Thursday, May 5, 2011

EMS Revenge

"Revenge is always the weak pleasure of a little and narrow mind“ - Unknown

Well...King John the Prevaricator has struck again.  As referenced in our last post, Bertoni is proposing the abolishment of the Emergency Medical Services program in the Endicott Fire Department.  The Press & Sun Bulletin reported today that the program will be abolished due to its cost and to allow the fire department to better focus on fighting fires.  Apparently Village Fire Chief Hrustich is unable to walk and chew gum at the same time. This over paid and under worked civil servant is unable to provide fire protection and EMS services as pretty much EVERY OTHER PAID DEPARTMENT IN THE COUNTRY DOES!!  Perhaps this decision says a lot more about the chief's management abilities than the fiscal condition of the village.

Let's break down Bertoni's argument for a moment.  When it comes to cost, Bertoni cites the additional payment given to firefighters to compensate them for the additional training and duties associated with the EMS program.  But Fire Starter has learned that the total additional cost is less than $25,000 per year. Chief Hrustich notes that the department answers approximately 1800 EMS calls per year. The cost to the Village averages less than $14.00 per call in personnel costs.  Looking at it another way, in a village of about 13,000 people, the EMS program costs less than $2.00 per person per year.  Many who have received life saving services would agree that this is a small price to pay for security.

Bertoni claims that fire fighters will now be free to concentrate on fighting fires.  But in reality, even the chief notes that the department rolls on fewer than 700 fire calls per year.  So to do more with less, Bertoni argues that they will have the fire fighters provide fewer services and stop providing EMS services...wait...What???  (This is the governmental version of "Closed to Serve You Better").  And there appears to be no explanation as to how providing life saving medical services interferes with the ability to fight fires.

Emergency management is based on the provision of redundancies.  In many instances, other EMS providers such as UVES are unavailable to provide service in a timely manner.  They have only so many resources available to cover the entire Town of Union.  So what happens then?  In at least several instances in the last year, such a delay would have been the difference between life and death.

So what is this really about?  Apparently, the day before Bertoni announced this decision, the fire fighter union president attended a village board meeting and asked some pointed questions.  King John the Dimwitted had few answers and looked like the empty shirt that he is.  Well...this can not stand! So he lashed out at the fire department by eliminating the EMS program and the small stipend paid to its participants. 

But what about public safety?  Apparently it is more important to avenge his embarrassment than to provide life saving services to village residence at little cost to the village.  This sort of self centered, self serving approach to public service is a disgrace.

We have recently gotten several glimpses into the "character" of Bertoni.  Repeatedly, it has been found to be seriously lacking.

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