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Old 04-24-2011, 11:34 AM   #21
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They will just replace the ambulances with private ambulance services, I think its more about snuffing out unions. Some other company will show up and give poor service. There are a ton of private services that only pay paramedics $12 $15/ hr. that will gladly take u to the hospital. I use to work part time for one of these companies, let me say this....you get what u pay for! There are some good medics but the majotity are woo woos that have no clue how to work on a patient!
Let's do a little math here. HFD averages around 800 runs a day. 80% of those are EMS calls, so that makes it 640 EMS calls. Of those 640 EMS calls, approximately 300 per day are transported to the hospital. Only 36% of those people pay their bill, which is only 108 of those 300. Let's do this on the low side....a BLS transport to the ER is currently an $800 dollar bill. That's for the ride and nothing else. ALS calls are significantly more expensive. So....108 people paying $800 for EMS transport makes it $86,400 per day ($604,800 per week) generated by ambulance transport.

Now...there are around 50 BLS units and 40 ALS units in HFD. 2 members per EMS unit are required, and it HFD has 4 shifts of firefighters/EMTs (paramedics are EMTs, too) That's 720 members required per day to operate the EMS units in the city. Yes...Houston needs that many to ensure a rapid response time. (Average is 6.5 min from the time someone calls 911 to the time HFD is standing at their door). Again, I'm going to do this on the low side. The average EMT-Basic makes around $9.00/hr at a private service (paramedics, of course, make more). 720 members x $9/hr x 24 hours = $155,520 per day in salary alone. That's almost double the revenue generated by ambulance transports. That doesn't factor in fuel, equipment and maintenance. Now factor in that HFD works 48 hours per week and does not receive overtime for those extra 8 hours. A private ambulance service employee would receive overtime pay for those 8 hours, so the operating cost goes up significantly.

A private EMS service simply could not survive in Houston, and they certainly would not be able to provide the level of care that HFD offers. Trust me...you want to keep EMS fully staffed and managed by the fire department for as long as possible. HFD has the highest save rate for cardiac arrest patients in the WORLD. HFD's save rate is over 30% compared to L.A. County, which is a larger fire department, at less than a 1% save rate.
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:42 AM   #22
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We have been called on numerous occasions as a 911 service to help houston, they just filed as medi care/ medi cade in the front office...but that was some 10+ years ago..., I can think of 4 private services that are already in houston! The private sector has many more loop holes than that of a city service....
Not saying this hasn't happened (as you said, 10+ years ago), but it's a little hard for me to believe. Houston has a standing rule that only HFD responds to 911 calls within the city limits. Even during Ike, when HFD was stretched way past its limit, only HFD responded to 911 calls within CL. Private services caught responding can be fined. If the private service has a contract with a facility (nursing home, rehab, etc) it's a little different, but most times if a patient at a facility sneezes funny they call 911, even if they have a contract with a private service, and HFD responds. Areas like The Village are a little different. They're small departments separate from the city, and if their resources are stretched too thin, they may enlist help from a private EMS service.
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:21 PM   #23
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I could see where Joeburt stated they responded to emergencies I worked for AMR San Antonio and we came to assist in Houstons Floods in 99 and 2000...we came to houston to transport out of the Astrodome as they were triaged
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:34 PM   #24
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I could see where Joeburt stated they responded to emergencies I worked for AMR San Antonio and we came to assist in Houstons Floods in 99 and 2000...we came to houston to transport out of the Astrodome as they were triaged
Gotcha. I wasn't living anywhere near Houston then. Makes perfect sense. Anyone would need help in that situation.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:17 AM   #25
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Bump for this very important issue. I hope everyone has taken just a little time to e-mail the Mayor and City Counsel. I will post links to the respective e-mail addresses tomorrow.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:52 AM   #26
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Quote:
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They will just replace the ambulances with private ambulance services, I think its more about snuffing out unions. Some other company will show up and give poor service. There are a ton of private services that only pay paramedics $12 $15/ hr. that will gladly take u to the hospital. I use to work part time for one of these companies, let me say this....you get what u pay for! There are some good medics but the majotity are woo woos that have no clue how to work on a patient!
There are some 911 services that only pay that. There are these people that have no clue how to do their job some just know how to take a test but dont know how to put it to use in the field. I hear what you are saying just doesnt really make sense I will agree with an earlier post stating that they couldnt do the job that HFD already does.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:39 AM   #27
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:41 AM   #28
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:50 AM   #29
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Doesn't matter what calls you run and what lives u save it's about..the guys who will lose their jobs..when they dropped everything to make this a career. But when your house burns down and it takes us a extra 5 mins to get there or your mom has a heart problem and it takes us 5 extra minutes to get there...remember this is what u asked for...the meth heads and drug dealers will always call...you point has no validation to it
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:52 AM   #30
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Doesn't matter what calls you run and what lives u save it's about..the guys who will lose their jobs..when they dropped everything to make this a career. But when your house burns down and it takes us a extra 5 mins to get there or your mom has a heart problem and it takes us 5 extra minutes to get there...remember this is what u asked for...the meth heads and drug dealers will always call...you point has no validation to it
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:56 AM   #31
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Doesn't matter what calls you run and what lives u save it's about..the guys who will lose their jobs..when they dropped everything to make this a career. But when your house burns down and it takes us a extra 5 mins to get there or your mom has a heart problem and it takes us 5 extra minutes to get there...remember this is what u asked for...the meth heads and drug dealers will always call...you point has no validation to it
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Im for less police. Im also for less HFD..why? because the majority of users are free loaders with no insurance. Maybe less ambulances will help more of these people die off.

Yes Im an aasshole, I see this as a good thing.
You need to think about the implications of having fewer police and fire department members on the street. I'm all for natural selection, don't get me wrong, but the number of free loaders, as you put it, will never decrease. Having fewer HFD members on the street will only delay response times to those who truly need assistance.

A little insight to how 911 works....when someone calls 911, the call goes to civilian call takers who first determine if the call will require HFD, HPD, or both. They then ask a set of pre-determined questions based on the nature of the call. They then transfer the call to the dispatchers for the appropriate service (HPD/HFD/both). From there the call is dispatched to the appropriate units in the area. Both services have units designated to cover specific areas of the city.

Here's the big difference between HFD and HPD....for HFD, the appropriate units are dispatched IMMEDIATELY. If the units designated to cover a specific area are already on another call, they dispatch the next closest unit, but it is still done immediately. Sometimes the closest available unit is half-way across the city (or further), but they are still sent immediately.

For HPD, once the dispatcher receives the call from the call taker, the call is put into a queue for officers on the street in the area in which the call originated. The officers pick and choose which calls in the queue they want to respond to. Some calls sit in queue for hours before an officer chooses to respond to it. HPD manipulates their response times with this queue. While the call may have come in hours before, HPD is not officially dispatched on a call until the officer accepts the call out of queue. When they finally do accept it, they usually do so when they are already driving toward the call's location. Hence, HPD has a reported response time of around 3 min.

HFD has a legitimate 6.5 minute response time. HFD cannot pick and choose the calls they want to respond as HPD can. A decrease in HPD members will not overload their resources as much as a decrease in HFD personnel will overload the fire department. HPD will simply let the calls sit in queue longer. HFD, however, will still immediately be dispatched on all fire/EMS calls that come in....with fewer members.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:20 PM   #32
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The original intent of the post was to get the motorcycling community involved because we can't afford an extra 5 min response time when we go down. Not who deserves what or I hate the Mayor. With less ambulances possible fire station brown outs and less staffing that is what could happen at a time when minutes mean life or death. We can change this. We have to make our politicians aware of our interests and to keep the Fire Department as a priority.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:25 PM   #33
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Get behind this guys...have a lot if buddies about to get laid off...approx 200+ FF's. We have already reduced the city's contrabution to our pension by 6% each year for the next 3 years which is approx 13 million each year. The city didnt ask us to do this, we did it to help our city out. Now she(mayor) wants more cuts and good hard working guys who left other fire dept jobs to work for the city will be laid off.


Thats the part that gets me...
The city government is planting the seeds of decline.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:33 PM   #34
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I don't want to detract from this but I really thought the red light cameras were really helping the city out with the amount of revenue generating and the allocation to the trauma center as well as HFP and HPD. I partly blame the ignorant citizens who just care about themselves and not see the bigger picture.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:15 PM   #35
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There are some 911 services that only pay that. There are these people that have no clue how to do their job some just know how to take a test but dont know how to put it to use in the field. I hear what you are saying just doesnt really make sense I will agree with an earlier post stating that they couldnt do the job that HFD already does.
there is no doubt that the private sector could not do HFD's job...it's a shame that people didn't see the original intent of my first post...i think this is a way that the mayor can help destroy the unions like they have up north. Now with that said, I also agree that SOME people are useless crybabies that cry foul when they can't pass a test for promotion, and hide behind the union for support when HFD is being racist, (insert what you want here) I don't think we should support these types of people when they retire, they have found a way to do the absolute least possible and still be portrayed as heros, but I suppose that is everywhere you look...I think it's bad for houston.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:35 PM   #36
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:40 PM   #37
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I'm torn with this...

Less HFD is a bad thing.

Less HPD is a GOOD thing - not like the actually DO anything anyway.

No, I do not want to hear how they protect me - they don't. I don't want to hear how they fight crime - they don't. I don't want to hear how they do um..anything really except draw chalk outlines and enforce revenue enhancement laws.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:42 PM   #38
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I understand. Every Dept. is crying not to be cut and lose jobs too. Fact is if we raise taxes more people about that. You cant have a system that isnt sustainable. They need to take certain areas of Houston and make it a hour minimum wait.

For example, most of Pasadena is a shithole, let anyone down there wait an hour. The lets say galleria area, give them a more PRIME service.

Since this is an economical issue it should be solved using a economical solution. So you're to poor for healthcare? Guess what, not my problem. Stop being lazy and popping out kids.
I dont think you want Pasedena having to wait that long. It would be a Very Bad Thing if some parts of Pasedena caught on fire.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:15 PM   #39
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You cannot pick and choose neighborhoods to cover and not cover adequately.

Lets say that you decide to give slower response times to a poor community...such as Kashmere Gardens near 610 and lockwood on the NE side. Sounds great, lots of poor freeloaders and trash living there. One day though you are riding your motorcycle to a meet on the SE side and take the loop around. Someone pulls into your lane, clipping you, and you go down. You are laying in the shoulder, with a broken leg, a totalled bike and numerous scrapes and cuts, maybe even a concussion as well. An hour later an ambulance shows. They call your time of death as their time of arrival. Sadly enough that broken leg bled out internally and you are now dead because you decided that poor people didn't deserve ems.

EMS is like insurance, everyone pays in via property taxes and sales taxes, then some people pay in more when they use the service and pay their share, other use it and do not pay. Regardless you still need the service.

Houston has WAY too few ambulances in service already. Yesterday there was over 650 ems runs in the city of Houston. I made probably 15-20 of them myself, and transported 10+ people. Some were BS, some NEEDED to go ASAP.

With EMS and Fire service when they are called in a real emergency they HAVE to be there quickly. When someone goes into cardiac arrest they are laying on the floor dead until we get there and do our job, and if we do it right and mix some luck in you have a survivor. A fire does not go ot on its own either, when your house burns and your kids are trapped, its going to burn until we get there and put it out and hopefully rescue your kids. This is not a show up half an hour later and write a report on it like HPD.

If you want an economic solution NEVER call 911 and save that much money. See how well that works when that tiny chance of NEEDED 911 happens.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:18 PM   #40
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You cannot pick and choose neighborhoods to cover and not cover adequately.

Lets say that you decide to give slower response times to a poor community...such as Kashmere Gardens near 610 and lockwood on the NE side. Sounds great, lots of poor freeloaders and trash living there. One day though you are riding your motorcycle to a meet on the SE side and take the loop around. Someone pulls into your lane, clipping you, and you go down. You are laying in the shoulder, with a broken leg, a totalled bike and numerous scrapes and cuts, maybe even a concussion as well. An hour later an ambulance shows. They call your time of death as their time of arrival. Sadly enough that broken leg bled out internally and you are now dead because you decided that poor people didn't deserve ems.

EMS is like insurance, everyone pays in via property taxes and sales taxes, then some people pay in more when they use the service and pay their share, other use it and do not pay. Regardless you still need the service.

Houston has WAY too few ambulances in service already. Yesterday there was over 650 ems runs in the city of Houston. I made probably 15-20 of them myself, and transported 10+ people. Some were BS, some NEEDED to go ASAP.

With EMS and Fire service when they are called in a real emergency they HAVE to be there quickly. When someone goes into cardiac arrest they are laying on the floor dead until we get there and do our job, and if we do it right and mix some luck in you have a survivor. A fire does not go ot on its own either, when your house burns and your kids are trapped, its going to burn until we get there and put it out and hopefully rescue your kids. This is not a show up half an hour later and write a report on it like HPD.

If you want an economic solution NEVER call 911 and save that much money. See how well that works when that tiny chance of NEEDED 911 happens.
Exactly!

Fire ALL of HPD and expand HFD.
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