People who are in charge of governments of any scale sometimes make decisions whose consequences can affects large numbers of their constituents. I’m not referring to events in the Gulf of Mexico and British Petroleum’s inability to stop that horrible oil spill that is going to ultimately impact the entire globe. I’m talking about something that happened that is much more local in scope. And I can actually get my hands around this one.
I found out at the end of this past week that Rockingham Ambulance has lost the contract for the city of Manchester. The new contracted EMS provider for the city is going to be American Medical Response. I personally think this is rather ironic, considering it was AMR who had the contract in Manchester before Rockingham. Actually, it was Chaulk Ambulance which no longer exists because AMR bought them out. And AMR, as a company, left Manchester approximately 5 years ago because there was no contract work up here that they could get.
Even though I had issues with Rockingham and the way management treated me before I left to go to Cataldo, overall I think Rockingham should not have been relieved of the contract for Manchester. I believe it will be a mistake that the mayor of Manchester will have regretted making, for a number of reasons. Mainly, I believe that Rockingham is a much better organized operation than AMR, when it comes down to resources. Rockingham has, for the most part, well-trained personnel who do a really good job when it comes down to patient care. Plus they are up to date when it comes down to equipment that is used on board their ambulances. And, as far as what needs to be done, things do get done. Plus, I have a number of friends that are still employed by Rockingham, and many of them will potentially lose their jobs because of this.
As for AMR, I worked for that company before I became a Paramedic. I worked in Haverhill and Newburyport, Massachusetts while I was there, and I would occasionally pick up overtime on the New Hampshire seacoast and up in southern Maine. As with Rockingham, I have friends that still work there. Different areas, of course, but they still work there just the same.
One of the things I noticed while I was an employee there was the way that management treated the clinical and operations staff. It was much worse than anything Rockingham could do. At least in Newburyport, anyway; if you worked in Somersworth, NH or the southern Maine stations (Eliot, Berwick, Scarborough) it was slightly better. But Newburyport had some personnel that were excellent and others that were not. And the ones that were not were incredibly scary to work with. One of them caused me to injure my hip while carrying a patient. But that was a long time ago…
I don’t know the circumstances of Rockingham’s dismissal, but from what I had indirectly been told it was financial on the part of the city of Manchester. And while I know that many cities and towns are having a hard time, was this something that could be compromised?
There may be more to the story, but I really, truly think the mayor wasn’t considering the well-being of his constituents when this decision was made. And I think that this will jump up and bite someone on the rear end and the end of the day.
If this doesn’t happen, I will be incredibly surprised. But for now, it’s where I stand.
If I am ever able to learn more about the circumstances of this change I am sure I’ll write about them. But for now I am wondering what the story is behind it.