Curtis Hammond is the Operations Chief of Candor Emergency Squad in Candor, NY and has been active in EMS for over 20 years.
Last night, I had the privilege to help debut the NYS movie for the struggles of EMS.
Honorable but Broken: EMS in Crisis was a well put together, informative campaign movie about the struggles every EMS agency, provider, and system are currently facing, not only in NY but nationally. The number of people who came to the movie not in EMS was absolutely impressive, and they had a lot of good questions, after which opened a lot of eyes.
The movie brought to light points about:
1. EMS provider burnout and suicide
2. Staffing issues
3. Reimbursement issues
4. Mutual aid issues
5. Essential service designation
And much more!
The fact is this is not going to be solved on its own. There needs to be real change, and this is where a group of us is working hard to make this happen. I am pleased to be on the ground floor of the make EMS essential movement campaign as the vice president of the newly formed EMS Sustainability Alliance (EMSSA), which has the following mission statement:
It is our mission to ensure that every person has equitable access to quality pre-hospital care when they need it, and that every EMS professional has access to the wages and long-term benefits they need to build a viable career as a healthcare professional and first responder within this field, not outside of it.
We will be working hard to continue to show this film locally with a time for questions and discussion so that information can be made readily available and that real change can happen to support our EMS providers and systems.
Please go to www.makeemsessential.com to join the mailing list and watch for our soon to open merchandise store for shirts and gear to help get the word out.
The time for change was yesterday. It is time for us to stop just getting by with the broken system and work together to make a change.