Monday, July 14, 2008

Peoria Public Transportation Provides Medical Transportation

I submitted the following article to the Journal Star Forum on July 3, 2008...several days before the Peoria City Council voted to allow the Peoria Fire Department to provide Paramedic services.

Journal Star Forum Article Submission:

A recent Journal Star article reported an accident in Peoria where a CityLink bus was rear ended by a car. According to the article, at least 13 people were "sent to the hospital" for evaluation. The accompanying photo showed the Peoria Fire Department (PFD) rescue firefighters caring for the injured bus passengers that they had placed on stretchers.

According to the article accident victims sat on the sidewalk waiting for additional Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) ambulances to arrive. The reason these people had to wait, is that the PFD is not allowed to transport emergency patients. The PFD had their own rescue vehicle several years ago but were not allowed to use it for transport…so they sold it.

What was not reported in the article was that AMT asked CityLink to help out. CityLink graciously sent a van and transported injured victims to the hospital.

Isn't this amazing when CityLink needs to transport patients who may have broken necks while the PFD cannot? And unless the policy has recently changed, if any of the bus accident victims were seriously injured at the crash scene, the PFD paramedics could not have provided paramedic support for the victims if AMT was not present.

As reported by the Journal Star a couple of years ago, when no other transport agency was quickly available, the Dunlap Fire Chief transported one of his own Dunlap firefighters who had lost consciousness at the scene of an emergency. To protect his firefighter, he had used common sense but crossed the powers that be who control our local Emergency Medical Services. Because of his action the Dunlap Fire Chief came very close to losing his job.

Something seems wrong here.

The paramedic and ambulance transport monopoly in Peoria, fueled by conflict of interest and the mighty dollar, is not patient friendly. This bus accident helps show Peoria is not ready for a more serious mass casualty.

John A. Carroll, M.D.

No comments: