Weekly Feature

2018-10-11 / Letters to the Editor

Emergency response plans are lacking

Situational awareness is a terminology used by first responders to describe your understanding of an emergency scene. The present situation of emergency medical services within the smaller towns of Erie County is not what it appears to be.

Paramedics are the highest classification capable of IV drugs, artificial airways and a host of complicated invasive medical procedures at the scene of the emergency. EMT Basic cannot perform any of the above tasks and is limited to CPR and Defibrillation.

Let’s examine the situation at four separate locations.

You experience the emergency in the City of Buffalo, 911 dispatches the Buffalo Fire Department and an ambulance from American Medical Response immediately. Buffalo Firefighters quickly transfer to the AMR Paramedic and you are at a hospital well within the Golden Hour.

In West Seneca, 911 immediately dispatches the fire department and a Paramedic from AMR. A fire chief arrives quickly and they assist in the transfer to the AMR ambulance. You are at the hospital well within the Golden Hour.

In the Town of Elma, 911 dispatches the fire department and is told by 911 dispatch “No AMR available.” The fire chief arrives quickly and when the situation calls for advanced life saving, the only course of action is to call for mutual aid from another fire department. This does not ensure that a paramedic will respond, and the Golden Hour is compromised.

Lastly the emergency occurs in East Aurora. A chief arrives along with an AMR Paramedic and you are at the Hospital within the Golden Hour.

The citizens of Elma, Marilla, Wales and other unprotected towns of Erie County are being short changed by their town boards. They were too cheap to negotiate a deal with AMR to provide critical Advanced Life Support personnel from 911 dispatch.

The ambulance company, American Medical Response is not free of shame. Their corporate greed and hardball negotiation techniques has left a large portion of Erie County without Advanced Life Support.

David Schwab
Rice Road, Elma

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