Decreased Call Volume and System Response

captaindepth

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I am reaching out to see how other operations are responding to the evolving "new normal." In my system our call volume is down, special events are canceled, and incoming revenue is down overall. As a whole we are very lucky to have the type of system where we can absorb these changes with minimal impact on street level staffing, but I have heard other systems may be furloughing employees. I heard Falck in Alameda County is considering furloughing hundreds of street medics and EMTs, can anyone confirm this? Are there other Falck operations considering similar actions? How are other systems with decreased call volumes/revenue handling the down turn? I know its totally opposite of the world changing events in NYC, Louisiana, and other hot spots but I was just curious about the other side of the coin.
 

justin1232

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I heard falk North California closed one operation due to losing a transfer contract with local hospital.
I work in Orange County California and the BLS units have been cut significantly for due to drop in ifts. ALS units luckily haven’t been cut but are we have been getting off early. I heard 911 divisions in nearby county have been cutting units during day as well due to drop in volume.
 

DesertMedic66

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The company I work for part time has been attempting to cut 4 units per day however in order to cut them both crew members on the shift must agree to go home without pay since they are guaranteed full time hours.

All special events have been cancelled which is a huge hit to the company as we do a lot of special events. No open shifts for part time employees. Overall 911 call volume is down and transfer call volume is down.

Nationwide my flight company has seen a decrease in calls however that has not been felt at my base as we are on par for our expected budgeted calls.
 

chriscemt

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My FT job has cut PT hours, but a few people have deployed to NY, so there are open shifts for those who want to work. Many PT employees have voluntarily stepped away (or simply, accepted the lack of hours) due to personal concerns.

There's been a definite drop in the transports, both 911 and IFT, and the remaining trucks have a reduced workload. So far no furloughs for FT employees. Finding some wood to knock on.
 

Aprz

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They've been asking different crews if they want to go home early. No more mandation (we used to be mandated like crazy), and they are avoiding overtime/holdover. To be honest, it is kind of awesome. I'm also thankful that I trained for a certain shift that not a lot of people are approved/trained for, and since there is no fulltimer on it, it is always overtime pay. Unlike the rest of my co-workers, I am still getting overtime because of it, haha.
 

GMCmedic

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Our flight volume is down, but whereas we used to be about 85% interfacility were now seeing 85% of the volume as scenes and the patients we are seeing are super sick.
 

DesertMedic66

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They've been asking different crews if they want to go home early. No more mandation (we used to be mandated like crazy), and they are avoiding overtime/holdover. To be honest, it is kind of awesome. I'm also thankful that I trained for a certain shift that not a lot of people are approved/trained for, and since there is no fulltimer on it, it is always overtime pay. Unlike the rest of my co-workers, I am still getting overtime because of it, haha.
What shift or type of unit is that?
 

Aprz

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DesertMedic66

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Do you guys have QRVs in your area?
Nope. The only type of specially trained shifts we have are for our local racetracks.
 

DrParasite

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Many of my former colleagues in NJ are running their *** off. FEMA was requested and has been providing additional ambulances. but the nursing homes have bodies piling up.

Down in NC, my station's call volume is down. our city station used to be busy but now we have had quite a few nohitters, especially on the overnights. the county station is also quieted down. At my part time gig, all special events are cancelled.

Realistically, EMS is not paid to answer 911 calls; EMS is paid to be available to answer 911 calls when they come in. Can you scale back on events? sure. does non-emergency runs get reduced? yep. but the 911 side of things shouldn't be shutting down trucks. But if management wants to limit OT, and not fill extra trucks that aren't being used, that's their choice. But if I was working for one of those systems, and I was asked to go home without pay because the call volume was down, that would be a hard no from me.
 
OP
captaindepth

captaindepth

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Our total call volume is down about 15-20%. Now it seems we are mostly seeing professional EMS clients and "normal people" aren't calling 911 nearly as much. The amount of non-transport refusals have gone way up as well. With summer rapidly approaching and warmer weather on the way it seems like the lull won't last forever but it sure is different times. I fear for the weekend when the stay-at-home order is lifted and all the bars open.
 

cprted

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Operationally, we're doing great. We haven't had unit unit OOS due to lack of staff in weeks. It's hurting our casual staff though that rely on FT employees being off to make a living. Everyone in cancelling holidays, education leave postponed, etc ... not much work left over for the casual work force.
 

Peak

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We’ve seen a decrease in both 911 and walk in of all of the normal not ED appropriate complaints/shenanigans across the system. Acuity is up on average both with the respiratory and non-respiratory complaints.

Ironically all of the ESI 6 complaints we used to b**** about were actually keeping a lot of the EDs and EMS systems in the state afloat and productivity has definitely taken a dive.
 

GMCmedic

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We’ve seen a decrease in both 911 and walk in of all of the normal not ED appropriate complaints/shenanigans across the system. Acuity is up on average both with the respiratory and non-respiratory complaints.

Ironically all of the ESI 6 complaints we used to b**** about were actually keeping a lot of the EDs and EMS systems in the state afloat and productivity has definitely taken a dive.
This is a world where all the facebook complaining and PSA's about appropriate ED and 911 use worked. The only difference is if this were real, a lot more healthcare workers were be unemployed. Most just fail to see the big picture when theyre complaining.
 

Peak

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This is a world where all the facebook complaining and PSA's about appropriate ED and 911 use worked. The only difference is if this were real, a lot more healthcare workers were be unemployed. Most just fail to see the big picture when theyre complaining.
I think all of those BS patients in a way are a saving grace when it comes to resource availability and staffing.

The fact that we needed so many ambulances and EDs; EMTs, medics, nurses, docs, and other emergency medicine staff has largely kept up our ability to treat patients unlike some other counties (of course excluding places like NYC and Detroit who have inadequate systems at baseline).

I would still happily never see another ESI 6 in my life. As much as it may have provided us a buffer now it is a huge detriment to the cost of healthcare and how fast we can get to and treat patients who are actually sick.

As much as the decrease in volumes may hurt us financially now, I far prefer knowing that my patients are actually sick. The care I’ve been providing in the past couple of weeks is what I actually thought I’d be doing back when I started in EMS, treating people who are genuinely sick.
 

GMCmedic

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I think all of those BS patients in a way are a saving grace when it comes to resource availability and staffing.

The fact that we needed so many ambulances and EDs; EMTs, medics, nurses, docs, and other emergency medicine staff has largely kept up our ability to treat patients unlike some other counties (of course excluding places like NYC and Detroit who have inadequate systems at baseline).

I would still happily never see another ESI 6 in my life. As much as it may have provided us a buffer now it is a huge detriment to the cost of healthcare and how fast we can get to and treat patients who are actually sick.

As much as the decrease in volumes may hurt us financially now, I far prefer knowing that my patients are actually sick. The care I’ve been providing in the past couple of weeks is what I actually thought I’d be doing back when I started in EMS, treating people who are genuinely sick.
Oh Im not encouraging the misuse at all, I just like to point out to those people that theyre usually low on the seniority totem so if they want to keep a job, they better start thinking big picture.
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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Oh Im not encouraging the misuse at all, I just like to point out to those people that theyre usually low on the seniority totem so if they want to keep a job, they better start thinking big picture.
Yeah, this is a time that I’m incredibly thankful that (despite hating every minute of it) I can work the adult ICU.
 

Ensihoitaja

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@captaindepth I believe you and I work different shifts... anecdotally my shifts have been pretty consistent volume wise and I still can’t get off on time. I don’t work during peak bar time and I don’t work rush hour and I still can’t get off on time ever.
 

Tigger

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My AMR op has cut all the part time shifts which is a bummer personally but understable. They'll send full time cars home if the crew is willing or you can go back and do admin work.

My regular job has seen the volume decrease some but still not a ton. Transports are certainly way down and our "guideline directed refusal of service" is not really even being used yet. Our two nursing homes and inpatient detox have seemed to have doubled their volume so that alone keeps things feeling painful.
 

Jim37F

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Apparently our EMS is adding "Treat and Release w/out Transport" protocol (as opposed to AMA).

They've said their overall numbers are down a bit, but are also fielding a lot of COVID calls.

Overall, just snooping on the MDT seems like calls are a bit down but not a whole lot overall
 

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