This is why you should always lead the stretcher by the head or by the feet. I was taught to lead it by the feet, that way the pt. can see where they are going. Of course, in the video below the pt. can’t see at all. But it did make the EMT’s look like complete idiots with no regard for the recently departed.

The video is hosted on and I am not sure if station computers allow you to view the site. If you can’t view the video below, click here for the video.

Poor Guy Killed in an Accident then Dropped by Paramedics
It's just my opinion, but I'd say this is the worst day ever for this guy.

Get humor videos at NothingToxic

FF Adam Fleming was interviewed the other day for his crews rescue of a patient from the back of an ambulance.

Watch the video and read more here

If you aren’t familiar with the entire story there is more information here:
Ambulance fire injures attendant outside Roanoke Memorial’s ER

Engine 6 and Medic 6 ran an MVA today at 18th and Dale…Read More and see more pics.
MVA on Tazwell and 8th Street

Time of Dispatch: 0752
Units Operating: E-6, M-6, E-5, RS-1, M-3, M-7 Three minor injuries transported, one more trauma alert transported for a total of four.
Photos courtesy of Engine 6-A Shift.

Today I read an interesting article on how Bedford County is going to bill for rides to the hospital (link). Roanoke began billing probably 6 or 8 years ago. But is it that bad in Bedford that they have to start billing now. First of all, let me clear the air about who actually gets billed; the insurance companies. The self-pay, non-insured ambulance “customers” are not billed – well at least not sent to the collection agency.

Why do we bill? The simple answer is that we are trying to capture some of the expense of keeping ambulances staffed, running, and in service with trained personnel.
Why do we have to bill? Because the growing trend of calling the ambulance for everything took a toll on how many ambulances were in service and created a need for more ambulances, more staff, and more wear and tear on the ambulances.

Who calls most frequently? The non-insured to take them to the ER instead of a Family Physician. The mis-informed who think that by riding in an ambulance they will get to be seen first at the ER. The uneducated who do not know that there are Doctors offices who will allow uninsured to be seen and assist them with finding Government supplemental assistance to pay for the visit. Oh and let us not forget the ones who were taught to just call 911.
Who do we collect from? The insurance companies. It is my understanding that we do not come after self-paying people.

Who does it hurt? Well like most insurance paying people, our insurance rates and premiums increase due to the need to cover the costs of Emergency Rooms and Doctors Offices seeing the uninsured. This is a Government problem and it affects all insurance subscribers. The same goes for auto insurance.

What is the answer? Well this leads to an issue that one of our Battalion Chiefs often likes to bring up: EMS Prevention. After all, due to Fire Prevention and education the U.S. was able to see a decline in fires and correct the problem in the 70′s and 80′s of “America Burning”. So why not educate people about EMS and when to call and when not to. The answer is money.

The reason for all the Fire Prevention in the last 80′s and 90′s continuing to today is because fires, responding to fires, and all the costs a fire department has related to fires is out of pocket. There aren’t any funds associated with running fire calls, except the newly established fee for too many false alarms. However, this is only pocket change to running the alarm.

Now that we have seen EMS calls skyrocket, the answer wasn’t to educate rather it was to bill for the experience. The flaw is that the very people who call too often aren’t the ones saddled with the cost. It is the insured, the ones who rarely call when it isn’t an emergency who have to pay. Luckily for them they have insurance, but the premiums, rates, and overall cost of insurance has gone up because of the billing.

Why should we commit to EMS Education? It depends on who you ask. If you ask the responder they will tell you it is a good idea that would decrease call volume, decrease “burnout”, decrease response times, increase efficiency, and increase morale. However, if you ask an Administrator (from anywhere) they will more than likely tell you it is not necessary. We are providing a service and recouping the costs associated with responding.

Who cares if the responders are feeling the the affects of running all the nonsense “BS” calls. We are making money people.

Sure there would be costs associated with EMS prevention and education, but imagine the outcome.

Most departments our size are already a step ahead with prioritized dispatching. I know you have heard me say it many times before, it is like beating a dead horse. This doesn’t mean that we have to get rid of the BLS calls and give them to Carilion or another 3rd party transport company. This just means that ALS (life threatening) calls would get priority. If we really wanted to make money we would have a fleet of BLS ambulances running around all day long taking people to and from the hospital and doctors offices. That would more than likely necessitate an EMS Division. I am not saying to reemerge as two departments, just divide within the organization. Maybe we can answer some of the other ailments of the EMS system.

But that is a whole other post, probably not one I will do anytime soon.
Yesterday, the crew at Station 10 had a great Thanksgiving Feast prepared by Fellowship Community Church. We ran two calls on the engine. One was an oven fire, which was out by the time we got there. The other was for a drive-by shooting on Edinburgh. It wasn’t very exciting though, luckily for the victim. The victim was shot twice in the lower back (according to the paper * I don’t want to cross the line with the HIPPAA laws that exist).

Let me tell you though, for someone who hasn’t run many EMS calls or any other calls for a long time, you learn really quick what you have forgotten. I don’t mean you remember all the stuff you forgot, you just remember you forgot it.

It has been a while since I have run a shooting, since we don’t have many in Roanoke, luckily. I do remember the days of the quadruple shootings in the “not so upstanding” places in Richmond. Those will keep you on your toes.

That is all I got. Some of the rookies have already got to see some fire. It seems as though it is becoming the busy time of the year. It resembles the first three months of the year with all the fires occurring.

Stay safe.