Oct 18, 2016

San Diego EMS Professionals Face Hurdles in Providing Care

(San Diego, CA) - Citing numerous industry-wide concerns, members of the National Association of Government Employees EMS Division (NAGE EMS) employed by Rural Metro in San Diego, California, are pledging to continue working with their employer and communities to provide top notch and timely emergency services.
“First responders with Rural Metro are facing similar issues as their counterparts around the country,” said Phil Petit, national director for the IAEP. “The number one priority for these professionals is always patient care and safety, but they face fatigue, low staffing, and a nation-wide shortage of applicants.”
Rural Metro has consistently met the citywide ambulance response time requirement since American Medical Response (AMR) began servicing the contract on October 28, 2015. However, they began experiencing challenges in multiple zones within San Diego in July 2016.
On October 5, 2016, in a response to a letter written by Fire Chief Christopher Heiser three days prior, AMR wrote that the issue was largely due to staffing shortage and outlined a plan to correct these issues.
“Our members live and work within these communities and they want to be a part of a solution,” said Petit, “They are working long hours to help fill open shifts compounded by the lack of paramedics applying for open positions. Economic factors, a heavy workload, and fatigue combine to create a vicious cycle for the workforce. These are folks who are undervalued and doing very important work.”
Union leaders have reached out to management to further the dialogue. “This problem is too important not to fix,” said Petit. “The safety of patients is their top priority.”  

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. - Albert Einstein
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