Monthly Archives: August 2013

Things I have learned Part I

Paying for a service is always tough.  People get sick or are injured and need transport to a hospital.  It is assumed that “someone” will take the person to the hospital.  For 50+ years throughout most of the USA that has been an ambulance, sometimes a private service, sometimes a service operated by the local fire department, sometimes an independent ambulance service , and sometimes a hospital service.  It is always assumed that transport will be available and will respond.  And transport happens sometimes by a paid group of responders, sometimes by volunteers, and sometimes a mix of paid and volunteer people.  The big question is who should pay for this transport?  The assumption of most people seems to be “somebody else” the municipality, or the county, or the fire district, or an ambulance district, or the state government.                 When ambulance services first started, most local organizations had to fight for funding to pay for the vehicles and equipment and fuel.  The value of the ambulance and rescue services have become obvious to governing bodies over the years so that bake sales and car washes don’t have to be held so that there will be gasoline in the vehicle the next time a call comes in.  However, an equitable distribution of costs remains an elusive goal,perhaps unobtainable.  Funding always needs to be defended when the county or city or state starts the yearly budget process.

Another thank you

To all those people who have shared their stories, memories, contacts, and memorabilia, a heartfelt thank you.  Your sharing with me has helped keep the memory of you and your contemporaries alive.  The modern EMS system would not have been possible without your efforts.  I am in awe of what folks accomplished with such limited resources when the services began and struggled to survive.

Elwood L Schmidt, MD

Thank you.

Well I said the state was big.  Many of those miles between places have ambulance and rescue responses from volunteers, putting in lots of time to learn what to do, practicing what to do, testing to show they know what to do, and most importantly, doing their Emergency Medical Services duties. The book is a big thank you to all these people in towns and cities, small and large.