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Morning Lineup – January 7

Monday Morning – Where Did the Ambulance Go?

If you haven't scrolled down that far yet, one of my last postings yesterday was about still another stolen ambulance.  I am getting a little puzzled over why this sort of stuff is still happening when some low-cost prevention devices are readily available and easily installed.  A few years back it was understandable why the ambulance agencies were unaware of thievery because it just didn't happen.  You could park at the entrance bay of any hospital, big city or small town, and not be concerned about somebody vandalizing or burgling the unit while you were inside the hospital.  And the same went for on-scene activities.

But times have changed drastically in the past 8 or 10 years as a new generation has grown up untrained by their parents to know right from wrong, and without the decency to respect the sick and helpless.  Instead, some of them harbor an animosity toward other people instead of compassion, and along with everything else we have been witnessing the previously-unheard of acts of ambulance stealing.  It is happening so frequently now that I don't get to report on all of them, nor do I even learn about all of them.

(file photo)

Reasons, causes and excuses aside, I am especially mystified about why ambulance operators do not take the counter-measures to protect their property and patients by installing the anti-theft devices.  When I first started writing this blog nearly six years ago, it was understandable that many agencies were unaware of the growing trend of ambulance-stealing.  In fact, many small, privately-owned EMS companies had never even heard of such a thing happening.  That is mostly their fault for choosing to live in a cocoon and not participate in any trade orgaizations or EMS group activities where vital information is passed along among the members or attendees.  It's a shame to invest all the money and sweat equity into getting your little family-run business up and running, and then fail to interact with others to not only find out what pitfalls are opening up, but to be able to improve your service to your patients as well.

But what about the biggies in the business who know full well what's going on?  Yesterday's theft involved an AMR unit, probably the largest emergency ambulance operator in the country.  They not only know about this rash of criminal activity going on, but they have been victim to it untold numbers of times over the past few years.   And yet it happened again.  It is entirely possible that yesterday's target ambo. did have the special door locks or transmission lock installed that weren't activated by the crew.  It wasn't reported whether that was the case, but whichever occurred, there is some serious carelessness going on.  There are still a lot of EMS folks who need to be clued in and start taking this more seriously.  Sez Firegeezer.

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I have a brief update on the NHL labor contract completion that was announced yesterday (see Firegeezer HERE and HERE).  For the next couple of days or so, there won't be much to report on while the squads of lawyers write out the new agreement and the responsible parties initial the clauses and sign the papers.  The NHL did release another statement last night that says in part:

The League did not announce the start date of the season or the number of games each team will play. Various reports suggest teams will play either 50-game schedules or 48-game schedules, depending on the date on which the season starts. Those details will be announced soon, Commissioner Bettman said.

The deal, agreed to at approximately 4:40 a.m., was announced jointly by Commissioner Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr in the same hotel conference room where the negotiations were conducted with the assistance of Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director for Mediation Services for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

"Don Fehr and I are here to tell you that we have reached an agreement on the framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the details of which need to be put to paper," Commissioner Bettman said. "We have to dot a lot of I's and cross a lot of T's. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the basic framework has been agreed upon.

"We have to go through a ratification process and the Board of Governors has to approve it from the League side and, obviously, the players have to approve it as well. We are not in a position to give you information right now about schedule, when we are starting. It's early in the morning and we have been at this all day and all night, obviously. But, we will be back to you very shortly, hopefully, later today with more information in that regard."

The Board of Governors (the owners) is expected to meet later this week to conduct its ratification process.

Now let's get our checksheet clipboards out and start crossing our own T's while we get the equipment ready.  It's Monday, remember, so the long checksheet is required today.   I will make sure the Bunn-O-Matic is up to it and then meet you back in the digital day room.

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