract? Will TFD and OCFD Take Over?

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CommShrek

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phil_smith said:
I don't think EMSA will be going anywhere. The current setup they have with TFD works great.
O RLY? If it was so great, folks wouldn't be considering it an "option" now would they?
 

car2back

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All I am saying is I like System Status Management as it is an effective way to mangage the mininmum amount of resources nessecary to complete the task. I think EMSA does a great job with the amount of personell they staff per shift, and would hate to see that go.

I also find it hard to belive Tulsa Firefighters actually want to have meat wagons at the firehouse. I am more than willing to bet that Joe Blow IAFF member is not willing to work primarily in a patient care setting. He's more interested in running into burning buildings and putting the wet stuff on the red stuff.

I think the current setup where TFD first responds to medicals in ALS engines and leaves the tranportation to EMSA is great. If it ain't broke, why fix it? :lol:

This is just my opinion, and I don't expect anyone else to agree.
 

tiawah466

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Be interesting to see where TFD comes up with the extra paramedics that they would need. They probably only have 30 if that many right now
 

KE5EHI

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CommShrek said:
O RLY? If it was so great, folks wouldn't be considering it an "option" now would they?
The following is just my opinion...

It's been an "option" for a very long time. EMSA has been in Tulsa for around 30 years now (that's a long time considering EMS as it is now isn't much older than that) and it's contract has to be renewed every five years. How long the five year deal has been around, I don't know, but I would assume at least 20 years if not more. EMSA is considered one of the best EMS services in the nation and is very efficient in care provided compared to cost per capita. As was being discussed in OKC, which is a higher cost per capita than Tulsa EMSA, it would takes years of the fire department running the ambulance before the city would start to save/make money, and in a few years demand will be higher. The issue lies with having to buy ambulances, equipment, and train new staff for the job.

Like phil_smith said, a lot of fire fighters aren't very interested in running an ambulance in addition to the engines/ladders. Tulsa Fire currently responds to almost all of our priority 1 (emergent - life threat) calls, and some of our priority 2 (emergent - no life threat) calls and I can tell it wears down some of the busier stations. Image what it would be like for them to have to run all of the stubbed toes and headaches at 3am. With the call volume that we run, it would be a workout every shift. Towns like Owasso and Broken Arrow, which both run fire dept. ambulances, do a great job, but their call volume is much lower compared to ours.
 

KE5EHI

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davido662002 said:
Wouldn't they just hire the medics to do the job and train them in the way of the firefighters?
The problem is EMSA is short handed on paramedics. Which means Tulsa Fire would most likely be short handed on paramedics even more because you aren't just applying for an ambulance service, you are applying for a fire department which requires a physical. Not only that, we employ a lot of paramedics that have other jobs like PD, another cities FD, Nurses, etc... that wouldn't be able to work a fire dept schedule.
 

random

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peterjmag said:
What do you guys think?
I think the Tulsa City Council is just bringing this issue up to put some pressure on EMSA. Maybe to cut their cost to the city?
 

AsstChief

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Since I work with EMSA I can say that they have some awesome medics and they do a great job. I wish it could work out that TFD would hire those medics and let them run the ambulances because I am sure they would get paid better and have better benefits. Those guys and gals at EMSA don't get paid nearly enough for what they have to do. That is the main reason I left them 8 years ago. Just remember that if TFD does take over, which I don't think they will, but what happens to Sand Springs, Jenks, Bixby and other areas serviced by EMSA outside the Tulsa City limits?
 

iamhere300

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Nashville TN has a fire based EMS service, and it works rather well. They use private ambulance services that do the nursing home shuffle, the con calls, etc, but the true EMS goes to the Fire Department.

Status Systems Managment? I don't know how EMSA does it, but I do know that I sure got tired of looking at the corner of Trinity Lane and Dickerson road, waiting on a call.... To us, and mabye it was implemented wrong, it tore up moral worse than any other program they tried.
 

CommShrek

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AsstChief said:
..... but what happens to Sand Springs, Jenks, Bixby and other areas serviced by EMSA outside the Tulsa City limits?
They can contract with a private ambulance service to provide EMS response in thier cities like Glenpool does. They can start running calls themselves too. Bixby Fire Department used to run thier own ambulance before they contracted with EMSA. Rural unincorporated areas can develop mutual aid agreements with neighboring agencies as well. Just some thoughts for your question. :)
 

CommShrek

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iamhere300 said:
Nashville TN has a fire based EMS service, and it works rather well. They use private ambulance services that do the nursing home shuffle, the con calls, etc, but the true EMS goes to the Fire Department.

Status Systems Managment? I don't know how EMSA does it, but I do know that I sure got tired of looking at the corner of Trinity Lane and Dickerson road, waiting on a call.... To us, and mabye it was implemented wrong, it tore up moral worse than any other program they tried.
For the folks who have known nothing but SSM, I don't think it bothers them as much as those of us who have worked somewhere without SSM. SSM has it's drawbacks. The individual has to decide if it's too much to mess with. A lot of folks have done just that. It's no secret that EMSA is short on staff. There are numerous reasons for the high turnover. Personel retention is difficult for EMSA.

I think if a lot of the EMSA folks out there spent a few shifts with some of the other EMS services around that don't do SSM, you'd find a lot of converts. :)
 

tomokla

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Doubtful.

1. Paramedic shortage statewide
2. Start-up costs outweigh any perceived "benefit"
3. FD facilities dont match needs for housing EMS units (name 10 fire stations with the room...much less 20)
4. Suburbs (Bixby, Jenks, Sand Springs) have to be consulted in the matter and I seriously doubt that they have.
5. The $$$ is made with non-emergency transfers. If TFD doesn't do this (which they wont) then their estimated cost savings is skewed and potentially incorrect.
6. Making 40+ more paramedics firefighters isn't easy and in many terms may be impractical.
7. What is the moral going to be of the 30 or so TFD paramedics now that might have to ride on an ambulance?

It "works" in BA and Owasso because they're smaller and thus cross-training is easier to complete. Houston may be the largest EMS cross-trained provider (not FD based EMS, cross-trained) and even they have policies and practices that will prohibit some of the things TFD will likely want to do.

As with anything it comes down to cash. In this instance, EMSA will "show" the city the money.

A
 

car2back

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CommShrek said:
For the folks who have known nothing but SSM, I don't think it bothers them as much as those of us who have worked somewhere without SSM.
I guess if I quit looking at it from a dispatcher's POV and look at it from an EMT's stand point you're right about SSM. it would be stressful to be stuck in a truck 12 hours constantly running to and fro, posting here then there, then running code then canceling for a closer truck.

I just have a bad taste in my mouth from working for and around a Fire-EMS service (too many redneck know it alls, and too much BS). I'd give my 2 weeks in a heart beat to be an SSC for EMSA.

BTW, that was an excellent post Tom.
 
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BCFD25

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I think the main reason this is such a big issue right now is because OKC is seriously considering moving EMS to the fd. Supposedly they have to let Tulsa know by the end of the month if they are going to continue their contract with EMSA. I dont know about Tulsa but the new ambulances that OKC just recieved were bought by the city and leased to EMSA, so i dont know how much they would necesarily have to buy. According to the fd they would only have to hire about 80 people total and for the first five years they will cost more but after that the city will be saving money. We'll see, I think the city council is supposed to vote Oct. 24th.
 

K5MAR

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I know there is a large difference in scale, but Stillwater has a FD-based ambulance service, with FF-Medics. I haven't seen a staffing problem on the ambulance side or a reluctance on the part of the firefighters to become certified BLS or ALS. (Now a hiring requirement*) Stillwater added a (single) Medical Officer (EMT-Paramedic) on each shift that responds on many of the ambulance runs in addition to the station ambulance.

The problem Stillwater Fire is having is budget for staffing across the board, the positions that are funded are filled. If the chief gets his manpower (or is that personpower) budget requests there will be additional ambulance crews added, along with more firefighters overall. Stillwater currently can't crew all the equipement housed in the smaller stations; if a engine rolls, there is no crew left for the brush rig, for instance.

Several years ago a private ambulance service was proposed for Stillwater, to take over some of those routine transfers, and the FD managed to "persuade" the city commission to place such heavy requirements on the private service that they threw up their hands and abandoned the idea.

I suspect that the firefighters in each area want to maintain the status quo, whatever it is. So in time Tulsa or OKC could make the change to a FD-based ambulance service as they hire new personnel who accept it as the norm. Lets face it, nobody likes change and some may never adapt to a different system from what they are used to. Notice the seniority break in Stillwater's policy.

Mark S.



*From the Stillwater Fire Department website:


SPECIAL CERTIFICATIONS, REGISTRATIONS, LICENSES REQUIRED:
· Firefighters hired after October 1, 2003, are required to be a State of Oklahoma certified EMT-Intermediate or EMT-Paramedic as a job requirement.

1. Firefighters hired after October 1, 2003, will have to achieve EMT-I certification within two years or three attempts on the written and practical examinations administered by the State of Oklahoma. Achieving EMT-I certification will be at the expense of the City of Stillwater.

2. Firefighters hired after October 1, 2003, are required to maintain their medical certification at the ALS level while they are in the bottom 50% of the department by seniority. Firefighters above the 50% may elect to drop back in medical certification to a lower certification, but no lower than the State required minimum.
 

Medic32

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according to the tulsa world today the reason TFD is wanting to take over is you guessed it....financial reasons. They feel since EMSA is a for-profit company that they can turn around and take that profit and put it back into the service instead of someone getting rich. But, my opinion is if tulsa fire takes over, it will be basically like emsa changed its name and make it something like the new york fire department. they'll take the firefighters and put them on an engine and the medics in a meat wagon. basically they'll just stick tulsa fire on the side of the ambulances and run it as two companys with the same name.
 

iamhere300

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Ain't nothing like EMS in NYC. Nothing. Falling apart ambulances, falling apart people, and a rift that remains to this day between fire and ems.

NYCEMS compares to nothing.
 
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