From Emergency Calls, to Urgent Calls, to Public Service Calls: How Will We Respond Amid Pressure to Become More Fiscally Responsible? by ProQuest

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									                          GUEST COMMENTARY                                                          >>>
By JOSE A. NOCHEA

                 From Emergency Calls, to Urgent Calls, to Public Service Calls:
    How Will We Respond Amid Pressure to Become More Fiscally Responsible?


I
   remember while growing up that whenever I                    sonnel requirements, and even their fleet of units.         in the U.S., we have not been successful in chang-
   used to see an ambulance or rescue squad run-                A great deal of pressure has been placed on these           ing along with the types of calls to handle all three
   ning down the street with its lights and sirens              conservative dispatch systems due to unit response          categories efficiently.
on, I used to think that every call to which they               redundancy required to comply with their dispatch                 Change is needed to become more fiscally
responded was a true emergency. At the same time,               protocols.                                                  responsible and keep up with the demands placed
the words “someone in there must be really sick or                    But the one thing that has not changed in most        on our systems by the people we serve while pre-
dying” always left me wondering how bad it really               systems, if not all, is the way we continue to respond      venting our budgets from going into the red, as is
was by the time the ambulance would arrive at                   to what I believe are now three categories of calls         happening around the country during these trying
the hospital. But after working in this field for the           that traditionally had been known as EMS. These             times of financial crisis. When you offer a service
past 27 years, I have seen our profession change                three categories are made up of emergency calls             that places highly trained firefighter/paramedics
a lot, especially in the types of calls and needs by            (heart attack, stroke), urgent calls (cut finger, fever),   with a half-million-dollar piece of apparatus in front
the many citizens who now dial 911 for more than                and public service calls (place in bed, TV remote           of someone’s door within a few minutes multiple
just a true emergency. Other changes in the many                control programming).                                       times a day, no matter the reason they cal
								
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