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Citymedic

[Charlotte] Local EMS web site expose

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Thought some people in the Queen City might find this web site interesting.

It was created by a group of concerned MEDIC employees and addresses some major issues that have been ignored by both administration and the county commission.

It will take a while to read all of the content but is worth while if public safety concerns interest you. Speaking from the inside, with Charlotte becoming a big city with big city problems, I can assure you that on many points our local EMS service (MEDIC) is 10 years behind the times.

--->MEDIC Watchdog

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Interesting, Citymedic.

Do you think the County Commision is aware of all these problems? I remember the series that the Observer did a few years ago about slow response times, and I thought they had gotten that problem resolved...but from this website it appears that might not be the case.

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Problem is, like many public agencies, the people who are reporting to the County Commission on MEDIC's behalf are outright twisting the truth so that on the outside everything looks peachy keen. Since those same administrators are making huge profits, what incentive is there to seek change? If you read from the web site, MEDIC uses what is called System Status Management as the primary deployment scheme for ambulance coverage. Several years ago, MEDIC hired a million dollar consultant to tell us how we should run our system. Here is how it works:

A computer program in C-MED (Central Dispatch), PREDICTS the general area of the county where it believes the next EMS call will be based on a mere two months of historical data. The dispatcher then must fill that area with an ambulance so that they are compliant with the computer's prediction. Since the model is ever-changing, if the computer then changes its mind and "thinks" a call will come from another part of town, we have to get back in our ambulance and drive to that area for coverage.

Now anyone with the least bit of business savvy will immediately recognize this system as a glorified cost-cutting maneuver. Unlike the fire department who has a permanent station that covers an area 24 hours a day, MEDIC uses the bare minimum amount of ambulances (at times only 5 for the whole county) and runs us around constantly based on a computer's prediction, meaning we have no time to rest and no place to call "home". Obviously, the very idea a computer can tell where and when someone will call an ambulance is absolutely ludicrous. Anecdotal evidence:

A MEDIC unit is sent to the Northern part of the county for coverage. Moments later, a call goes out closer to the center city. The unit in the northern part of the county must then leave that post and travel down into the central part of the county since there is no longer coverage for that area (remember bare bones here). Just as the MEDIC ambulance pulls into the new post, a cardiac arrest call is dispatched for, you guessed it, the northern part of the county. Now that patient has to wait much longer for an ambulance for a life threatening situation. Meanwhile, downtown is saturated with ambulances because the computer model "knows" that there is a high probability for a call in that area. Why? Because around uptown we respond to a lot of low-priority sick calls where people are just too damned lazy to take themselves to the hospital.

It is because of these miserly tactics that employee morale has plummeted. Ask yourself, would you want a burned-out medic at your side during an emergency?

In response to MEDIC resolving the response times issue I will only say there are a lot of shady tactics going on at MEDIC to manipulate times and numbers so that it appears the system is working. Don't believe the spin doctors.

I know that was long-winded but I hope it puts perspective on things. :rolleyes:

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