Tell me I'm wrong. Tell me I was mistaken.

The Possum

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I'm waiting for my orientation to begin at AMR. In the meantime I was going to work a few shifts for a small BLS firm in the general area where I live. It's actually about 42 mi from my house to their station. They did not have trousers that would fit me so I had to buy my own. That was $55. They told me to come in for orientation on a Saturday at 3:00. I have a lot of experience as an EMT but I'm just coming back to the field.

I arrived at their facility expecting to check out the ambulance and get ready for a 12-hour swing shift. Instead I was told that we would not be working BLS. In fact we would be working on a psychiatric guerney van. I was a bit surprised by this and taken back as this was not what I had been expecting. I was then told that there was no air conditioning in the van. It was 100° where the station was and our first pickup for our first call was in a town 50 mi east of us called Antioch. It was currently 105° in Antioch. I was then told by the trainer who was orienting me that the psychiatric van needed new master brake cylinder and as I was checking out the vehicle the check engine light was on and so was the oil change light. The vehicle had 312,000 mi on it.

I told the trainer I don't feel safe doing this. I don't believe this is a safe vehicle to drive to Antioch and then subsequently on a 100-mile transport to Sacramento California. I asked why we could not switch into any of the other ambulances or vehicles that they had. There were about four other vehicles. I was then told that was not an option. The trainer then said to me the call is coming up and you need to make a decision. Are you going to run the call or not? I told him there was no way I was going to put myself in that position and I did not feel safe doing it. He said okay then. So I take it you're refusing the call? And I said yeah I'm done I'm out.

I currently work in a large industrial facility as a health and safety officer. So I do know a lot about health and safety as I also have a bachelor's degree in public health. I did not feel this was a safe situation for myself, my partner or the patient.

Am I wrong?
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
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Based on what you said, to hell with that operation that would treat their staff and patients with such disregard. Report them to the state.
 
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The Possum

The Possum

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Based on what you said, to hell with that operation that would treat their staff and patients with such disregard. Report them to the state.
I worked at AMR for 10 years. No ambulance went in to service without air conditioning. Even when it was 70° out. I can't even imagine transporting a psychiatric patient over 100 mi if it's 105° in the rig. That would probably agitate them even more. I walked away and was made to feel terrible by their operations manager who called me afterwards and berated me. That's fine. I have my AMR rehire orientation next month. No loss. No loss.
 

Aprz

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Is it Eagle?
 

ffemt8978

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I'm waiting for my orientation to begin at AMR. In the meantime I was going to work a few shifts for a small BLS firm in the general area where I live. It's actually about 42 mi from my house to their station. They did not have trousers that would fit me so I had to buy my own. That was $55. They told me to come in for orientation on a Saturday at 3:00. I have a lot of experience as an EMT but I'm just coming back to the field.

I arrived at their facility expecting to check out the ambulance and get ready for a 12-hour swing shift. Instead I was told that we would not be working BLS. In fact we would be working on a psychiatric guerney van. I was a bit surprised by this and taken back as this was not what I had been expecting. I was then told that there was no air conditioning in the van. It was 100° where the station was and our first pickup for our first call was in a town 50 mi east of us called Antioch. It was currently 105° in Antioch. I was then told by the trainer who was orienting me that the psychiatric van needed new master brake cylinder and as I was checking out the vehicle the check engine light was on and so was the oil change light. The vehicle had 312,000 mi on it.

I told the trainer I don't feel safe doing this. I don't believe this is a safe vehicle to drive to Antioch and then subsequently on a 100-mile transport to Sacramento California. I asked why we could not switch into any of the other ambulances or vehicles that they had. There were about four other vehicles. I was then told that was not an option. The trainer then said to me the call is coming up and you need to make a decision. Are you going to run the call or not? I told him there was no way I was going to put myself in that position and I did not feel safe doing it. He said okay then. So I take it you're refusing the call? And I said yeah I'm done I'm out.

I currently work in a large industrial facility as a health and safety officer. So I do know a lot about health and safety as I also have a bachelor's degree in public health. I did not feel this was a safe situation for myself, my partner or the patient.

Am I wrong?
You're wrong...you're mistaken.

But not in this case.
 

Aprz

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Oh, United Ambulance already has a bad reputation. I'm not surprised at all.
 

supreme

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United Ambulance in Hayward.
LOL

This is standard practice for United Ambulance previously known as United Transport (gurney vans/wheelchair vans).

United Ambulance will have EMTs staff a gurney/wheelchair van if they do not have enough call volume or staff to justify running an ambulance for the entire shift. United Ambulance doesn't want to pay you for 4 hours since they called you in (per CA law).

You were totally justified in not doing the transport. This is especially shady since if the patient is going by gurney, it is most likely private pay (I can't recall any insurance companies covering a gurney transport) and who would want to pay for a 1-2 hour transport without AC?

I wonder if this is reportable. Since according to CA law, "Litter vans shall be equipped with at least the following: Controlled heating and air conditioning system in the passenger compartment."

I feel sorry since I'm sure United Ambulance got some other employees to run the call and also for the patient since that must have been a VERY uncomfortable ride.


Side note:
Having a psychiatric gurney van does not make sense at all. If the psych patient has to go by gurney, wouldn't that automatically qualify for a BLS ambulance? Otherwise couldn't the patient just go by taxi?
 
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DrParasite

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hey @The Possum: did you quit? Because I agree with you, no way I was going to be in that truck for 12 hours.

in the world of private EMS, there are definitely some penalty boxes that you get stuck with... and it's not just private EMS....

Personally, If I show up for an IFT shift, and they say you're doing wheelchair van runs for EMS pay, I'm game. less paperwork, less headaches, and it's something different. but, as you experienced, I'm not riding in an unsafe truck or one without AC. You have another job right? so this was just extra cash? I would have walked into the supervisor's office, or the dispatcher if there was no supervisor on, and told them of my concerns. and if I was blown off, I would have given them my ID and went home, and been on the phone with the state office of EMS the next day. hopefully with the first and last names of everyone I spoke to. let them investigate. it's not worth you getting jammed up because the company wanted to play fast and lose with the rules
 
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The Possum

The Possum

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LOL

This is standard practice for United Ambulance previously known as United Transport (gurney vans/wheelchair vans).

United Ambulance will have EMTs staff a gurney/wheelchair van if they do not have enough call volume or staff to justify running an ambulance for the entire shift. United Ambulance doesn't want to pay you for 4 hours since they called you in (per CA law).

You were totally justified in not doing the transport. This is especially shady since if the patient is going by gurney, it is most likely private pay (I can't recall any insurance companies covering a gurney transport) and who would want to pay for a 1-2 hour transport without AC?

I wonder if this is reportable. Since according to CA law, "Litter vans shall be equipped with at least the following: Controlled heating and air conditioning system in the passenger compartment."

I feel sorry since I'm sure United Ambulance got some other employees to run the call and also for the patient since that must have been a VERY uncomfortable ride.


Side note:
Having a psychiatric gurney van does not make sense at all. If the psych patient has to go by gurney, wouldn't that automatically qualify for a BLS ambulance? Otherwise couldn't the patient just go by taxi?

I asked why this was not BLS instead of guerney van. I have never seen a 5150 PT transported in a van like that. My question was never answered and I kept asking it until I told them I would not do the call. I worked at a big corporate ambulance company in the 911 system. I never saw a 5150 taken in a wheelchair/guerney van once.
 
OP
The Possum

The Possum

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hey @The Possum: did you quit? Because I agree with you, no way I was going to be in that truck for 12 hours.

in the world of private EMS, there are definitely some penalty boxes that you get stuck with... and it's not just private EMS....

Personally, If I show up for an IFT shift, and they say you're doing wheelchair van runs for EMS pay, I'm game. less paperwork, less headaches, and it's something different. but, as you experienced, I'm not riding in an unsafe truck or one without AC. You have another job right? so this was just extra cash? I would have walked into the supervisor's office, or the dispatcher if there was no supervisor on, and told them of my concerns. and if I was blown off, I would have given them my ID and went home, and been on the phone with the state office of EMS the next day. hopefully with the first and last names of everyone I spoke to. let them investigate. it's not worth you getting jammed up because the company wanted to play fast and lose with the rules

I have a corporate job for an energy company as a Radiation Safety officer. This was play money and just extra cash while wife was working on weekends. I told them, "I am out." Then as I drove home, the operations guy called me and told me I was terminated (Oh well). I feel like calling EMS. Maybe I should. This was really all bad. It seemed that way when I was told to take off my class B uniform and wear a T-Shirt on the call.......Wow........
 

DrParasite

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Then as I drove home, the operations guy called me and told me I was terminated (Oh well). I feel like calling EMS. Maybe I should. This was really all bad. It seemed that way when I was told to take off my class B uniform and wear a T-Shirt on the call.......Wow........
You should call the EMS office. tell them what happened, and let them investigate. I'm not going to say you are right, or the company is wrong, or that anything will come of it, but it's best to have a regulating entity ask questions.

It's very easy for a private EMS agency to treat a part time employee like crap... it's much harder for them to to that to the State's EMS agency.

BTW, make sure you get paid for the time you were on shift; otherwise, you should definitely call the department of labor and have them investigate too. and definately write down what happened, dates and times, who you spoke to, what rig number it was, etc. investigators love have that documentation when they ask shady companies questions
 

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