The most read article on EMSResponder.com this week struck a chord for those facing two common issues in public safety: the relationships between volunteer and career responders, as well as fire and EMS responders.
The Kentland Volunteer Fire Department in Maryland has been ordered by the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department to operate a county ambulance. The department already responds to medical calls, but says they do not have the space and manpower to take on transport as well.
Kentland President Sheila Mann said in a prepared statement, "The corporation is dedicated to protecting the lives and property of the residents of Prince George's County. Adding an ambulance to Station 33 without the additional career staff to operate it, and without the additional space in our facility, would put the excellent service currently provided by our department at risk."
However, the county fire/EMS chief is determined to arrange that every fire station in the county provide ambulance service, and has removed the Kentland chief for failing to comply.
The outcome of this situation will be closely monitored by the region's public safety community. For the original article, visit Maryland Fire Chief Removed in Ambulance Dispute.
Most recently, the acting chief of the Kentland VFD has offered a new plan to provide ambulance service for the area, suggesting that Kentland provide the land for an EMS station while the county provides the staffing.
Continue to watch EMSResponder.com for updates on this story from public safety reporter and columnist Dave Statter at WUSA9. You can also find updates on this and other regional issues on Dave's public safety blog at WUSA9.com, STATter 911.
There has been further news this week regarding FDNY EMS responders. Following last week's news of a raunchy video created by two EMTs while on the job -- unofficially dubbed EMTs Gone Wild -- it was revealed this week that four FDNY EMS responders have been arrested for fraud.
Two EMTs, a paramedic and a former paramedic were caught having submitted phony doctor's notes for medical leave, collectively cheating the city out of benefits worth $4,000.
The probe started last summer, when a supervisor noticed a questionable excuse form and alerted the Department of Investigation. That sparked a citywide audit of medical leaves taken by EMS workers, leading to the four arrests.
For further details visit: Four FDNY EMTs Arrested for Fraud.
In California, following months of media scrutiny regarding the state's EMS certification and oversight processes, several alleged medical errors are under investigation in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Many in the EMS community have been concerned that the onslaught of coverage has unfairly targeted the California system and some of its individuals, and has in some cases been sensationalistic or driven by politics. However, the reports do raise legitimate issues for improvement.
For the latest on this topic, visit Alleged EMS Errors Probed in California.
Next Week, May 20-26, 2007 is the 34th Annual National EMS Week.
For more information on this event and how to obtain program materials visit National EMS Week 2007 to Run May 20-26.
Watch EMSResponder.com next week for coverage of EMS Week activities, and the following week for coverage of the National EMS Memorial to be held in Roanoke, Virginia on May 26. For memorial details visit: Honorees Announced for the 2007 National EMS Memorial Service.
The deadline is near for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's 2007 Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP). The application submission period ends May 29. For more information visit Application Period Opens for DHS's 2007 CEDAP Grants.