As I mentioned towards the end, it is demoralizing for an EMS agency to actively work against legislation meant to improve the working conditions and lives of it’s providers. That being said, it is not necessarily surprising, because at the end of the day AMR is a business (as is 99% of healthcare) that has a financial bottom line that must be met. We have already seen what happens when EMS agencies fail to meet their bottom lines and that is not something we want to see with ANY EMS agency.
My bigger issue with the “Lives Before Lunch” campaign is not just it’s acute lack of transparency, but it’s purposeful misdirection from the source of the message. Allow me to illustrate my points using their Facebook Page and their website.
The Facebook Page
As you will note from the screenshot above they are using both the generic Star of Life, a stock photo of an ambulance, a stock photo of medics, and NO sign of AMR branding.
Real online media campaigns deserve photos of real ambulances and real medics.
As if the stock imagery and disassociation from the corporate parent weren’t enough, they have listed the page as a “Community Organization”. The fact is AMR is a for-profit nationwide ambulance company. Yes, they serve communities across the nation but that does not make them a “community organization“, it would make them if anything a “community business“.
This is an important differentiation they should be making. Failing to do so is misleading at best, disguising true motives and intentions at the worst. While it shouldn’t be surprising, it is terribly disappointing coming from what most consider to be an industry leader.
The website they have setup at LivesBeforeLunch.com is a classic example of propaganda as you can get. This is a static website with no indication of any dynamic content or even a content management system. They only have one message to deliver and it is found on their landing page. I’m surprised they aren’t offering a $99.97 course or book at the end, since those are the types of websites that deploy this landing page tactic the most.
Again they have chosen to use a stock photo of an ambulance rather than an actual AMR branded one. I find this part extremely troublesome, especially since one of the first tenets of establishing brand recognition is to get your brand out there. I find it hard to believe that they are unable to find any photos of their ambulances to use on this website… especially since I’ve been able to find them without too much trouble.
Again, classic propaganda scare tactics employed here in the text. I would point out that there is no language in AB-263 that would prevent or prohibit AMR from delivering service in those counties. It would be a choice AMR is making for their bottom line. The company already has a notorious reputation for pulling out of low profit yielding or negative markets, but those markets are then filled by agencies that are able to deliver the service. AMR has even re-entered markets they previously abandoned, as they are attempting to do right now in New York City.
It is completely understandable for AMR to be campaigning against this legislature from a business stand point. I am honestly surprised there is not stronger opposition to this initiative from other agencies considering the apparent length AMR is willing to go to in order to bury it.
The problem I have here is both their disassociation from what is obviously a distasteful campaign against their own workforce and the attempt to disguise this as being a “community” based initiative. Disseminating this type of propaganda in this manner calls into question the validity of their claims about the proposed legislation and their statistical claims of their business made in the initial press release.
They are correct that the public holds emergency responders in high esteem. It would be nice if the corporations that serve the public could do the same instead of trying to disguise their nefarious efforts to bury an overdue legislation aimed at improving working conditions.