The Concerned Citizen

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Cost over Concern!

Commentary by: Jillian A. Cohen |  ja_cohen@theconcernedcitizen.net

wagnerspic“It’s ten after ten on a Wednesday morning and a stabbing victim is in cardiac arrest. Where are all the ambulances?” This pic and statement, released by Paul Wagner on Twitter, exposes three deep rooted problems that have plagued this city for years, in my estimation.

Number 1: City official’s refusal to implement an ongoing media campaign focusing on public awareness with a concentration on the proper use of our 911 system.

Number 2: City official’s unwillingness to admit policy failures and reverse same. Such as; The DCFEMS’s Dual Role training program, which effectively forces firemen to become medical personnel. As a former paramedic, I believe this program is counter productive. Firefighting is a science, a hard enough craft to perfect in it’s own rite. Pre-med, which is what EMT’s and Paramedics practice on a daily basis, is like fire science in that the discipline is just as hard to learn and as challenging to get right, especially on the streets of DC in emergency situations.

Number 3: City official’s failure to act in a responsible manner to purchase enough ems units to cover a city of this size, (especially when citizens are allowed to call 911 and request an ambulance for finger rings that are to tight, or even a doctor’s appointment), and to hire and/or train enough personnel to man the units in order to keep the 2 aforementioned disciplines totally separate like they were years ago when the entire 911 system seemed to work better. In those days the 911 system itself operated as 2 separate disciplines, MPD and Fire.

Again, our elected officials chose the Cost over Concern for the safety of the citizens and visitors of the Nation’s Capital.

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