Cheaper Than Hiring EMTs
ACCORDING TO LOCAL NEWS reports, the City of Downey, California, located in the southeastern corner of Los Angeles County, wants to continue going it alone – but on the cheap – when it comes to fire and emergency ambulance services.
Recently the city council rebuffed a proposal to merge the fire department with the County's as so many other communities have already done. Currently the department, which operates out of four fire stations, also provides emergency medical service with two paramedic ambulances and one BLSU. The units are backed up by firefighter/paramedics on the engines and truck co.
On August 27 the city approved a plan generated by the fire chief to makeover the department's EMS procedures, including purchasing two more BLSUs to add to the sole basic unit now operating. In addition the drivers of the three BLSUs, currently firefighters, will be replaced with civilian ambulance driver by creating a new position within the department, Ambulance Driver.
The new plan calls for hiring 12 new Ambulance Drivers who will be providing 24-hr.- coverage on the three BLSUs, thus freeing up the firefighter/EMTs that have been driving the units previously. The Downey Beat reports: The hourly pay for an ambulance driver ranges from about $10 to $11.50 an hour. The new drivers will allow the city to save money as compared to the cost of the outside technicians.
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