Wednesday, September 22, 2004

No steam for EMS again as agenda swirls in toilet

No deal to privatize city's EMS this year - "A proposal to save money by privatizing Pittsburgh's emergency medical services is not likely to be part of a five-year budget scheduled to be unveiled today. "

Merging EMS with the Firefighters was promoted as a "solution" by Tom Murphy and his Administration some years ago. When that failued, the next wish-upon-a-star promise from Mayor Murphy was a merger of EMS with the local hospitals. Both plans, as is the overall agenda of Mayor Tom Murphy, are stalled. He can't move an agenda forward.

On the hard issues, there is no hope with Tom Murphy as our mayor. The political capital in city hall is gone. Too much betrayal in the past is proviing too great a burden for the present.

"The timing is short. The hospitals themselves are not of one mind what to do. They don't know how to approach it," Lieberman said.

The timing on the EMS deal has been looming since the first re-election of Tom Murphy. Promises were made in the late 1990s that still smolder as burt bridges. The timing is long, not short. And it is not the duty of the hospitals to solve the city's mess. The hospitals are going to be guarded, thankfully, on any approach.

Jim Roberts, who heads the Act 47 recovery team, said ... the five-member board backs the idea... "We support the formation of an authority to run the EMS with the hospitals contributing the revenue for the operation," Roberts said.

Of course a non-elected oversight board member would endorse the creation of a new authority. But, all the king's horses and all the king's men won't be able to fix this.

Pittsburgh can begin to heal as soon as Tom Murphy leaves Grant Street.
"The hospitals are an attractive partner for us because they understand the job we do," said Jeff Vesci, president of the Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics.

The unsaid: The Mayor's office and the authority boards don't understand the role and vital mission of the professional paramedics. The mayor and the annointed are clueless when it comes to building complicated solutions.

No comments: