Friday, February 19, 2010

19 Years.....

I wanted to take a moment to congratulate a friend of mine, Rod Witkos, for reaching a remarkable milestone -- 19 years of superior Paramedic service in one of the busiest EMS systems in the country.

To mark the occasion Rod has written on his blog, Wormtown Medic, one of the best posts I've ever read describing the state of EMS in central Massaschusetts today.

It's an unflinching look, but Rod has never been one to flinch in the face of some unpleasant realities.

Congratulations Rod. Here's to 19 more great years.....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

RIP Emerson ALS-1

One of the state's premier EMS services closed this morning, replaced by a for-profit ambulance company.

Emerson Hospital ALS-1 is no more.

As of 7 a.m. Pro EMS of Cambridge, previously most famous for carrying Cambridge FD's luggage, is now responsible for the 14-town district once served by a cadre of Paramedics who lived and worked in the area, for whom local EMS was a calling, not a revenue stream.

I'm mad.

I'm mad at the CEO of Emerson Hospital, Christine Schuster, for turning her back on a service that was for decades the hospital's best ambassador to the communities it served, and for joining the ranks of other hospital executives for whom quality prehospital care is not worth caring about enough to actually spend money on.

I'm mad that my worst fears have been confirmed -- quality care, professionalism and integrity matter not a bit in this industry. All those years of thinking that all we had to do was provide the best prehospital care we could and the rest would take care of itself, well, it turns out I wasn't completely wrong. "The rest" did in fact take care of itself, though not in the way I would have wanted.

And I'm mad at what I'm sure is a whole series of events of which I am completely unaware but which conspired to end ALS-1's run.

Thank you to all the people who made my time there such a rewarding experience, and best of luck in the future. You will be missed.