|A major problem at FDNY is their use of private and hospital based ambulances in the NYC 911 system. This report
released by the New York City Comptroller's Office details some of the dirty truths about all of the for profit
ambulances operating in NYC. What you will read here are unbiased facts about the for profit EMS services. Although
these private hospitals want you to believe their "ambulance drivers" are here to protect your health you need to
remember that these ambulances are only here for one reason. They operate to protect the financial health of the
hospital. The private for profit ambulance crews only look to keep their hospital filled with insured patients. Their jobs
depend on it.
At a hearing in front of the City Council the New York City Fire Department stated it was opposed to a bill that would
allow the Fire Department to fine private hospital ambulances that operate in the 911 system if they violate NYC
emergency response rules. These rules that would supposedly prevent private hospital ambulances from disregarding
proper response procedures, enforce proper patient care guidelines and prevent private ambulances from steering
patients past the closest hospital to their own facility are supposed to be enforced by FDNY but never are.
FDNY states that enforcement of rules and potential fines against private hospital ambulances might drive private
providers out of the 911 system at a time when the city is using them to take up the slack from FDNY cutbacks. Of
course the FDNY EMS chiefs held the party line and the private hospital ambulances will be allowed to patrol the city
streets and look for rich and insured patients to take back to their hospitals while the poor are being hung out to dry by
this total lack of enforcement.
Since FDNY has given away over 40% of the ambulance slots to the private hospitals they are very hesitant to take any
action against these EMS providers who run afoul of the rules set by the NYS DOH and FDNY. If FDNY is so nervous
about fining a private ambulance for breaking the rules then they would never suspend a private ambulance service
from participating in the 911 system. You can't take their ambulances out of service when there are no extra
ambulances to cover the open slots. There would be a lack of coverage in their area. FDNY and the city seem to forget
that when you cutback a city agency you are at the mercy of whomever you put in their place.
In August of 2002 there was a private bus strike in Queens. This area was contracted out to a private company to
provide services by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Once the private workers went on strike and there was no
bus service to North Queens. People had to walk or take a cab to get where they needed to go. Imagine if the hospital
that provides your ambulance goes on strike and you don't have an ambulance when you need one. Mayor Bloomberg
should wake up.
|In 1994 FDNY started the Certified First Responder program. It's a stop gap measure that is supposed to get medical
help to people who are having life threatening emergencies and keep them alive until the ambulance arrives. The
Firefighters don't want to do EMS work. Asking Firefighters what they think of EMS is like asking Hitler what he thinks of
the Jews. The first responder program is a big scam designed to give the Firefighters something to do at almost no cost
to the city. The CFR-D program is not being used to its full potential and as far as I am concerned the whole program is
|The CFR-D trained Firefighters (according to the New York State Department of Health) don't have to take a blood
pressure, and according to the NYS DOH the FDNY Firefighters don't apply splints, they can't immobilize you to with a
short board or KED to remove you from a car if you are involved in an MVA. Since the vast majority of Firefighters don't
even wear a watch (They are not required to do that as per FDNY) it's impossible for them to even take an accurate
pulse unless they pull a clock out of their bag. If an EMS crew shows up at the scene of a call before the firefighters the
Fire Department automatically cancels the "first responders". This means that the ambulance crew is left short of hands
should you be severely injured or in cardiac arrest.
|The Firefighters hate EMS so much that when they are sent on an EMS run they will wait down the block from the call so
EMS can get there first. What the city needs are more ambulances. The average EMS response time in 2011 to all
EMS calls (Segment 1-8) is 9 minutes and 24 seconds. Not too bad but unfortunately brain death secondary to cardiac
arrest occurs in under 6 minutes so as you can see this substantially decreases the survival chances of a victim in
cardiac arrest. This is one reason the cardiac arrest survival rate (As per the AHA) in New York City is under 3%.