Great News !

 

The next several weeks we will be working with Indy Car preparing for the Memorial Day Race. I think this is an excellent opportunity to give everyone some insight into planning and deploying for a high profile event. Along the way we will be producing a show about the entire experience and talking to every expert we can our hands on.

I will be keeping a diary style blog of my adventures. I am going to give you the good, the bad and ugly of what goes into a venture of this magnitude from having to navigate the maze of bureaucratic red tape to meshing public and private services to the inevitable clash of personalities.

 

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Sometime in June

Received and email that the Grand Prix would be discussing our contract proposal with the City Manager. We proposed to allow our service to work on behalf of the race to help coordinate a reasonable response and control cost. Last years response was so costly it bankrupted the previous event. The previous year’s race had no one on their staff that knew anything about EMS or Event Medicine. The City Department also didn’t have any experience developing these types of responses. In the absence of experience they got a colossal response that no one could afford to pay for.

July 1, 2012

I spoke with the GM and he informed me that we where hired with only one sticking point. The City Manager wants all on track transports done by the City. I understand what is happening here and like I always tell people life is just a series of never ending negotiations. The race wants me to devise , and over see the implementation an EMS & Safety plan. Wanna know what all that means ? If things go well everyone will get credit and take victory laps and if something goes wrong , yup you guessed it will be all my fault.

During my extensive travels I have observed that the most difficult part of implementing a reasonable event EMS plan is convincing public safety agencies that you can safely cover events with less than everything in their arsenal. This industry is dominated by dogmas. Since 9-11 the dogma has been “be ready for a MCI”. The government has spent billions and most departments got every tool they ever wanted. Since that awful day no attacks, there is no great amount of MCI incidents. After twelve years of funding and conditioning Department Heads have been programed to see the MCI Boogie man behind every concert speaker or goal post.

Treating every mass gathering of people as a potential MCI is expensive. I acknowledge that there is always the potential for a MCI , the same as I acknowledge there is always the potential of an airplane crash. It’s omnipresent but we still do what is reasonable when we fly. We need that same measure of restraint when we plan responses for events.

How many mass gathering or events do you think take place everyday in this country ? I’m talking about fairs, festivals, conventions and concerts ? I don’t know the exact number but I would wager it is in the hundreds of thousands. Excluding the Indiana State Fair stage collapse and the June 17, 2012 stage collapse in Toronto, Canada where one person died ,how many special events have turned into MCI ?

I kinda understand the pressure public officials are under because if something goes wrong in this 24 hour news world they will be roasted and crucified for even the smallest perceived error in judgment. That fears of being held responsible and the consequences that follow is something all leaders face and and accept as a condition of their position.

Instead of treating each event as a potential MCI, develop a responsible response. In EMS change comes very slowly and this will be no exception. EMS manager are constantly playing a game of musical chairs and they don’t want to take the risk of being without a chair when the music stops.  Evidence is mounting that mammoth responses are a thing of the past. As the California cities of Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and, most recently, San Bernardino file for Bankruptcy protection, the city of Detroit announced the lay off 164 firefighters but 2 days later got a temporary reprieve with a grant from the Federal Government, not to mention the fiscal crisis Camden New Jersey is facing and the closure of 3 Baltimore City Fire Companies, no one can afford unreasonably large responses and the public is growing weary demanding proof that the money out lay for our services is justified.

This isn’t a matter of political parties but a matter of more people drawing from a shrinking resources pool. A $30,000 a day response is not acceptable when it could have and should have cost $3000.00 a day. Going forward I believe you will see more of these type of partnerships between public and private.
July 3

Met briefly with the EMS chief he is an awesome guy and easy to work with. We are very close on our vision for the race. I now need to touch base with two hospitals and Indy Race Medical Director early next week. Next meeting scheduled for Monday. We are discussing the budget.

Meeting with the camera crew tomorrow to discuss a shoot schedule for the show and how we can develop around the Grand Prix.

 Reference Material:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bankrupt-cities-20120715,0,4490983.story

For Times They Are Changing

http://semsnation.com/sems_areas/blogsemsnation/2011/12/09/for-the-times-they-are-a-changin/

Change is Upon Us Will We Be FedEx or USPS ?

http://semsnation.com/sems_areas/blogsemsnation/2012/06/17/changeisuponus/