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              Money for the Taking...                                          NEWS IN BRIEF
                                                                                  President Obama’s proposed federal budget for
                         In these tough economic times, EMS managers           fiscal 2010 includes $10 million for a new emer-
                          who have given up on making any new pur-             gency care system regionalization program under the
                            chases probably just don’t know where to look,
                            c                                                  HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Prepared-
                              says Bob Hargis, CCEMT-P, EMS director for       ness and Response, but would cut funds for the
                               Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service in          Public Safety Officers’ Death Benefits program from
                               Ardmore, OK. “The money is out there,” he       $110 million to $60 million … “Scores” of District
                               says. “But the people who have it won’t come    of Columbia paramedics couldn’t meet minimum
                              looking for you.”                                national standards on NREMT written exams or
                                In 2007, Hargis applied for and received       mishandled basic procedures during videotaped
                         gran monies totaling $1.1 million, which enabled      assessments, the Washington Times reported in
                    his agency to purchase six new ambulances, plus a bo-      April. An EMS expert interviewed by the paper said
              nus seventh with funds received from another agency that         the videos showed a “real threat” to citizens, but DC
              came to him after hearing he was buying a new fleet of ve-        Fire and EMS officials said they led to improved pro-
              hicles. “I applied for six separate grants from six different    tocols and helped identify areas for training … A new
              agencies, although two of the larger organizations gave the      standard from ASTM International Committee F30 on
              largest percentage of money,” he explains. It wasn’t that the    EMS describes how medical equipment should per-
              entire fleet fell apart at once, he says. “Three of the am-       form under severe mass-casualty conditions … Out-
              bulances had fewer than 50,000 miles on them, but there          of-hospital SCA survival rates jumped by 85% when
              were chassis problems that kept them in the shop a lot of        Kansas City responders started giving more chest
              the time. One ambulance had been out of service for nine         compressions (50:2 vs. 30:2) and minimized inter-
              months and only had 48,000 miles on it.”                         ruptions during CPR, a study in Circulation found …
                 So where did the money come from? “I used a book called       A display map of suspected and actual H1N1 flu cas-
              the Oklahoma Foundation Data Book, which is just for Okla-       es from the current outbreak is available at http://out
              homa, but I think they make them for each state,” Hargis … Tests
              says. “The 600-page book outlines every agency in the state      show greater immunity to the swine flu virus among
              that is required to give away a percentage of its funds—         Americans and Europeans in their 60s and older
              that’s the way they’re set up. If you research these places      than among younger subjects … Providers can earn
              and write a genuine, but persuasive narrative tha
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