Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Delayed Due To Alcohol

AFD ambulance. The quicker the response, the better 

If you -- my Amherst neighbor -- or a loved one required immediate aid last weekend in the form of highly-trained first responders riding aboard a well-equipped Amherst Fire Department ambulance, you quite possibly would have had to wait, upwards of double or triple the normal response time, for a "mutual aid" ambulance to arrive from a surrounding community.

No, it was not a mass casualty plane crash or train wreck that caused all of our ambulances to be engaged.  It was drunk college aged youth -- eight of them at UMass, four at Amherst College (all women), and another four off campus.

And yes, one ETOH UMass female also had to be treated for "trauma" from a fall, only two weeks after another UMass female student died from head trauma after a late-night, after-party fall.

This is unacceptable ... embarrassing ... and downright scary.

    AFD 1st Weekend December     

What a difference a week makes!  When our three institutes of higher education were closed for Thanksgiving break.

AFD Thanksgiving Weekend


Anonymous said...

Amherst College: 4 ETOH, ~1,800 students, or 1 per 450 students.

UMass: 8 ETOH, ~21,000 Undergrads, or 1 per 2,625. Add in all of the town of Amherst's - 1 per 1,750.

This happens almost every weekend. It appears that UMass kids drink less (or are better at it) on average than Amherst College. Couple this with multiple reports of a culture of sweeping these sorts of things under the rug at Amherst College, and it appears that the discussion needs to be broadened to include the smart kids (and generally much wealthier) on the other side of town.

What needs to happen, is UMass needs to put up an ETOH center at UHS on Fridays and Saturdays, and Amherst College needs to help pay for it.

Thanks for giving Amherst College a mention this week!

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't UMass buy some ambulances?

Ponziville of chimps said...

Aw come on now Larry, all these little rascals really need is a good chakra cleansing, a Noam Chomsky pep talk and a wiiiiiide open highway to nowhere.

The goddess will bless them.

Walter Graff said...

Take two charcoal, get plenty of fluids and call me in the morning.

Actually what can you do about it. Kids drink. It's the new way to escape life for the young entitled generation who one day will not have their parents house to return to, but the basement is an option. It's these emergency services job, albeit some weekends they handle more than others but it's part of living in a small town with 20,000 extra unsupervised post teenagers. I think sometimes Larry your standards for acceptable behavior are based on your values and mine. And we both are not from this horrible generation who basically has little value and respect except for what party they are attending.

The bigger issue is attempting to thwart the system of deciphering the captcha and actually successfully figuring out what the letters are that will allow your post to go through on this site and others is the real problem plagued by this town and the world.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:29 p.m.:

Here's what's clear from your analysis of the numbers: you clearly did not go to Amherst College.

I'm reminded of the phrase "figures don't lie, but liars can figure."

Do us a favor, please, please, please don't do any similar reasoning with numbers that would involve the lives and safety of either yourself or your loved ones. In fact, I think we're all safest if you just stay right there at your computer......for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

Larry, the untold story is the seven people committed to the psych ward on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Seems to me like CCPH decided to do it a roundup....

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but your perspective is upside down. UMass, Amherst and Hampshire are the industry in this town. One of the byproducts of that industry is a small percentage of intoxicated students on weekends. The town and the colleges need to invest in enough emergency vehicles and staff to handle these students AND also have enough emergency vehicles for our residents. You are acting like the problem we have with these students will go away if you just shame them enough. It's not going to happen and it doesn't happen in Ann Arbor, Michigan or any other big college town. We get huge benefits from having this industry. We don't have the pollution that factories produce, but we do have weekend parties that disturb neighbors and fill emergency vehicles. It's the unfortunate byproduct of having a billion dollar academic industry in town. Everyone needs to take their head out of the sand and understand that it costs money to maintain the services that this industry needs. You can't just wish the problem away. If you want to demand that the colleges buy their own ambulances than fine, but don't act like drunken students are going to go away if we all lecture them more, because they are not.

Anonymous said...

I think the solution to these problems is clear and I quite surprised no one has proffered up this simple fix already. I believe every incoming UMA student should be issued a helmet, affixed to their head, with GPS positioning to make sure they don't go anywhere near Philips or Fearing, and everything will be copacetic in town in no time.

Anonymous said...

Was life in Amherst better or worse back when Frat Row was still there and all the parties were on that stretch of street?

Forget all the touchie-feeliee stuff and simply answer that binary question, as a townie living in Amherst are you better off now than you were then?

My memory is that back in the '90s, Larry was upset about traffic fine revenue and other stuff, not drunken UMass students, so either Larry has dramatically changed, or he has remained a constant and the situation has changed.


Dr. Ed said...

Most (all?) of the people on the front lines of this -- AFD's paramedics -- are also firefighters, and I believe they would have to admit that were they were confronted with derailed propane railroad tank cars, all of which were already on fire, they wouldn't necessarily put the fires out, even though they easily could.

The theory a quarter century ago, and I doubt this has changed, is that if the fires are controllable and aren't going to spread, it is far better to burn off the venting propane (and be done with it) than to have the heavier-than-air propane drifting across the ground like an early-morning fog, spreading and looking for a source of ignition -- of which there are an awful lot.

(Remember that while it is a liquid in the tank, it boils at something like -30F so it almost instantly vaporizes once it is out -- and thus you can't put down sandbags to contain a pool of it and pump it into trucks.)

So they would evacuate a square mile or more of town, and they would be hosing down the cars to keep them cool, but depending on the circumstances, they possibly might just let them burn for a week until the propane is gone.

Every oil refinery, and a lot of pipeline terminals (including the one in Springfield) has a "flare" -- a pipe a hundred or so feet in the air that always has a flame burning on the top of it. Whenever they get into trouble, whenever pressure starts building up too high and they are worried about things exploding, they vent to the flare and burn it off.

Far better to burn off the explosive hydrocarbons under a semi-controlled situation than to have much larger versions of explosions like happened in Springfield a couple weeks ago.

And then look at the tactics for a basic house fire. You break all the windows and cut a hole in the roof -- that makes the fire burn better, but it also enables you to put it out. And there are some very real things you are worried about before you have vented the structure.

OK guys & gals, why aren't we using our firefighting knowledge to understand the issue of drunken young people? We extinguished the fires on the leaking propane tanks, but they are still leaking -- still venting explosive propane that is still drifting over hill & dale - and you are now dealing with small pockets of it igniting throughout town. And I argue it is only a matter of time until enough accumulates for there to be one really big ignition.

What Amherst and UMass are doing is putting water on a grease fire. That doesn't work -- and very quickly creates a much bigger problem.

Anonymous said...

Ed, your lack of knowledge is showing again so I stopped reading after your first paragraph.
ALL of AFD are Firefighters. Some are Paramedic level, some EMT.
Unfortunately most of our residents don't even know that it is our FIREFIGHTERS that also man our Ambulances.

Anonymous said...

I agree with those proposing ETOH centers on campus and ambulances owned by UMass/AC/etc. It's an obvious solution and I can only wonder why it wasn't done long ago.
What was the protocal back when UMass still had its health services facility? Were the drunks taken there or did they always get a trip to CDH?

Stormin Norman said...

UMass should buy some ambulances, and pull all students that volunteer on the fire department. It should also shut down the public hospital clinic to all Amherst residents on government assistance. As well as the buses downtown as well. In my humble opinion it should also continue its monopoly over the on campus catering, and bar all outside food for campus venues.

Stormin Norman said...

Anon 429;

Keep in mind Amherst College also has a student EMS service which helps cut down on the number of ambulance calls; UMass does not have this yet (though it is rumored such a group is starting). Don't offend the "beautiful" people up on the hill though, they get upset if you point out flaws.

Anonymous said...

Having used the University Health Services as both a student and working mother, I can tell you that if the campus police picked up a drunk, they MIGHT bring them to UHS as long as they were not comatose. However, the ambulance (Town only, no other) ALWAYS brought the patient to CDH -- they had to. in fact, if someone had fallen in the driveway in front of UHS and the ambulance was called, they would automtically bring the person to CDH. Also, there often was only a doctor on call at night, so one might go in for a sick baby to be triaged. There was no doctor overnight.

Dr. Ed said...

ALL of AFD are Firefighters. Some are Paramedic level, some EMT.

My understanding was -- and this was a few years back -- that there were some people whose medical knowledge was so advanced that they only did the ambulance. Now they may have the firefighter credentials but my understanding was that some only did ambulance and some did FF/ambulance depending on what was needed more.

But do you have a fault with my underlying analogy?

Dr. Ed said...

As to why the ambulance is required to go to CDH (and why the UMPD is supposed to) -- it is the "free care" law, which is both state and federal law.

(Perhaps the nice AFD folks, rather than calling me names, could add in the details I know I am leaving out of this?)

As I understand it, if one is to have what is defined as an "emergency room" -- and ambulances are only allowed to haul folk to licensed "emergency rooms" -- one must provide free care to anyone who is either injured or in active labor. This means that if your income is below a certain level, they have to eat the bill.

(It is why hospitals are going bankrupt in California, and why several in Massachusetts have closed their emergency rooms.)

Remember that almost all students are "low income" which means that if Death Services was designated an ER, UMass wouldn't be able to bill the students anyting, even when they walked in. I don't remember exactly the details, but they were very careful not to be considered as having an ER because the whole facility becomes "free care" if you have one.

It's a money issue.

Anonymous said...

No Ed, the Firefighters have always done double duty. All of them.
See, this is why people don't believe and no longer read your crap. Your "Understanding" and "As far as I know" and "I have heard" is not FACT! Dont post drivel and expect the readers to go find out for themselves. Which also applies to your follow up post. Go look up the facts before saying thats why an ambulance cant go there. Dont lead others down the wrong path...again. We are not here to correct every error you make, it would take way to much time.

Dr. Ed said...

No Ed, the Firefighters have always done double duty. All of them.

Someone wearing an AFD uniform, conducting a tour of the North Fire Station back in the 1990s, stated otherwise. I believe the same individual told me that the ladder could reach 11 stories.

If the person conducting a tour doesn't know what he is talking about, that is not my fault if you give him one of your uniforms to wear and ask him to do it.

Go look up the facts before saying thats why an ambulance cant go there.

I think that Bernie Melby personally telling me that, officially and on the record (as part of something else) is solid authority.

The damn director (now gone, PTL) stated that the AFD ambulance could not bring kids to Death Services for that reason.

At what point are we able to simply trust what governmental officials are saying to us. A firefighter says we need to leave the building because it is on fire, do we ask for a signed document from the fire chief so indicating?

I detest that cesspool of a town...

Anonymous said...

Guess you need to work on your listening skills too Ed.

Anonymous said...

I detest that cesspool of a town...

Let's see... Do you detest it as much as your doctorate, the degree that you essentially compared to a scrap of used toilet paper just before it was given to you, and which you now proudly wear stuck to your virtual forehead, "Dr." Ed?

Lucky Amherst. Without Dr. Ed alternately raging at the gods and pissing himself in the town square, we'd need to find ourselves a brand new village idiot.

Anonymous said...

Someone tells you something 22 years ago and you think its true todsy , Ed? You are an idiot. Please just go away.

Dr. Ed said...

you now proudly wear stuck to your virtual forehead, Dr.Ed?

Do you understand the concept of "in your face"? Even though I don't value it, a lot of people in that purgatorial cesspool didn't want me to have it and I just like to keep reminding them that I do.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding, and I have been told, that they sometimes give out a degree so someone will just go away. Now maybe this could be wrong but they easily could and I think it happened a quarter century ago and could still happen today. And I also have heard that often the perpetual students either get to go to school on the taxpayers dime or they continue to go so they are still in the student status regarding subsidized Stafford loans.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that people can be sued for libel. And that at a certain point, they aren't protected under the State Tort Claims Act and instead are personally liable.

Dr. Ed said...

And my sources at the university are adamant -- the members of my committee, who have some variant of "dean" in their titles, would have told the university to go f*** itself had it leaned on them to give me a degree they didn't think I deserved.

I have no Stafford (or any other) student loans, and as to the "taxpayer's dime", I paid $174 in additional state income tax for the privilege of not receiving MassHealth because I didn't want to receive public assistance.

And I remind people -- nothing ever disappears on the internet, all IP addresses are traceable. Just remember that folks....

Anonymous said...

Go for it Ed. I would just love to see all the stuff you've posted here come into play in a court case, LOL!