Aug 16, 2016

Union Secures Radio Upgrade for Worcester EMS

On Friday, August 4, 2016, the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics (IAEP) helped to secure an upgrade in the radio communication equipment for Worcester EMS after a change in the city’s emergency communications system threatened to cut them off from fellow emergency personnel in emergencies.

Worcester EMS has been providing all-paramedic (ALS) emergency response services to the city of Worcester for over 30 years. EMS professionals based at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center use several dedicated radio channels to communicate with nearby police and firefighters as they approach dangerous situations while on duty. Last week, the city of Worcester upgraded the equipment used for radio/emergency communications.

That update at the city level, however, left Worcester EMS without access to several of the channels they depend on in crisis situations. Without an update, the equipment at UMass Memorial Medical Center would have left paramedics without the radio channels they used daily to communicate with their fellow community first responders.

“First and foremost, this is a safety matter. Our members were at risk to enter potentially life-threatening scenes without the situational awareness of other nearby first responders,” says Phil Petit, national director for the IAEP. The inability of first responders to communicate between agencies in real-time during emergencies has been a significant problem in many crisis situations, from natural disasters to acts of mass violence.  

Bryan Urato, president for IAEP Local 95, worked hard alongside union members and leaders to make sure the medical center understood what was at stake. “We want to provide patients with quality care, and we need the right equipment to do that.”

As a result of the efforts made by the paramedics, union leaders, and hospital management, steps have been taken to resolve this safety issue. “The new equipment is being ordered ASAP,” says Urato.

“Anyone can see the pride and dedication these EMS professionals put into their work. I’m glad that UMass Memorial took the opportunity to show the same dedication and pride in the department,” says Petit.

Want to find out more about Worcester EMS? Click on the articles below.

Play Ball! Worcester EMS Hosts National EMS Week Fundraiser

Worcester EMS Ramps Up Safety with Ballistic Vests

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