AS RESPONSE TIMES GROW, TOWNS HIRE AMBULANCE STAFF
Robert M. Ziegler still remembers the day he lost confidence in Connecticut’s emergency medical response system.
In 1992, ERM President Robert Ziegler was working as a hospital based intercept paramedic. After responding priority one to a call for chest pain, Ziegler found the 62 year old patient experiencing a significant cardiac event, quickly stabilized her for transport and waited for the ambulance to arrive for transport. All was going according to plan – until he kept waiting for the ambulance to arrive, and time slowed to a crawl.
“I’m in the living room with her for 28 minutes,” Ziegler recalls, “and it took me 14 mintues to get there. That’s almost 45 minutes in total time. I’m sitting there thinking, this is a broken system; there has to be a better way to do this.”
The 62-year-old woman survived the scare. But the underlying problem for many ambulance providers remains today as this scenario continues to get played out in towns all over CT. Many volunteer departments go 3 & 4 tones in their struggle to get a crew together often resorting to relying on mutual aid towns which increases response time.
ERM is committed to ensuring Volunteer services keep their ambulances staffed and on the road. A partnership with ERM allows the service to continue to provide quality care with often greatly improved response times during critical hours (especially daytime). With experienced, caring and dedicated ERM staff integrated into your schedule, overburdened volunteers gain peace of mind and the ability to focus on those areas that often go by the wayside. Instead of scrambling to cover the schedule, administrators can be free to ensure regulatory and fiscal compliance, review QA, and work on strategic planning.
ERM can help your service develop a comprehensive, ongoing, structured plan to attract, recruit, train and develop new volunteer members. Improved staffing can help remove the “burn-out” factor from the current membership and increase retention of existing staff. The shortage of Volunteers nationwide is reaching crisis levels, and statistics continue to show that more EMTs are leaving the field every year than are becoming certified. Meanwhile, an aging population and increasing use of the Emergency Department for primary care is creating additional call volume for even the most rural areas. The majority of employees at ERM are volunteers in the hometowns and truly understand the challenges facing all of us.