In deference to my friend Rhett Fleitz over at Fire Critic, we both saw this story and he beat me to the post. He’s got more time apparently!
I thought I’d post it anyway, but be sure to check his out as well…
An ambulance company that gets paid to transport people is crying foul after being denied help from a municipal fire department to finish their job for them.
Seems the ambulance company didn’t have enough manpower to transport a 700-lb patient from a treatment facility to her home, so they thought the fire department should step in.
The fire department told them no.
According to a report in the State Journal Register, the Springfield (IL) fire department has a policy in place denying assistance to help lift, transfer or transport patients in non-emergencies. The policy dates back to last year and is in response to injuries resulting in workers’ compensation claims for several firefighters.
The for-profit ambulance company isn’t used to being denied the bounty of free labor they previously enjoyed- and billed for.
Robert Esmond, owner of Mercy Ambulance Service in Loves Park (IL), says that Medicare and Medicaid doesn’t pay him enough to justify sending more vehicles to help the two paramedics in a single ambulance.
He calls the Springfield response “short-changing the taxpayers.”
Well, who wouldn’t love to own a for-profit business in which you can get free labor to cover what you decide you don’t want to pay for?
Sounds like a sweet gig to me!