Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Masks

From Newsweek on July 22

Two recent studies looked at the relationship between personality traits and reactions to restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. Researchers found that people possessing so-called “Dark Triad” traits—narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism—were less likely to comply with restrictions or engage in preventative measures against the pandemic. However, researchers also emphasized the small role personality traits have in the overall response to pandemic restrictions, like face-mask mandates and social-distancing requirements.

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NY | Mohawk Named REMO’s EMS Agency of the Year

From EMS World on July 24

Mohawk Ambulance Service has been announced as the recipient of this year’s regional EMS Agency of the Year Award given by the Regional Emergency Medical Organization (REMO). Additionally, Edward Marchand, a member of Mohawk’s Training Center staff, was named as the recipient of this year’s Educator of Excellence award and Dr. Heidi Cordi, Mohawk’s Medical Director, received the Physician of Excellence Award.

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AJC | New COVID-19 cases push hospitals to capacity

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,  featuring AAA Board leader Chuck Kearns.

On a recent day, several ambulances packed the hospital bays outside one hospital’s emergency room, as an unusual number of paramedics waited in the hallway with their patients in cots, ready to drop them off. But there were no beds to receive them, and crews can’t leave until patients are admitted. That can take hours, said  Chuck Kearns, chief of Chatham County EMS, the region’s 911 provider.

“One patient was held for seven hours; it’s unheard of,‘’ Kearns said.

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NY Daily News | Tom Ridge: First Responders Need Us Now

From Tom Ridge’s op-ed in the NY Daily News

By the time the EMTs reached my hotel room in Austin, Tex., I was already unconscious on the floor. Moments earlier I had dragged myself to the phone and called for help as chest pains began to overwhelm me. I later learned those first responders resuscitated me more than once as they used their medical training to keep me alive until we arrived at the hospital. That’s where doctors and nurses and a lot of machines took over. I had suffered a major heart attack. The care I received at that medical center was extraordinary. But not for the immediate care I received from that small team of EMTs, I never would have made it.

That was back in 2017. I’ve since recovered and feel great, often thinking about  those heroic first responders, whom I was lucky enough to meet and personally thank a year later. I especially think of them and their colleagues today as COVID-19 creates huge budget problems for local governments that threaten their jobs and our nation’s ability to respond to this and future crises.

Ridge was governor of Pennsylvania and first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. He co-chairs the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense.

Ambulance Crews and In-Home Care Providers Seek Collaboration

From Home Health Care News

Ambulance Crews and In-Home Care Providers Seek Collaboration—Not Competition

As hospitals continue to experience overcapacity challenges due to the COVID-19 emergency, 911 ambulance crews and community paramedics have found themselves treating more patients at home.

Historically, ambulance crews and community paramedics — both of which operate in the emergency medical services (EMS) space — have always provided some degree of care in the home setting. To do so, they’ve often worked alongside traditional home health and home care agencies, too.

“There’s been a certain amount of care [or treatment] in the home for many years,” Hanan Cohen, paramedic and director of corporate development at Empress EMS, told Home Health Care News. “On the 911 system, it’s not at all uncommon for an EMS crew to respond to a multitude of emergencies. After assessing and, sometimes, treating the person, … they may decide not to go to the hospital.”

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ESO Announces Peer-Reviewed COVID-19 EMS Research

From Yahoo Finance via Cision

ESO Announces Peer-Reviewed Research Describing Characteristics of COVID-19 EMS Encounters with Linked Hospital Diagnoses

Key Findings from the Report Include:

  • COVID-19 Diagnoses and Ailments: Those with COVID-19 hospital diagnoses were more likely to present with elevated heart and respiratory rate, hypoxia and fever during the EMS encounter.
  • COVID-19 Suspicion: A COVID-19 EMS suspicion was documented for 78 percent of hospital-diagnosed COVID-19 patients.
  • Patient Origin: EMS responses for patients with COVID-19 were more likely to originate from a skilled nursing or assisted living facility.
  • PPE Usage: PPE usage by EMS was more frequently documented on records of patients who had hospital diagnosed COVID-19.
  • Dispatch Complaints: While dispatch complaints for hospital-confirmed COVID-19 patients most commonly included general illness and breathing difficulties, there were also cases dispatched as falls, chest pain, and strokes.
  • Demographic Insights: Consistent with reported in-hospital findings, African American and Hispanic patients made up a disproportionately larger number of COVID-19 diagnoses.

In Memory of Jack Stout

Updated July 20 to include a link to  Jack Stout’s obituary.

It is with heavy hearts that the American Ambulance Association shares news of the peaceful passing of EMS legend Jack Stout. Our thoughts are with the Stout family as well as Jack’s many friends and mobile healthcare colleagues. Thank you, Jack, for your leadership and vision which live on in your son, Todd, as well as in the life-saving actions of EMS professionals around the world. Rest in peace.

Read Jack Stout’s obituary in the Falls City Journal.

AJC | Ambulance companies hit hard by COVID costs

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Yamil Berard on  July 17, 2020

“We are gravely concerned that various factors related to this pandemic are pushing ambulance services to the breaking point,‘’ Georgia ambulance executive Pete Quinones wrote to a top official at the Georgia Department of Community Health.

One request by the Georgia Ambulance Providers Association has been to urge the Georgia Trauma Commission to release up to $29 million in block grants to support EMS staffing over the next six months.

“Without that, we don’t have the financial ability to keep a state of readiness,‘’ said Terence Ramotar, director of government affairs for the southeast region for American Medical Response, the exclusive 911 ambulance provider for DeKalb County.

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California’s 50 years of prehospital medicine

From EMS1 on July 14 by AAA Communications Chair Rob Lawrence

The history of our history: 50 years of prehospital medicine: A transatlantic tale of former army doctors, paramedic development, cardiac arrest survival, and Johnny and Roy

Fifty years ago, on July 15, 1970, then California Governor Ronald Reagan signed into law the Wedworth-Townsend Paramedic Act. The law created the conditions for the establishment of the first accredited paramedic training program in the United States.

The story of American paramedicine did not begin in California or even in the U.S., but in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The inspiration for this program came from World War II era British Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) Medical Officer, Professor Frank Pantridge, MD.

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CNN | Louisville mayor to be investigated for handling of protesters and EMT Breonna Taylor’s case

From CNN ‘s  “Louisville mayor to be investigated for handling of protesters and Breonna Taylor’s case” on July 16

The Government Oversight and Audit Committee (GOA) of the Louisville Metro Council filed an order Monday to officially launch an investigation “into the action and inaction of the Fischer Administration,” according to a press release from the city.
Though it has not happened yet and there is no timeline to finish the investigation, the GOA plans to subpoena former Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Steve Conrad and current Chief Robert Schroeder as part of their investigation, according to the release.
CNN has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment.
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot eight times after police broke down the door to her apartment while executing a nighttime warrant in a narcotics investigation on March 13.

AAA’s Terence Ramotar on Morning Joe

Terence Ramotar, President of the Florida Ambulance Association and AAA Board member, discusses how the coronavirus crisis in Florida is impacting ambulance services on MSNBC’s Morning Joe!

This morning, AAA Alternate Director and Florida Ambulance Association President Terence Ramotar made a compelling case…

Posted by American Ambulance Association on Thursday, July 16, 2020

2020 Ambulance Ride-Along Toolkit

AAA ambulance emt member legislation

2020 Ride-Along Toolkit Now Available!

Educating your members of Congress about ambulance industry issues makes them more likely to support our policy efforts. An easy and effective way to educate them is to invite them to participate in a local Ambulance Ride-Along!

Congress is adjourned this week and will then again starting on August 7 for an entire month with members of Congress returning home to their districts and states. This is the perfect opportunity for you to educate your members of Congress about our issues, in particular the need for additional COVID-19 financial relief, reimbursement for Treatment in Place during the pandemic, access to FEMA Public Assistance grants and coverage for all paramedics and EMTs under the Public Safety Officers Benefit (PSOB) program.

The most effective way to deliver these key messages is to host your member of Congress or their staff on a tour of your operation and an ambulance ride-along. While COVID-19 has made a traditional ride-along difficult, you can still host them for a virtual site visit to show your operation and how you are handling the public health emergency. The AAA has made the process of arranging a ride-long or scheduling a meeting easy for you with our 2020 Congressional Ride-Along Toolkit.

Everything you need to arrange the ride-along or schedule a meeting during this time of social distancing and virtual participation is included in the Toolkit. Act now and invite your elected officials to join you on an Ambulance Ride-Along!

CNN | COVID-19 Data Will Be Sent to Trump Administration, Not CDC

From CNN’s “Coronavirus hospital data will now be sent to Trump administration instead of CDC” on July 15.

Hospital data on coronavirus patients will now be rerouted to the Trump administration instead of first being sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

The move could make data less transparent to the public at a time when the administration is downplaying the spread of the pandemic, and threatens to undermine public confidence that medical data is being presented free of political interference.

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For-profit providers have to pay taxes on COVID-19 relief grants

From Modern Healthcare on July 13, 2020

The IRS clarified that for-profit healthcare providers will have to pay taxes on the grants they received from the COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund.

The two laws that set aside $175 billion in grants to help providers cover lost revenue and coronavirus-related expenses didn’t explicitly state that the funds would be taxable. However, the IRS issued guidance stating that the grants are taxable income days before a tax filing deadline on July 15. The change means that grants to for-profit healthcare providers including hospitals and independent physician practices will be subject to the 21% corporate tax rate.

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Play Is A Gripping Reminder Of What First Responders Are Going Through

From WBUR Boston on July  13, 2020

Ed, a paramedic, hates the word “hero.” Played by veteran actor Jamey Sheridan in the Public Theater’s virtual play, “The Line,” Ed tells us that hero is a word “we use in the face of fear that separates us.” He’s been working in the field for 26 years and his cut-to-the-chase approach to life is indicative of what he’s endured. Ed and his colleagues typically “thrive in chaos,” but COVID-19, they soon learn, is no ordinary monster. The tumult it creates leaves an indelible mark on him and everyone else.

“The Line,” a documentary theater piece written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, is an enthralling collection of seven stories gleaned from interviews, via Skype or FaceTime, with a diverse group of New York city health-care workers that details the fear, frenzy and loss they’ve gone through during the pandemic.

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Cleveland EMS crews win PTSD coverage, $3.7M in back pay

From Cleveland 19 News on July 13, 2020

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – A fight for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder coverage years in the making has ended with a win for Cleveland paramedics, EMTs and dispatchers.

A union contract for Cleveland EMS just passed, under an agreement out of court that still needs to be ratified by city council.

The agreement includes about $3.7 million in back pay for employees and mental health language, addressing PTSD.

CARE has been negotiating their contract since March of 2016.

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CNBC | Why Ambulance Rides Are So Expensive In The United States

Thank you to American Ambulance Association Payment Reform Chair Asbel Montes for eloquently representing the EMS perspective on surprise coverage in this video from CNBC:


It’s an open secret in America that calling for an ambulance can be a financial gamble because of surprise bills. There’s no way for patients to know how much an ambulance will cost before they get inside the vehicle, and the final bill can be thousands of dollars. Here’s why ambulances are so expensive in the United States and what can be done to change it.

Covid-19 Is Bankrupting American Companies at a Relentless Pace

From Bloomberg on July 9, 2020.

Retailers, airlines, restaurants. But also sports leagues, a cannabis company and an archdiocese plagued by sex-abuse allegations. These are some of the more than 110 companies that declared bankruptcy in the U.S. this year and blamed Covid-19 in part for their demise.

Many were in deep financial trouble even before governors ordered non-essential businesses shut to help contain the spread of the virus. Most will reorganize and emerge from court smaller and less-indebted. The hardest hit, however, are selling off assets and closing for good.

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