Austin Travis Ambulance
EMS leaders proposing to do away with one of two paramedics currently on ambulances, adding Basic EMT instead.
Chief Ernesto Rodriguez, head of Austin Travis County EMS and Paul Hinchey, M.D. the medical director, are proposing to do away with one of the two paramedics currently on ambulances and adding a basic EMT.
"Paramedics are getting more and more difficult to find and one of the things that we wanted to do is instead of staffing with two paramedics, we want to staff with a paramedic and a basic life support provider," says Chief Rodriguez.
EMS leaders say the proposal if passed could save the agency money but all made it very clear that cost-cutting was not the main motivation.
"That is the motivation, to improve the quality of care that we provide," says Dr. Hinchey.
"We want to focus the paramedic's energy and their skills on the most critical patients and then we want to use basic providers to take care of the patients that don't need those critical skills and need basic life support so by dividing the two roles we think that we're going to actually provide better care for our patients," added Rodriguez.
Chief Rodriguez told KVUE that paramedics have 10-times the training than a basic EMT does.
Dr. Hinchey added that half of the nation’s 50-largest cities have already gone to the system that he and other local medical leaders are proposing.