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Thursday, February 07, 2008

More Talk About More Ambulances

For years, Cincinnati officials have known the city needs more paramedics and/or more ambulances. A study released more than two years ago showed nearly 300 people called 911 for help in the city during a six-month period in 2004 and found no ambulances immediately available.

After the 2003 on-duty death of Firefighter Oscar Armstrong, the city hired TriData to study the fire department overall and suggest improvements. TriData recommended, among other things, increasing the number of ambulances from 10 to 14. To do that, it would have cost the city an additional $2 million a year in staffing costs alone for those ambulances.

Now, the city still has 10 ambulances, but is working to train more paramedics and was recently accredited for doing so. Doing it in-house will make that process faster and less expensive, said city spokeswoman Meg Olberding.

Channel 9 recently did a sweeps month story on this topic, prompting responses from both Councilman Jeff Berding and Councilman Cecil Thomas. Berding asked Thomas, chairman of the Law & Public Safety Committee, to hold a hearing on the issue. Thomas said he'd already put that in motion, asking Fire Chief Robert Wright to come to Law's Feb. 26 committee meeting to talk about it. The committee meets at 2 p.m.


17 Comments:

at 6:30 PM, February 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, Sam Malone heard about that report and IMMEDIATELY aired radio commercials on The Buzz claiming his support for "a bambulance (sorry, couldn't resist) in EVERY firehouse" 2 election cycles ago.

So nice that Berding has perked up long enough to cash his $1,000+ weekly paycheck AND ask for a hearing.

The voters always win, you see?

 
at 7:18 PM, February 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The TriData study also recommended closing and consolidating several fire stations...which would provide all the staffing and resources needed to add the ambulances. But alas, nobody (city council, mayor, or city manager) has the courage to take on local 48. Similar to Cincinnati police; same team, same coach, same results.

 
at 11:11 PM, February 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a program wherein the city cross trains select police officers for EMT and Firefighting duties.

What this does is gives the community emergency responders of various sorts on the streets and in assigned neighborhoods quicker access to emergency services - rescuers, firefighters, and EMT's.

Instead of hiring so many professionals who are actually performing services only a few hours A WEEK, cross-training allows speedier response time in rescue, emergency care and fire situations.

Imagine a public service officer equipped with the knowledge, skill and tools to serve the public in the course of "patroling" the streets

 
at 8:24 AM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I saw Sam Malone working at the Ameristop on US-50 out near Batavia. Can anyone verify this?

 
at 8:38 AM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about also fixing the Cincinnati's 9-1-1 system? When calling you sit on hold sometimes up to 2 minutes or longer because so-called operators are busy at this time. If you were having a heart attack and calling for assistance, I sorry you cannot wait that long. SECONDS COUNT in saving lives! This happened to me in the past two weeks while calling 9-1-1 for emergency assistance. The operator really did not care to hear my concern following my emergency request for someone smashing vehicle windows at a local apartment complex.

City of Cincinnati needs to get out of business for 9-1-1 and pay Hamilton County to run its program.

HORRIBLE SERVICE! Try 765-1212 non-emergency and it gets worse than aforementioned. Rude operators and long waits at times.

 
at 10:27 AM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:30- Maybe Berding is ASKING for a hearing b/c people like you would rip him for "overstepping his bounds" into the Law Committee if he called it himself.

Some people can never win eh?

 
at 10:50 AM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

More Repugnicant Enron-omical money scams

Is anyone in that political party honest or competent anymore?

At least this scandal doesn't involve the sexual exploitation of children

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8398.html

 
at 8:38 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The average fire fighter makes $5,000 a year in overtime. Turn the I Team onto this scam that has gone on in the Cincinnati fire department decades; no generations. Cut there pay 50% and they still make more than a teacher and there will still be a line to get into the department.

 
at 8:45 AM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats right, cut staffing in Cincinnati and let Hamilton County handle it. Oh, wait, thats right, they can only respond with the POSSIBILITY of 3 people on a Fire Apparatus. Cincinnati GUARANTEES 4 people. If you really think that Hamilton County departments are better suited to handle the runs, you are sorely mistaken. It doesn't matter WHO would be making the run, the same thing would eventually happen. Instead of Cincinnati firefighters making runs, in an emergency transport vehicle (i.e. an ambulance) to take people to the hospital because they have a toothache, or a headache, or they have been out of medicine for 2 weeks and need a refill, or they have been out of medicine for an ailment and are now suffering from that ailment, you'll have Hamilton county firefighters doing it. And I GUARANTEE you the exact same situation will arise. The public needs to be educated on WHAT EMERGENCY rooms do and what they are for. You don't go to the emergency room because your out of medicine. You don't go to the emergency room because you have a toothache. You don't generally go because you have a headache for 3 or 4 days. You don't go to the hospital because you have the flu, they don't want you there. Yet Cincinnati firefighters are REQUIRED by administration to transport ANYONE who calls for ANYTHING, no questions asked. Does that make sense to you? No WONDER there are never any ambulances in service.

Another issue that people don't seem to understand, Cincinnati does NOT have 10 ambulances. Cincinnati has 6 ambulances, staffed with EMT-Basics, capable of providing BASIC care. Cincinnati has 4 Rescue Units, staffed with PARAMEDICS, capable of providing Advanced Life Support. Those Rescue units are hardly ever used transport the BS runs mentioned above, and for good reason.

To the gentleman/woman who insisted that they follow the Tri-Data report and close/consolidate firehouses and companies, I'm sure that you would be one of the first to then complain when someone dies in a fire, or from a medical emergency, just blocks away from a closed firehouse. Have we all forgotten the gentleman who died in Avondale during the "brownouts" a few years back? The closest truck company, tasked with search and rescue (saving lifes in a fire) was browned out. This means that the people responsible for searching for people trapped and rescuing them were at an even further disadvantage, along with being even further away, in regards to response time. Is that what we really want, to wait even longer for a fire company to show up? How many people have called 911, and then when the FD gets there asked "what took you so long?" I've called 911, and I know that even though it might have only taken them a couple of minutes to get there, it seems like a LOT longer.

As far as cross training police officers to become EMTs and Firefighters, are you kidding me? First of all, who are you going to find that would really want to do all 3 jobs? People grow up wanting to be either a police man or a fire man, not both. This is a bad idea from the word go. It's like trying to have your cake and eat it too. It's just not going to work. Keep things seperate. It's two TOTALLY different jobs. The police have a hard enough time as it is without any support from council or the citizens. Now you want to task them with providing medical care and putting out fires as well? Who's going to bring the fire truck if the police are driving around in their patrol cars? Who's going to chase the bad guys in their vehicles if the police/fire people are riding around in a fire truck?

As for the problems calling 911, I've heard about them and understand them, but please realize that is a totally different section of the fire department. There are issues and they are being worked on. There are deficiencies that are being worked on, but you can only hire so many people to up the staffing before having to ask for taxes. And what does that lead to, more of the complaining by the citizens about how much they pay in taxes.

As for the person who stated the average fire fighter makes $5,000 a year in overtime, please, show me those facts/figures? I know PLENTY of firemen, both for Cincinnati and Hamilton county, and I don't know of any FIREFIGHTERS who made $5,000 on overtime. Sure, there are those who are on 40 hour weeks who cover special events and the like, for the City, who might make more then that, but are they really firefighters if they sit behind a desk for 40 hours a week? Whens the last time they rode on a fire truck, put a fire out, saved a life?

A little common sense and rationalization here, thinking about the situation, would go a long way. Instead, people want to jump to conclusions. Firemen make too much money for doing nothing. They should close firehouse, that'll save money. They should give it to Hamilton County, that'll save money. It's all wrong. Get some facts and look at the situation better before you start spouting off at the mouth, please.

 
at 4:39 PM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Answer this question for me. Why is council so willing throw money at the police department to add numbers but not the fire department? If you think cutting Cincinnati Firefighters pay, or bringing Hamilton county firefighters is the answer you are sadly mistaken. Most of the Hamilton County firefighters are making more money, making less emergency runs, have better equipment, & have better working conditions. When is the last our firefighter have come to the citizens and asked for anything? As a matter of fact the firefighters are the ones who brought this problem to the I-team in the story. What was their common concern? The good of the citizens the provide service.

 
at 12:03 AM, February 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

More ambulances? Are you crazy? Didn't you hear? The city has to have STREETCARS.

 
at 12:34 PM, February 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cut their pay by 50% and they will still make more than school teachers? You must be an angry person and don't understand the job of a fire fighter. Teachers are important too, but do they risk their lives? (training, stress, responding, and inside of burning buildings) What is a real tragedy is that in this nation those who teach our children, protect our families from criminals, take us to the hospital and put out fires and rescue your kids from their bedroom make only a fraction of what a mid-upper level manager of corporate America makes. Our priorites are all wrong. I happen to be a proud fire fighter. I invite anyone thinking what little money we do make is too much to crawl down the smoke filled hallway searching for a fire or victim, to try to save a child sick or injured or constantly be exposed to lots of dangerous diseases to come on down and take the FD test in April.

 
at 1:38 PM, February 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all of those people who are saying "cut thier pay!" "Close fire houses!" "Train the cops to do that job!", First if you do not live in the city you have no right complian, it's not you tax dollars being spent. Second for those of you who do say these things yet do live in the city, which firehouses do you want them to close, the one next door to your house or the one next to your moms house? And one more thing about the pay, How much would they have to pay you to run into a buring house while everyone else is running out?

It amazes me how quickly people forget the good things other are willing to do for them, not just 7 short years ago 343 brave men gave thier lives trying to save complete strangers. Firemen where Americas heros, now people say they make to much money, so cut thier pay! Don't give them the tools needed to do thier jobs! Just forget about them and worry about ourselfs!

Politicans come and go, but fireman are there for the long haul!

 
at 6:07 PM, February 10, 2008 Anonymous happy off duty said...

Until Firefighters are given the authority to tell people who call 911 for toothaches and stubbed toes that they will be fined the next time they call for BS this problem is only going to get worse. We firefighters are now alot of these folks first line health care and that is wrong. We are supposed to be for emergency care, not raising their families because they are incapable of doing so. The City has created a society that is entirely dependent on the City for their care, ie., health, heat, food, clothes, and they no longer know how to go out and earn their own living and care for themselves. I know this is going to be looked at as sour grapes but until you spend a night with me going out to 6 different dwellings where someone has a cold and doesn't know how to take care of the problem, then I do not know how to explain how bad the situation has gotten in my few short years as a firefighter. What is really bad is our own Chief and administration have no idea what we go through on a daily basis and don't care. That almost as bad as the problem itself.

 
at 8:30 PM, February 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well everyone's talking about the lack of transport units for a city of this size and population and that's great. It's about time!! But it's only a small part of the story here. As posted above the true problem is the usage of those transports. Curious as to how bad it really is out there? Watch these videos and just change the name from Cleveland F.D. to Cincinnati F.D. and Metro Hospital to University Hospital.

http://www.myfoxcleveland.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail?contentId=4924778&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1

http://www.myfoxcleveland.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail?contentId=5057254&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1

This is what we face everyday. Now believe it or not more transport units are needed. But most of all we need a policy that forces people to take care of themselves in true non-emergent situations. The vast majority of our runs have no business even going to the E.R. let alone going in an ambulance.

Oh and for you not so bright individuals out there who say cut FF's pay, they don't do anything anyway. Ambulance 12 in Camp Washinton made 31 runs in a 24 hour tour yesterday, 6 after midnight, and only 2 really needed an Ambulance!! So sign up for the next recruit test, it's in March!!

 
at 7:57 AM, February 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some reason the links above don't take you to the story. Copy and paste to your browser. Then go to News, then on the right I-Team Archives. Scroll down and find EMS Dysfuntion, and Follow-Up EMS Dysfunction to find the stories.

 
at 9:09 PM, February 14, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

FF's complain about making alot of runs. There are still thousands that take the test to try to be a firefighter. Not one of them will complain about making "non-emergent" runs until they are hired and protected by civil service. I don't see any current fire fighters quitting because they make to many "non-emergent runs!!

 
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