I’m going to take a cue from Rogue Medic and replying to a comment left by Joe on my post FDNY And Bloomberg Replace Ambulances Providing 911 Service With Extortion Services.
Now I don’t know Joe personally, but I’m making the educated guess that he is an employee of FDNY that probably found the post from the FDNY EMS Rant Board in a thread under their double super top secret FDNY EMS MEMBERS ONLY! forum and that he has obviously drunk deeply from the Kool Aid served at Fort Totten. All of that is absolutely fine because to each his own but I do want to clarify, and perhaps ask on clarification about, some of the points he is trying to make:
Its time for the voluntary system to go: Here are the reasons…
1. The city cannot control nor ensure that the employees the hospitals have are cleared to the same level that the government does. Under Homeland security this is why the voluntary hospital ambulances are no longer able to be assigned to special events where there is a security clearance needed.
What “special events” require security clearance? The only time that I can think of such an event would occur would be a Presidential or Vice-Presidential visit and probably during the UN General Assembly week. The thing about those events is that FDNY, just like NYC*EMS before them, have a designated Diplomatic Protection Unit. FDNY will use additional units during an event such as the UN General Assembly for delegations the State Department requests the coverage for.
Additionally, when the Pope comes to visit his protection unit is NOT a FDNY unit, it comes from the Voluntary Hospitals. When a country requests a presence but the State Department denies it for funding then that country contracts with another provider for the ambulance, either a hospital based or a private service. In all those cases the personnel of both the hospitals and the private service are subject to the exact same background check through the Secret Service as FDNY personnel specifically cleared to work the Diplomatic Protection Unit.
The important aspect of this though is that the Diplomatic Protection Unit is not listed in the daily run down for the city. In fact unplanned standbys requiring a “security clearance” are virtually non-existent.
2. The voluntary hospital system ambulances are not trained to the same level to work at MCIs, and events that are of sensitive nature. While in the past there wasnt any special physical or psychological screening there is now, and many people who are disqualified by the city ends up at the hospitals.
I’m not sure what “level” of training you are referring to. FDNY, as part of their Homeland Security Grants, are required to follow and adhere to the National Incident Management System (NIMS) which includes the on scene Incident Command System (ICS) that first responders are required to know for NIMS compliance. As part of the process to receive a Universal Shield # from FDNY the certifications for completion of ICS 100, 200, 700, and 800 along with a certificate for Weapons of Mass Destruction Awareness must be submitted along with NYS DOH Credentials and a Driver’s License. Perhaps you are referring to the MCI drills that FDNY does not invite the voluntaries or the volunteers to? That’s the only “training” I can think of that the Voluntaries don’t participate in because they are once again excluded and not treated as the integral part of the EMS system that they are.
While there has always been psychological screening, the current physical screening is an additional requirement that FDNY instituted back in 1996. It is in fact a fallacy that most people who get disqualified by the city end up at the hospitals because most hospitals require you to have experience in the NYC System. For that matter easily more than 50% of FDNY new hires are coming in with experience from the private companies and the hospitals already.
3. Be careful what you ask for, if the city deems that ambulance billing should be removed because of the so-called “Paid for by taxpayer dollars” theory, then the voluntary administrators will have no choice but to end becoming a participating member. FDNY will pick up the tours like they have. Dont be fooled into thinking that FDNY has trouble filling in any spots. 4 Basic classes with almost 500 new hires have already been approved for 2011, plus the hiring and training of more than an additional 120 medics.
Actually if the city deems that FDNY ambulance billing should be removed because of the so-called “paid for by taxpayer dollars” fact, it will do absolutely nothing to affect the Voluntary Hospitals who DO NOT RECEIVE TAXPAYER DOLLARS in exchange for providing the service!
But if in fact that is the decision that gets made, how will FDNY then pay for the ambulances on the road that are no longer generating revenue to cover both their expense and the expense of those pretty new fire trucks?
The time is drawing near, bloomberg has made a commitment that fdny will be given total control of the system in the next 5yrs.
Please provide evidence that Mayor Bloomberg has made that sort of back room deal with FDNY. We can use that in his extortion indictment.