April 12, 2011 Committee Chair Monnes Anderson and Committee members, RE: SB-213 - OPPOSED If the purpose of keeping SB-213

alive is to “gut and stuff”, we asked that you give notice to our association so EMTs across Oregon can be actively involved with the new bill. Most EMTs are volunteers and have little time to watch legislative activity that close and depend on legislators being willing to notify and work with us to improve Oregon EMS. Our members were asked if they supported or opposed current SB-213. They replied with: “Last I heard, this bill had no hope - I trust this is still true.” Rainier “My vote no. Unless we are going to have a true “licenses” to practice medicine… I’m going to let the ER doc make the decision to sit them in the waiting room.” Corvallis “I think we need a change, but putting this on us will only increase our work load, liability, and time not available for other calls.” McMinnville “I think what we now have is the best, without making the EMT's job any more difficult than it is. We have enough really to deal with than trying to find other means of transport for patients. Especially those of us working in more rural areas outside of the big cities who have the options and availability for having the alternate transportation. “… what is the EMT and responding units to do in the meantime? Stay and wait until someone else comes along to transport? “ Cascade Locks. “This bill would create more of a problem than the "problem" it is supposedly trying to alleviate!” “… some areas, such as ours, have no alternative transport: no taxis, no trains, no buses. So what would we do then, ask a not-quite-critically ill person to hitchhike 65 miles to the nearest hospital??” “I want the right to err on the side of caution...in our rural area there are few other options for transport. We do have a few people who don't truly need our service, but, oh well! We eat the cost of those calls and move on. I personally do NOT support this bill.” East Umatilla County Health District “Even when family members are available to drive the person, it sometimes constitutes a serious hazard to the motoring public to insist that a panicky relative drive someone to a hospital or clinic.” “Our frontier area has never, so far as I am aware, had an instance of being unable to transport a seriously injured or ill patient because all ambulances were engaged with non-emergency transports. As to misuse of the EMS system by those who want someone else to pay, we really don't have much of a problem here.” Marcola “If we were required to categorically refuse everyone who is defined as non-emergency it would add a financial and legal burden to us, a further frustration and hindrance to our patients, and would lessen the ability of our struggling nonprofit ambulance service to pay its own way.” “As a career paramedic and past ambulance manager, I would not support this bill.” Toledo

“Unless we are going to have a true “licenses” to practice medicine… I’m going to let the ER doc make the decision to sit them in the waiting room.” Corvallis “This is a very bad idea indeed… I could see this opening up the door to cause us the need to get mal practice insurance! and that is something first responders don’t need nor can they afford it at our current industry pay scale. I vote NO” Manzanita “ … we are taught not to do diagnose in the field, this to me says the state is relying on us to determine if the caller is really sick or not and we just don’t have those capabilities in the back of an ambulance.” Manzanita “You may have forgotten "because..." : Lyons 1) EMTs are "closer to God" and know what is needed 2) will actually probably make patients feel better on the way to the hospital 3) realize there are people who are frightened, disparately lonely, or in need of someone who cares.”
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“Quick vote from me…I vote against SB-213. It’s a legal mess…in fact it’s probably NOT legal and would just get overturned. It would be interesting to see what would happen if it passed, but it would probably lead to unnecessary deaths and legal liability for EMT’s. Nevertheless, this bill evokes a strong gut response from working medics in favor…” Portland “I having worked for both private and public ambulance services. I would say that the way this bill is written, I WOULDN'T support it because there are cases when a patient have a broken extremity(s) and need pain control enroute to the hospital. Not to mention extremity injuries are distracting injuries and they could have underlying life threading injuries. I've seen quit a few life threading injuries show themselves enroute to the ED. This is after the fire medicine has told me that they have a isolated extremity injury. On the other hand, it would be great to send a person with a paper cut on their finger, or NO medical needs POV.” Milwaukee “Not only are there liability concerns, but there is an issue of customer service. If someone is willing to private pay for an ambulance, they should be able to be served by one.” Rainier “On the surface this seems like a good idea - but when one thinks about it more deeply, it is obvious that we need different, total-systems fixes - and this isn't it. The best way to handle this issue is multifaceted: * First, fix the healthcare funding issue. (eg; universal healthcare, tort reform, et al) * Next, continue to streamline and tweak the EMS delivery system to include community healthcare, tiered response, and alternative (non-ALS) transport systems. * Finally, better enable 9-1-1 dispatchers to triage call and give them the tools (online healthcare advice, paid, non-ALS transportation, etc)” Again, if the purpose of keeping SB-213 alive is to “gut and stuff”, we asked that you give notice to our association so EMTs across Oregon can be actively involved with whatever the new bill proposes. Most EMTs, volunteers and paid staff, want to be involved with their profession. But, few have time to watch legislative activity on a daily basis. We depend on YOU, the members of the Committee, to be willing to work with us, the people delivering EMS care at the street level, to improve Oregon EMS. Sincerely,

Gary M. McLean, RN, EMT-P President, OEMSA Office: 503-318-0108