Alexandria medics launch campaign to save EMS service in the City
As we told you yesterday, the Alexandria Fire Chief has proposed a plan, similar to Arlington and Fairfax County, to train medics as firefighters and vice versa. This group says that would be bad news for Alexandria, Virginia residents.
The Alexandria Professional Medics Association (APMA) announced today that its members oppose City of Alexandria Fire Chief Robert Dubé’s plan to make drastic changes to how emergency medical services are delivered to the residents and visitors of the City.
“The Alexandria Fire Department has a history of providing high-quality, award-winning emergency medical care to this great City,” said APMA President Lonnie Phillips. “The Fire Chief’s plan will not improve the quality of care, and some of these changes have in fact already negatively impacted the City’s residents and visitors.”
The Fire Chief’s plan reduces medic staffing on ambulances in order to staff “firefighter medics” on fire engines. It also eliminates the positions of the non-firefighter advanced life support (ALS) providers who have dedicated their careers to providing emergency medical care in order to create more firefighter positions—even though the vast majority of incidents the Fire Department responds to are medical emergencies.
The Fire Chief’s plan will not improve EMS delivery in the City. Instead, it will dilute the high-level of care that has been provided by the Department for four decades, cost the City more, and unfairly burden one group of employees: the civilian medics who have dedicated their careers to helping City residents and visitors.
The Fire Chief’s plan also ignores years of evidence and best practices in emergency medical services around the world. The leading EMS experts, and EMS agencies across the nation, now recognize the high cost—and questionable benefit—of sending heavy fire apparatus to provide anything but first response (i.e., basic life support) care on the scene of a medical emergency. By ignoring the evidence, Chief Dubé is choosing to spend more but achieve less.
For more information on how the Fire Chief’s plan hurts the residents and visitors of Alexandria, visit SaveAlexEMS.com or contact the APMA by email. You can also keep up with the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.