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Home > Topics > EMS Management
April 03, 2012

Fla. EMS study: Change shifts to decrease overnight response times?

Panel results show 2 minute increase in times at around 5 a.m.

By Brent Batten
Naples Daily News

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — An interesting fact comes up when you study the report of the Blue Ribbon Panel that looked at emergency medical response in Collier County.

Or maybe it would be better to say an interesting fact goes up.

Full story: Fla. EMS study: Change shifts to decrease overnight response times?

Comments
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Andrew Tucker Andrew Tucker Tuesday, April 03, 2012 2:34:50 PM And yet there's other studies that show that response times don't matter at all. Medstar happened to have a perfect study on that a few years back when a massive snow storm covered the Fr Worth area and they ran ALL calls non-emergency. "Response times" went thru the roof, but patient outcomes didn't drop down the elevator shaft, thru the basement and halfway to hell like everyone thought they would. Either response times matter or they don't, which is it?
David Clinkenbeard David Clinkenbeard Tuesday, April 03, 2012 2:54:25 PM In Az it was done and employees that went to a 12 hour truck lost about 15,000 dollars in annual income. Trucks were hard to staff because of high gas prices and I the distance to the station that those trucks came up at.
Rob Russo Rob Russo Tuesday, April 03, 2012 5:35:31 PM Jealous? We "sleep", "Work out" and "Watch TV". When was the last time Ed Morton worked 24 or 48 hours? When was the last time Mr Morton ran into a burning structure? Or crawled under a crushed vehicle in the wee hours of the morning in the rain? Or been vomited on? The list goes on. Would Mr Morton do his job for what we get paid? Would he stay at that job at our pay rate AND take pay cuts and threats to HIS pension? Would he stay in his position if he were just getting by, like we do? The article states Mr Morton is the former CEO of NCH. Mr Norton....care to divulge what YOUR salary and pension is worth? Or your golden umbrella when you retired? Just curious. By the way, Mr Morton? You are welcome. R.M. Russo, Paramedic / Father of 5.
Rob Russo Rob Russo Tuesday, April 03, 2012 5:36:23 PM What is the difference between a Paramedic salary and a pizza? A pizza can feed a family of four!
Robert Nash Robert Nash Tuesday, April 03, 2012 6:10:48 PM If I wanted to work short shifts, I would have picked a different profession. I got into fire and ems due to having 4-5 days off a week. With the stress of the job. We need and deserve to have all those days off. This give us more time to work overtime and not kill ourselves. Some people don't want to work 24's. That's fine, there's plenty of places with short shifts but leave us guys alone who love working 24's. A lot of people would probably be finding new jobs such as nursing or er techs if they try to end 24 HR shifts and will cause a shortage of fire and ems personel.
Robert Nash Robert Nash Tuesday, April 03, 2012 6:12:02 PM Oh and this Ed Morton sounds like a complete idiot and a douchebag!!!
Kyle Norris Kyle Norris Wednesday, April 04, 2012 4:58:47 AM What an intelligent bunch of arguments... The fact is a busy 24 hour shift is dangerous, no matter what way you splice it. Look at the studies the military has done on fatigue. 24+ hours of wakefulness can equate to a BAC of 0.05 or greater. Are you good with a physician, nurse or paramedic having a couple of shots then coming in? It might be the equivalent of what your doing. Stress is actually reduced with shorter shift structures, not increased by it. The personal attacks and "he's never done this job" arguments are strawman that distract from the real issue. Are shifts in EMS too long? The answer is usually yes. The family of the patient or bystander you injure through poor medical care or falling asleep at the wheel doesn't care why you got into EMS or what you think you deserve. What they deserve is to not be maimed or killed because someone was exhausted. If 24s aren't dangerous than we can let long-haul truckers and pilots do them right? If nothing else, please take time to construct an intelligent response and not some variation of "I'm a lifesaving hero and I am entitled to.." This makes us all look like idiots.
Renee Lopez Renee Lopez Wednesday, April 04, 2012 6:00:42 AM They should be more concerned with finding ways to get EMS professionals paid better for the slavery performed and less time spent whining about this kind of shit.
Steve Jacobi Steve Jacobi Wednesday, April 04, 2012 6:16:33 AM Collier County FFs are among the best paid in the state and probably most of the US. But, this study just shows nothing intelligent comes out of Collier County. This is the county that has been an embarrassment for years with its silly bickering and failures. Sheriff Deputies drive cars, not bulky trucks. They stay in their cars usually with the engine running. They can ignor all traffic rules in their response as long as it is with due regard. There is little to no traffic predawn as opposed to midday in a congested county with elderly drivers on the road. There is no argument for safety of the patient in regard to medical errors or driving while tired. The tradition of the 24 hour shift will survive regardless of any other possible benefit. It is not about the patient or safety for anyone. Just tradition.
Steve Jacobi Steve Jacobi Wednesday, April 04, 2012 7:02:28 AM Morton has been more of a patient advocate all along in the mess in Collier county. It seems you must be one of those supporting the consolidation and eliminating EMS as a separate entity altogether and going with the lower mother may I protocols and less training for Paramedics. I suspect you are with North Naples FD. If you can't make it on what your are paid with that FD you definitely have some serious financial problems which are self inflicted by personal choices.
John Oscar John Oscar Wednesday, April 04, 2012 7:35:40 AM While emotionally I would not want to give up my 24/48 shift, I agree that as I've gotten older, it's gotten much harder to stay alert and at my best at 3am. I think the sticking point to this, especially at the private ambulance level, will be money. If your average company was forced into hiring twice as many workers to cover the shifts, the pay will drop considerably as Medicare/Medicaid (by and large the primary income source for most private ambulance companies) reimbursement continues to decrease.
Robert Nash Robert Nash Wednesday, April 04, 2012 10:15:38 AM Kyle Norris, I disagree with the short shifts reducing stress. If I had to work 4-5 days a week plus overtime to survive and not have time off with family's or to relax. I would be stressed working all over those days.
Robert Nash Robert Nash Wednesday, April 04, 2012 10:16:40 AM From this day forward. Dingleberries will now be know as ed mortons!!!
Steve Jacobi Steve Jacobi Wednesday, April 04, 2012 11:28:54 AM You are whining about the hours and pay but also are a volunteer? Did you really need to spend the $4k on the wacker lights for your $35k POV? Time to grow up just as EMS is trying to become a real profession instead of just a hobby or side cert for firefighters.
Steve Jacobi Steve Jacobi Wednesday, April 04, 2012 11:35:57 AM Morton an idiot? Sounds like you are one of those firefighters who believe private ambulances are just for bullshit calls and county EMS is useless. Apparently according to you, all EMS should belong to the FDs and all private Paramedics are just stretcher fetchers.
Bob Rielly Bob Rielly Wednesday, April 04, 2012 11:48:40 AM I agree with you on that buddy!
Bob Rielly Bob Rielly Wednesday, April 04, 2012 12:00:57 PM Response time? How about pay check time? All this is...is a way to cut hours so they don't have to pay....I work a 60 hour str8t shift in a county that is way spread out in the mountains where average time to get to the scene is 30 minutes or better....Oh did I mention that when on shift I am the ONLY ALS provider in the county..... we don't have the luxury that most do with big pay rolls and alot of people that big cities have....we need more money for what we do not have!
Bob Rielly Bob Rielly Wednesday, April 04, 2012 12:04:22 PM Also to Ed Morton.....you never run a call on a truck....so how do you know what's it about buddy.....stick to what you know and Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)! Just sayin!
Steve Jacobi Steve Jacobi Wednesday, April 04, 2012 3:08:35 PM You might be surprised at what Ed Morton knows. Just blindly following tradition gets EMTs, Paramedics and patients killed either by MVCs or medical errors. BTW, alot of people do EMS for free and are quite happy doing so.
Bob Rielly Bob Rielly Wednesday, April 04, 2012 6:34:15 PM Jake I have been in FIRE/EMS for over 24 years....I also teach Fire/EMS courses...I am also a EVOC instructor... I dont follow tradition.....and I will be the first to say that long hours has it toll....What I am saying if we made more money then we would not have depend on the over time they so muxh want to get rid of.... And BTW I know alot of people do it for free....But I have to make a living at it......and I also do it for free......and I am quite happy doing so myself.....but doing it for free dont feed my family or pay my bills!!!!
John Hallum III John Hallum III Wednesday, April 04, 2012 8:57:40 PM If it wasn't for the ot on my 56 hr work week I would go from Good money to poor. Get rid of the 24hr shift but keep the paycheck the same and give me just a bit more for fuel driving to work 20 days vs 12
Leaugeay Barnes Leaugeay Barnes Wednesday, April 04, 2012 9:21:24 PM I'd like some gas $ too please!
David Harbour David Harbour Thursday, April 05, 2012 2:11:47 AM I can agree that long shifts make us groggy and less mentally active. Dangerous is a strong word to use though. No, I'm not good with a blood alcohol of 0.5, but can you tell me that someone that is working out of the normal circadian rhythm is not affected to a similar degree? I believe that may need some study. There is a reason that most battles are planned to start early in the morning... I'm an older guy, and I can tell you that working 12 hour night shifts sucks no matter what. And even though I rest during the day, I cannot sleep the same as when I'm on day shift. So, I suspect that maybe not too many people are at their best at 05:00. Yes, they might be awake in their rig, but I doubt their alertness is significantly improved.
Bob Ower Bob Ower Thursday, April 05, 2012 8:29:05 PM I would be happy for "a huge number of people" to change careers, then I would not have to wait so long to take your job. But apparently, I will be doing it for the right reason, not for the money.
Steve Jacobi Steve Jacobi Friday, April 06, 2012 5:35:34 PM Then maybe you should try to be a FF in Collier County or someplace else. You made the choice to stay where you are but seem to want to blame others for your problems when things change for better and safer outcomes for all. Even with the reduction they could still make well over $70i easily. Too many want more money but don't want to do the time to increase their education to justify a hefty raise. Very few Paramedics will go beyond the 700 hour cert and will continue to get by on the minimum.
Bob Rielly Bob Rielly Friday, April 06, 2012 7:10:23 PM Jake I am very well educated....and I have worked all over the country it is the same everywhere....it is you just dont get it...and I got my time in....
Steve Jacobi Steve Jacobi Sunday, April 08, 2012 1:31:37 AM There have been studies and more studies. Many people work nightshift in the hospital including all of those in the ED who are wide awake to greet you at 0500. They have adjusted to sleeping during the day. Working 24s you still attempt to remain a dayshift person and expect to sleep all night.
David Harbour David Harbour Sunday, April 08, 2012 8:35:56 AM Kyle, the idea was never that you were supposed to be worked into exhaustion for 24 straight hours. See my above reply about "dangerous." Facts are, that everyone wants everything done cheap, until it costs them something to do it that way. Maybe these organizations need to look at adding enough units to let some units find rest periods? But just basing your "dangerous" statement on longer response times it not exactly "intelligent" either. After all, maybe the response is slower, because these folks are asleep? Did you sleep in your rig or a bunk, ever have to go the bathroom before your could go on the call? There's more here than "dangerous" sleepy medics.

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