Quick Clip: Why an all-ALS system was a mistake

Host Chris Cebollero says his five-year plan for Christian Hospital EMS is to revert back to an all-BLS system


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In this week’s Inside EMS Podcast, hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson talk about the benefits of a tiered EMS system, and Cebollero says his five-year plan as the chief of Christian Hospital EMS is to revert back to an all-BLS system.

When he took over the department in 2010, he encouraged EMT-B providers to become paramedics.

“Systematically, I was making an all-ALS system,” Cebollero said. “I’ve got to tell you man, I think I made a mistake.”

With the emergence of community paramedicine and mobile integrated health care, he said he would like to revert to an all BLS system, envisioning two EMTs on a truck running calls with ALS intercept, and paramedics working with high-risk readmission patients, reducing lengths of hospital stays, and taking care of issues that don’t necessarily require hospital treatment.

Grayson agreed, saying a tiered response system with a few well-trained paramedics and basic EMTs handling the bulk of patient care is most efficient.

Cebollero said there still needs to be ALS, but that basic EMTs can do a lot more than what they often do, and there should be a better educational track for professional development and career sustainability.

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