First show us how changes will boost emergency care

The Windsor Hights Herald
14 November, 1984

[Editorial] First show us how changes will boost emergency care

In an ideal world, there is always a “best” way to do things.

And in that ideal world, we should settle for nothing less than the best.

No argument there.

But here on earth, where most of us live, sometimes we have to get along with what’s possible. With what usually works.

That seems to be the state of the art as far as emergency care services are concerned in New Jersey. We have had an imperfect system with regard to staffing for those Lifemobile units. We have not been able to put two fully trained paramedics around the clock on every unit.

Sometimes we have had to settle for less. Often lives have been saved despite the inability of our local rescue squads to fully meet the standards for staffing set by state regulation.

Now, it seems, the state is about to insist that its regulations be met—even if that means a reduction in the number of emergency service vehicles available in the Mercer County area, an increase in response times and unhappy aid squad volunteers.

It is that group of volunteers, upon whom most of us have counted in crises for years, which has served as the real backbone of emergency care throughout suburban Mercer.

And it is that group whose program, morale and level of community service stands to suffer from the state policy change.

The public could come up short both ways, losing what it has now and not getting the “higher level” of service , intended.

Complicating the whole problem has been a failure in communications. Neither the general public nor the volunteer rescue squad leaders have had sufficient opportunity to influence the proposed changes.

There may be overwhelming reasons for making this change. Thus far those in charge have not made the case. It has been either a case of bad planning or bad public relations. Perhaps both.

State health officials should put this plan for change back on the shelf until they can
show us all that it is necessary and assure us all that it will result in better emergency care.

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