Ambulance War: Dixie Ambulance speaks out; STGnews Videocast

ST. GEORGE – After nearly two years, the  long battle over which ambulance company best serves St. George continues. Last week a 66-page recommendation was sent to the Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, choosing Gold Cross over Dixie Ambulance. The recommendation lauds Gold Cross as the superior emergency medical service provider the city deserves, while blasting Dixie Ambulance for being “woefully inadequate” in many areas relating to patient care, which ultimately places it in violation of state law.

The recommendation was written by Maxwell Miller, who acted as the presiding officer over a hearing between the two ambulance services from Dec. 3-6, 2012. He agrees with the arguments put forth by Gold Cross’s lawyers and witnesses that Dixie Ambulance lacks the proper staffing, response times, protocols and finances needed to be in compliance with state code. During the hearing, Gold Cross’s lawyers also asked the presiding officer to recommend that Dixie Ambulance’s 911 paramedic transport licenses be revoked.

The management of Dixie Ambulance does not agree with the assessment, and go as far as to call the hearing a “kangaroo court” and the recommendation a “ridiculous document.”  They also feel pieces of testimony and evidence were ignored. They are now speaking out.

The entire recommendation can be read here.

On Jan. 24, a large box full of documents and recorded testimony from Dixie Ambulance was delivered to the City of St. George for review. Testimonies from the December hearing are also being posted to YouTube for public view.

“The gloves and the mufflers have come off,” said Mac Miller, Dixie Ambulance’s public information officer.

This whole process started when Gold Cross Ambulance submitted an application to BEMS to take over 911 paramedic transport in St. George in June 2011.

Story continues below

Videocast by Sarafina Amodt, St. George News

“First of all, big picture; speaking to the recommendation,” Dixie Ambulance’s Mac Miller said, “it reads as a sales prospectus-slash-advocacy letter for Gold Cross.”

The recommendation says nothing about actual patient care or patient outcome, he said, but rather points out every undotted “i” and uncrossed “t” it could hold against Dixie Ambulance. Gold Cross is given a gold star by comparison.

One of the major points of argument brought up in the hearing was over the “controversial” two-paramedic rule, which relates directly to accusations of inadequate staffing.

The controversial staffing rule

During the Dec. 3-6, 2012, hearing, Gold Cross’s lawyers asked Presiding Officer Miller to recommend to BEMS that Dixie Ambulance have its 911 paramedic licenses revoked because it violated state-mandated ambulance staffing rules – namely what is known as the “two-paramedic rule.”

Since November 2010, Dixie Ambulance has had one paramedic and one EMT in an ambulance. State code requires that two paramedics be at the scene of an incident to care for a critical patient. The two paramedics are also to accompany the critical patient in the ambulance to the hospital.

“Utah is the only state that thinks it takes two paramedics to equal one brain,” said Chief Tom Kuhlmann, Hurricane Valley Fire Special Service District. He testified that the fire district also staffs one paramedic per vehicle.

Guy Dansie, EMS system program manager for BEMS, said the state has issued waivers to this rule, particularly to rural agencies, allowing for one paramedic per vehicle.

Tony Randall, president of Dixie Ambulance, said Paul Patrick, director of BEMS, had given verbal approval for Dixie Ambulance to operate with one paramedic per ambulance. Additional testimony was given in support of the verbal waiver from Patrick; but without any actual documentation to back up those testimonies, Presiding Officer Miller wrote in the recommendation that he was wary to reply on words alone.

“Now, (Presiding Officer Miller) would ask after each testimony: ‘Do you have that in writing?’” Dixie Ambulance’s Mac Miller said. “Well, (in) lawyer speak: if it’s not written down, it didn’t happen.”

Ultimately, Presiding Officer Miller ruled that Dixie Ambulance was in violation of the staffing rule.

Three people are mentioned in the recommendation as testifying to the verbal waiver, those being Randall, fellow Dixie Ambulance owner Mike Miller, and Kuhlmann.

Not mentioned in the recommendation is the testimony of Capt. Arnold Butcher of the Davis County Sheriff’s Office. Butcher is the commander of DCSO’s Patrol/Paramedic Division. He testified the deputy-paramedics are also staffed one per vehicle. Two paramedics are always dispatched when an incident occurs, yet a second one is only needed between 25 and 35 percent of the time, he said.

Butcher said this method of staffing was also deemed appropriate by Patrick – yet, like the others, he also lacked written verification.

Dixie Ambulance’s Mac Miller said that, while Dixie Ambulance did not receive a written waiver, it has a recording of a conversation in which he identifies the voices as Patrick and Randall. He said that this recording proves the company’s staffing method was discussed on the date of the recording, which he said was March 29, 2011.

[powerpress]

In extensive interviews with parties and others related to the “ambulance war” issues, and in testimony at the hearings, no retraction of the approved arrangement indicated in the audio provided has been made; rather, it has been interpreted in various ways and challenged as not binding because the arrangement was not made in writing. Mac Miller said the recording was not submitted into evidence during the hearing.

New rules

“Actually, we’re working on revising the rules throughout the state,” said Guy Dansie, EMS system program manager for BEMS.  Utah is the only state that still employs the two-paramedic rule, he said, though the new rules could change that. The new rules should also clear up potential staffing issues, he said.

However, the rules are not retroactive, Patrick said, and any new rules that may be friendly to Dixie Ambulance will not be applied when BEMS makes its final ruling.

“Let’s reassert the fact,” Mac Miller said, “that (Dixie Ambulance complies) with the law as it is written now. We have two paramedics on every paramedic call. We are in compliance. That being said, the statute is going to change – which won’t require two paramedics.”

License modification vs. revocation

If Gold Cross is granted a 911 paramedic license for St. George, Patrick said Dixie Ambulance’s own license would not be revoked, but modified to no longer cover the specified area.

If Dixie Ambulance is found to be in violation of state EMS rules, Patrick said the license may be subject to a form of discipline and not necessarily revocation. However, if revocation occurs as Gold Cross’s lawyers argued it should, then Dixie Ambulance loses its ability to operate altogether.

Utah code does not allow for the creation of “orphaned areas” due to the removal of an EMS provider. Areas involved can issue an RFP, or Request For Proposal, which is basically a call for bids from ambulance companies.

While the RFP process and/or transition to a new provider takes place, the recommendation states Gold Cross has already committed to provide service in the so-called orphaned areas until a more permanent solution is settled upon.

Calls to Gold Cross Ambulance concerning the recommendation were referred to the Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com
Twitter: @MoriKessler

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26 Comments

  • Cindy February 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    So if I have an emergency and need to be taken to the hospital can I refuse Gold Cross and request Dixie Ambulance?

  • Tyler February 1, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Wow! What a recording. The head of Dixie Ambulance talking about how to gouge insurance companies. Why on earth would they release this.

  • Sherri February 2, 2013 at 12:29 am

    It is about time that Dixie is asked to actually prove that patient care is a priority. Dixie has old equipment, charges more and is understaffed. They have been encouraged for years to make the service safer. People’s lives are at stake. It is time to require ambulance service to rise above the least standard they can get away with.

  • Paramedic February 2, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Dixie ambulance has had YEARS of opportunity to improve their standards. I worked there 10 years ago for a scrapping 10 dollars an hour as a medic. Everyone had one or two other jobs just to pay the bills… Fast forward 10 years. They STILL pay around 10 $ hr and all the medic STILL have two or more jobs just to live!!! Also, they don’t provide benefits, (insurance, 401k, etc.) never have! They (dixie ambulance) know there is a college right down the street (Dixie college) that pumps out 10-15 new paramedics every year… So who cares if you leave.. There is always 20 other medics waiting in the wings to do your job. Therefore.. They have very high turn over.. Very few “seasoned experienced” medics… Moral is atrocious! I’m sorry.. It is impossible to provide “top notch” service for ANY business in that environment. They “easily” could have made it more “employee” friendly by paying a more competitive wage and offering benefits to full time employees. But they had no incentive .. The employee never was/is more… Or even as important then making money for them-self. Don’t take my word for it … Do your homework and ask the 100s of medics and emts that had to move on so they didn’t have to work two and three jobs. Oh and by the way .. this works perfect for Dixie ambulance because every time someone quits … Which is quite often .. They could hire the next victim at “starting” wages. Thus avoiding having to give yearly raises. Etc. very sad way to run a business. Very sad indeed!!! It is time for .. At least.. some competition to make it a fair playing field. Dixie balance has had the monopoly .. And has abused that blessing upon the backs of caring emts and medics just trying to make difference and a living !!!!

  • Ron C. de Weijze February 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I agree with City Council member Jimmie Hughes that “it would be a travesty if Dixie Ambulance loses their license”. The reporter to whom he told this, must have changed it to tragedy for that is the word in the article, ““We have a lot of say in that as a local community, and I think it would be a tragedy to get rid of Dixie Ambulance,” Councilman Jimmie Hughes said after riding along with a company ambulance earlier in the week”.

    The tragedy would be that the local Emergency Medical Services provider would be pushed out of business. The travesty would be that this would be the result of apparently preconceived political payoffs between the Senator or one of the cronies, and the lobbyists expecting something in return of their efforts or expenses, such as a lucrative contract to provide EMS services on a grander scale.

    When politicians are elected into office and they have their mandates safe and secure, can they really forget about the people and the local businesses, especially when these have never been perceived as less than excellent? It is ethics versus politics. They are completely unrelated, yet the latter can brush aside if not railroad the former. No quality patient care at DAS? More than GC. Old boys network at DAS? Not a fraction of the same at GC, probably!

    An official hearing (for the attendants at the time called “informal”) was worked into a Recommended Final Order by Presiding Officer Maxwell Miller who is friends with Gold Cross lead attorney Alan Sullivan. The other (local) attorney for Gold Cross is Utah State Senator Steve Urquhart. He is friends with Michael Moffitt, President of Gold Cross Ambulance. According to sworn testimony he was asked by City Councilman Jon Pike to conduct a review of DAS.

    Crony capitalism seems to forget about the electorate and the limitations of mandates. Unfortunately the legal system somehow must be on in it. How else could Presiding Officer Maxwell Miller who wrote the Recommended Final Offer apply the first principle of justice, independent confirmation or Truth, so awkwardly? Finding of Facts is only about DAS. How about the lost cases of GC against Salt Lake City? What GC promises verbally at the hearing is called “fact” 100 times.

    The whole piece reads like closing a deal that was made out of reach of the people who nonetheless apparently voted for the makers of the deal, who now fail to account for their decision making, especially to the family that has served the community for 30 years so well. How can they pull their financial records and hold them against “facts” that have not happened yet as in “causal” versus “final” argumentation? That is only wishful thinking, not “conclusions of law”.

    Facts can never be factual “before-the-fact”. And when we study the public records of Salt Lake City versus Gold Cross, which they lost, and other cases, those ARE facts and they are no reason for a marketing exercise or a sales pitch for GC. Jubilant about newly bough fat gadgets that have not proved themselves as effective as standard operational procedures of 30 years of DAS, is no attitude expected in a Recommended Final Order. That is boy’s toys talk.

    Highly questionable is what is called and called again by endless repetition, “fact” what can only stem from the Senator’s level with a complete disregard for the facts that people of St George produced “on the ground” with their experience of 30 years, in the informal hearing, later renamed formal without consent of the people, to speed up the decision making. De-facto takeover by GC of DAS is completely de-jure, which is not justice or even proper politics.

    • paramedic February 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Ethics? Are you kidding me? You mean the ethical low dollar EMT and Paramedic wages that virtually have remained the same for over ten years at Dixie ambulance? Ya! that certainly is ethical! AND all the while ALL other services that pay full time medics and EMT’s pay far more throughout the county and state!!!? Those ethics? Or the fact you have to work another job to receive any health care or benefits because Dixie Ambulance refused to provide ANY to their employees…those ethics? Or the fact they encouraged “high turnover” rates to avoid having to deal with yearly raises and vacation payouts…those ethics? I’m sorry sir… but you may be friends with the owners of Dixie ambulance… but it was not Dixie ambulance that served the community… it was the medics and Emt’s that served the community… despite the ridiculous conditions they (Dixie ambulance) has refused to address for YEARS! Stop dodging the facts…they have benefited on a monopoly down here… with no regards to the employees… why doesn’t anyone ask what the “lowly EMT or Medic” thinks? Ethics? Give me a break!

      • Pamala Englert February 2, 2013 at 4:28 pm

        Wages and benefits is a private issue between employers and employees only, not elected city and state officials. While your service as a Paramedic is greatly appreciated, your issue is a private issue. What occurs now is a political issue. Any employee of any company always have the opportunity to seek other employment when they are displeased with their wages and benefits, apparently what you did. I hope you found what you were seeking in your new employment. As a long-time business consultant, I have rarely encountered a company where many employees were not happy with their wages and benefits. If a State Senator is allowed to intervene where wages and benefits is a concern of employees within any private company, then God help us all. And no, I am not affiliated with, employed by or related to anybody at either DAS or Gold Cross. Thank you.

        • Paraminnick February 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm

          I would say try and find any elected official that does not have a goal of bringing more higher paying jobs to the areas they represent. We hear the President talk of creating jobs, we hear the governor talk of creating jobs, and yes we hear mayors and town coucils talk of more higher paying jobs.

  • Alvin February 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    One thing is for sure, there will be no guaranty as to what kind of service Gold Cross will provide if they win out on this issue. Just because there might be a new provider doesn’t mean that they will provide better service. Maybe they go gangbusters for a bit and impress everybody before fizzling out. Who Knows what will happen? However, I know they will follow Utah Administrative Code R426-16 as to how much they will bill out. Regardless of past service or future service the max billing rate will apply to all who use the ambulance service here. That’s where the money is and that’s why this fight started in the first place. There is a bunch of money to be made in this business and where’s there is money, politics and legal battles will follow.

  • Paraminnick February 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    If this is a “lucrative contract” as said by many, then what has Dixie done with it. In Utah the State regulates the cost of ambulance transportation. Your bill will be the same no matter who transports you. So if Gold Cross says we want this St George contract knowing they will get the exact same amount of money that Dixie ambulance currently gets should say a lot. Gold Cross is wanting to go from 2 paramedics on at any given time (Dixie’s current staffing) to 8 paramedics staffed at all times. They have always provided medical, dental, life insurance and a company contributed 401k. So ask yourself if Gold Cross under oath has agreed to this then what is Dixie Ambulance currently doing with its money if not using it to take care of its current employees. They deserve better and since most will be hired by Gold Cross now is your time to trully stand behind your local Paramedics. So much dedication to one family when we know the employees of this company now have the chance to be supported by the largest Utah owned paramedic service, to be compensated at a good wage and finally have benefits. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are supoorting a local company when you aren’t supporting its employees who are the real everyday heros.

    • Ron C. de Weijze February 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Paraminnick, the biggest assets of an Emergency Medical Services provider are the emergency medical transport service licenses they hold. That value can be different from one company to the next, depending on what the patients believe they are worth. At the informal or secretly formal hearing it was clear that the citizens from St George think highly of the services provided by DAS. When you read the Recommended Final Order by the friend of GC’s attorney Alan Sullivan, Maxwell Miller, you will find that GC cares more about the “industry standards” of their newly acquired software that automatically does what DAS paramedics have been doing manually or by radio for the last 30 years without complaints. Adam Dunn, attorney for Dixie Ambulance, said if the licenses weren’t valuable, Gold Cross wouldn’t spend so much money on lawyers to try and obtain them through litigation. The bucks do not flow in from what the contracts are about. They are linked to the structures of big and bigger government, where the real prize is monopoly. Ever played that game?

      • Paramedic February 3, 2013 at 10:06 am

        The citizens ALSO have no clue the paramedics and emts have been getting screwed by dixie ambulance for over a decade now!!! If the “average” citizen of St.George knew the conditions we were and are required to work at Dixie Ambulance Vrs virtually every other paramedic service in the area… They would be disgusted!!! Why don’t you tell the truth Ron? You keep dodging the fact that they(DS) have been as “unethical” as it gets!!! Lets have a press release of actual numbers! Dixie Ambulance Vrs ANY other paramedic service in the area. Take your pick!!! Every other paramedic service… Hands down!!!… Blows away dixie ambulance… I’ll bet you anything … If you put the REAL story out … With real facts!!! … the community would be extremely disappointed and disgusted with Dixie Ambulance. Spin it all you want! The truth is the truth !!!

  • Hyrum Ence February 2, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    They say that history repeats itself.

    Well in this case this is most certainly the truth as we are about to see the Mayor and City Council of the City of St George repeat the same mistake that they made ten years ago.
    What mistake is that? The Mayor and City Council are about to intervene in this process, and go completely against the ruling of the Utah EMS Bureau and ask for Dixie Ambulance to be allowed to continue in their current fashion.

    How did this happen ten years ago you may be asking? Simple – the St George City Fire Chief and St George City Police Chief and others approached the City Council and began to discuss minimum standards that would be applicable to the EMS provider in St George. They, with decades of experience and knowledge behind them advocated what most other cities in Utah and throughout the country have, a set of standards. They did not state what these standards should be, they merely advocated their creation. The response was typical and exactly what is happening now. Dixie Ambulance approached members of the city council and complained. They argued that this was a private organization and this was the unfair, biased targeting of a company by bitter former employees. Dixie Ambulance spread rumors behind closed doors, and ultimately caused the city employees to be severely admonished for even the suggestion.

    So, here we are now in 2013. Dixie Ambulance has been evaluated by the Utah State Bureau of EMS and issued a scathing report of its dangerous shortcomings ranging from slow response times to being financially insolvent. If the FAA wrote a similar report regarding Southwest Airlines, or the FDA a report regarding Irmitas the public would not be launching a Facebook campaign to champion their sub-standard business practices, but here we are reading about the City leaping to the defense of an organization because they haven’t heard of any complaints so far. We should keep in mind that Enron and Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac were also “complaint free” right up until the point where through mismanagement they ran their businesses into the ground.

    The State Bureau stated in their last page. “The Bureau of EMS for the State of Utah has Ruled that Dixie Ambulance is in (A) in violation of Administrative Rules (B) does not meet industry operational standards governing EMS staffing requirements and ambulance response times (C) is not financially viable and (D) is likely unable to continue providing quality ambulance services that St George deserves and requires into the future.”

    If that sounds like an organization that our elected officials need to save, I would suggest we need new elected officials.

    Dixie Ambulance cannot have it both ways. Either they are a private company and we allow free enterprise and the established license system to take its course, or we openly declare that we are not interested in things like efficiency, how a business is run or standards of care and more ambulances with equipment not from the 1980’s. A city that is overwhelmingly conservative in its political orientation should not be looking to save a defunct malfunctioning business that has been found so by the appropriate state bureau nor should elected officials make the same mistake they made 10 years ago by allowing emotion and Facebook to triumph over a State report and hard data.

    Respectfully Hyrum Ence

    • Ron C. de Weijze February 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Hyrum, indeed there is nothing new under the sun. You apply that to your interpretation of how free enterprise works. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that private organizations only complain about the bar being too high and being embarrassed by bitter, former employees. I will not reply to accusations that they even spread rumors to make matters worse. Let me just recollect what America is made of. The freedom to choose what is believed to be True and Good. That is the independence to independently confirm it. That is how free enterprise offers the best it can produce, hoping that others, clients, patients will independently confirm that to be True and Good. That is what was heard at the hearing about DAS, but none of which ended up in the RFO. May that history stay our future. Something else that is not new, is how power is abused to put smaller or small people into place, politely ordering or in case of unwillingness, turning brutal. Politics can be like that, especially when monopoly is at stake, or majority, implying powers enough to live happily ever after. The report Recommended Final Order is flawed by pseudo logic, partiality, incompleteness and the sound of closing-the-deal. The Presiding officer and the lead attorney for GC are both on the S.J. Quinney College of Law Alumni Board of Trustees. The other attorney has the additional powers of being the State Senator and is friends with the president of Gold Cross. The city councilman who asked him to conduct a review of DAS at a local restaurant breakfast meeting, must have felt what chain of events he triggered when he did so, admittedly under oath. Is this independence of judgment? Has undue influence been exercised? Have official positions been abused or has voter trust been violated? Has nonpublic information been obtained by reason of any official position to gain advantage over any business or professional competition? Has a member of the Senate, let alone the Senator himself, engaged in a business relationship that would require the disclosure of confidential information obtained because of the official position? Have official positions been used to secure own or others’ privileges? In short, is there a conflict of interest? It would not be the first time in recorded history. Best regards, Ron C. de Weijze.

  • Paramedic February 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    The truth comes out when you start listening to the “little guy”. Do you seriously think any emt or paramedic will be heart broken if They have to go work for a company that is paying a minimum of 5 dollars an hour more than Dixie ambulance? Do you seriously think we will be upset if we have to go work for a company that provides us health and dental coverage for our families? A company that actually wants us to think of our job as a career… And give incentives for their employees to stay ” long term”. ??? Think St.george !!! What would you want for your community … For your family? It’s a no brainier!!! Dixie ambulance has scammed us medics and emts long enough!!!!!

  • Paramedic February 2, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    My only question is … how many Paramedics in the city of St.George are career medics? what is a career medic you ask? It’s a Paramedic that works as a Paramedic for a living…one that doesn’t need two or three jobs just to make ends meat…the answer Actually is “several”… However, the problem is all your career medics that live in St.George … work outside of St.George City!!!… they work for Mesquite City, Clark County, NV, Hurricane Fire or Cedar City.. but ZERO have EVER worked at Dixie Ambulance. Why? because they pay… at least… 5 dollars … LESS than any competing agency … they also provide no insurance, and no benefits … I worked there 10 years ago … I made $10.50 hr … I know several medics (10 years later) that work there right now… they are making around $11.00 an hr!!! and still no health insurance… no dental…. no 401K … no incentive to stay… I’m sorry, I’m just being honest… If there is someone that can give us Paramedics the opportunity to actually make a living.. have insurance for our families … and feel like we can stay in the community and work… then I’m all for it … If Dixie is that company then I would support them… Don’t be fooled that it’s the company that saves lives… NO…. it’s the EMT’s and Paramedic’s that went through all the training that save lives … weather they work for Hurricane City, Clark County, NV, Gold Cross, or Dixie Ambulance…Don’t be fooled in supporting a company… your should be interested in what is best for the EMT and Medic not a company…

  • Hyrum Ence February 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Mr de Weijze

    I am afraid you are missing the issue at hand and following the DAS lead, that is to say “when you can’t dispute the facts and data, you attack the legitimacy of the process”

    In the bureau of EMS report (page 31) Mr. Randall requested a response time study from the appropriate Utah State agency that collects said data to defend the allegations of slow response times. They used the data that Dixie Ambulance reports to the state in Polaris. Josh Leglar (State Data Manager) reported that DAS arrived in 13 minutes 90% of the time in 2009 & 2011 and 12.5 minutes in 90% of the time in 2010. Mr. Randall then advised this study was wrong and testified he did his own study by hand and found DAS is compliant to the rule, but did not produce this evidence.

    The industry standard is 8 minutes 59 seconds 90% of the time.

    This time study in the EMS report was merely that, a time study and it is not subject to any alleged political machinations or back room dealings. Have you considered that perhaps all of the back room politics have been used to fix a company plagued by mismanagement instead of some nefarious plot? What if the report is factual but there is a “political component” to this? Does that in your opinion mean a 13 minute response time is acceptable?

    If any agency, group, or organization can improve upon this level of service then the citizens of St George should welcome them. Try to recognize that in every aspect of measurement Dixie Ambulance has been found to be operating below the standards of other agencies in Utah. Dixie Ambulance has not be able to refute the study with data, so have launched a PR campaign on facebook encouraging the City to side with them because this is the only option they have left to them.

    It is said that “a drowning man will clutch at a straw” and Dixie Ambulance was drowning in 2009, and years before Gold Cross or your political boogie men became involved. At the very least the public has been informed of what is going on in Washington County. How we choose to act upon this information will either save lives or save the status quo but it will not save both.

    Respectfully Hyrum Ence

    • Ron C. de Weijze February 3, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      Mr. Ence,
      .
      Facts and data are not valid and reliable just because the researcher says so. The people will determine their validity. Do they represent patient care completely and carefully? How are those seconds lost or found actually used? Is the accidental operationalization by the software seller called the industry standard just to increase its prospective market share? How did DAS operationalize its patient care? Dr. Tremea mentions the intimate knowledge of protocols and processes expected of all DAS employees and many other very important and interesting issues in his testimony.
      .
      Simply claiming that a few seconds found will increase service levels is jumping to conclusions as in the report, where facts are either in the past or in the future, and if they are in the future they have become conclusions of law. Data operationalize variables in different ways, according to the software designer, the researcher or standard operational practice, the latter of which is DAS’ and should be preferred. You suggest objectivity and impartiality where there is none.
      .
      With regards,
      Ron C. de Weijze

  • Ron C. de Weijze February 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Paramedic, when a bandwagon comes to town that promises more and higher paying jobs with health and dental covered so that you don’t need two jobs but can be a career EMT, you want to jump onto it. Not feeling dispensable any longer, being honored for who you are and not for being a small part of an enterprise. You call it ethics or morals but is that really what it is and not just Big Government or Big Business, for example? You can always work for the competition and I understand that is what you are doing now. It is not the size of the organization that matters, on the contrary as the combination of Nationalism and Socialism has shown (Nazism), but free enterprise. Your freedom to put your stakes where you think they serve best, is any company’s ambition. The same is true for what you put at the table while negotiating a new contract, sharing your concerns. Negotiate a better contract. They will want to keep you when they depend on you, serving the community.

  • Connie Johansen February 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Let them people think they are getting a good deal but I lived in Utah my whole life and used Gold Cross for both my parent they suck and then charge you above what your Insurance or Medicare pays for people need to check into what is really happening here. And some paramedic think they deserve 50.00 a hr well guess what you live in st George and the so called City officials don’t want company’s to pay good money two many of them own there own business, and you think they will raise your pay Hell No the will just raise are payment to pay for there service. Mark my words.

  • Paraminnick February 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Connie In Utah the state regulates what is charged for ambulance transport. Your parents transport would have cost the same no matter who transported you.

  • Hyrum Ence February 4, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Mr. de Weijze

    It would seem that you misunderstand this very simple issue so perhaps I can explain it just a bit more simply:

    Dixie Ambulance reported their own run times to the State of Utah for an impartial evaluation and the State reported it at 12.5 to 13 minutes for the years in question. Mr. Randall supplied the data and Mr. Randall requested the study.

    Do you truly believe this agency is also in on the conspiracy as well?

    The standard is 8 minutes and 59 seconds. I fail to see how you can confuse “those seconds lost” with 4 minutes. 3.5 minutes or 4 minutes is not a trivial matter of mere seconds and this again is not a report provided by Gold Cross or anyone with any stake in this dispute. 4 minutes is almost 45% slower than the established national response time and if this was anything but a “good ol’boy” company I believe you would be clamoring for something to be done to resolve this.

    I am afraid you are the one jumping to conclusions trying to convince readers that phantom software issues amount to mere seconds difference. I suggest you check the facts and let them speak for themselves and leave the emotion and drama for TV and teenagers, we are both to old to debate on emotions.

    Hyrum Ence

  • Ron C. de Weijze February 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Mr. Ence,

    Thank you for making this complex issue very simple for me to understand. I will no longer have to consider the whole set of criteria for quality of service codified and listed in Utah Code Ann. $ 26-8a-408 amended by Chapter 297, 2011 General Session. Maybe the Mayor of St George summarized it most succinctly in two questions: Has Dixie Ambulance ever not picked up anyone? Has anyone died because of inadequate care?

    Respectfully,
    Ron C. de Weijze

  • Paraminnick February 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    So the mayor needs somebody to die before he is willing to change. Or a call that nobody ever responds to. What is wrong in St George that you require this level of negligence to make the right choice. It has already been proved in a hearing that current response times are no where near industry or state standards. If your son, daughter, Mom or Dad is having a medical emergency the Mayor does not care when an ambulance shows up just as long as they do at some point. Why not take this chance to increase current staffing by 33% during the day and by 100% at nights. Why not at no cost to taxpayers (only the end user) increase constant Paramedic staffing by 300%). It blows my mind that people are saying that response times and the level of medical education that the first responders have doesn’t matter to them. It does to me. I live in St George part time and my family is permanent residents. Listen to what the real issues are, Dixie Ambulance is unable to give the level of care that this city needs. Don’t let this chance slip by without doing what may save your life or that of a close family member. Support this change. Most current Dixie Ambulance employees will still be there just in a new uniform, plus this will boost the economy of St George by providing several new well paying jobs.

  • Bandit February 5, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I can’t believe what I’m reading. Times don’t matter, as long as someone shows up. Maybe my family means more to me than that. I want EMS there ASAP. 13 minutes is too long. But as long as no one dies right Mayor? GC is way overdue in St. George.

  • brian March 27, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    i hate dixie ambulance and am glad they are gone

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