When the Press Doesn’t Understand EMS: Issue Identification 101

This article is either a completely clueless reporter reporting on something they know nothing about, or an excellent job of hide the ball . . .

The issue here, if you look closely, is not response time – the crew made the location within 3 minutes of the call, BOTH times; nor is it any delays on scene – 20 minutes is not an inordinate delay.  The issue is why did the crew not transport the patient the first time.  There may very well be a reasonable, logical reason for this fact.  People can have a change of condition in eight minutes.  But that issue is completely ignored by the reporter.

Unfortunately, this happens the other way all too often – the press trumpets some entirely meaningless “triumph” while ignoring the real positive impact in a story.  Oh well, at least they missed the real story this time and the EMS service is doing a good public relations job deflecting what might be a legitimate criticism (or maybe not – we can’t tell from this story).  More after the jump, including the full story - link here:

Texas Ambulance Crew Defends Response Time

Rob Durham
Breckenridge American, Texas

March 25–The Breckenridge Emergency Medical Service contends they were following procedure the night of March 6 after the altercation involving Jose Reyes and local law enforcement.

The family of Reyes said the EMS unit transported Reyes from the Stephens County Law Enforcement Center and then stopped for approximately 15 minutes before arriving at Stephens Memorial Hospital.

According to the March 6 police dispatch records, EMS’ Medic One was dispatched at 1:48 a.m. to the Allsup’s convenience store because a subject, Reyes, had been sprayed and needed assistance.

The unit was in route at 1:52 a.m. and arrived at the scene at 1:55 a.m. After 13 minutes at the scene, there was no transport.

The Medic One unit was then requested by Stephens County sheriff’s deputies at the center at 2:16 a.m.

The crew was in route at 2:17 a.m. and arrived at the center at 2:19 a.m.

EMS personnel were at the center for 21 minutes before transporting Reyes to the local medical facility.

“When they are at a scene for more than 20 minutes, EMS personnel are required to file a report on why it was longer than the standard timing,” said SMH Administrator Shane Kernell. “According to the report, they were basically following the law enforcement protocol when it involves transporting prisoners.”

The unit was back in route to SMH at 2:40 a.m. and arrived at the facility at 2:43 a.m.

Kernell said the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule prevents the release of patient information and condition. However, it was released that Reyes was eventually transported by air ambulance to Hendrick Medical Center.

The case remains under investigation by Cory Lain of the Young County Texas Ranger division of the Department of Public Safety.

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