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Here’s The Scoop…Making Our Wishes Known…Officially

November 29, 2008 by Barbara


Dear Readers BCbythesea and family have put in writing an e-mail of our wishes that the VFD is not to be allowed in our home for AMR medical calls and who may not be privy to our medical information.

What the VFD/AMR and Town will do to respond to this writer and others who are asking for the same wishes to be respected and adhered to remains to be seen.

The written request may be enough, or a form may be enacted, the ball is in their court… pun intended..

Thanks to an astute reader, and much discussion within our family after the latest 4 disturbing events …the Vice Mayor speaking from the dais about a gentleman in the north end at the last Commission meeting…. his entrance into a residents living room…with AMR and remaining afterwards despite no need for his assistance… hearsay…. but scary, if accurate….the Chief’s assertions that he has given the Vice Mayor special duty to respond by the Vice Mayor’s private car to all medical/ fire calls in the north end up to Sea Ranch without coming into the fire station first, thus providing the certain probability he will arrive on scene before AMR, as he has boldly asserted has in fact been the case from the dais for numerous emergency calls, and the reader’s points about the Commissioners sitting in the AMR Medical Review Board and having private medical information divulged, we decided this was a necessary request.

At the last Commission meeting Commissioner Clottey in discussing the VFD monthly report advised the Chief he did not need to use the VFD member’s names…and that was just for response calls…

Also Chief Perkins made it clear to this writer he could not give me any medical information on members…although I made it known, I was not asking for that information, just that the medical exams were done, and all that was required was administered.

Add to this the first VFD report that did include addresses, and descriptions of the medical condition of the residents involved. Making it possible for anyone to look up from the address who the patient was. A definite Hipaa problem for the VFD who are required to observe Hipaa law.

This writer believes the AMR report content should be enacted for the next monthly report by the VFD to protect the residents. I also believe that despite the assertions from the VFD on the dais, a need for the VFD trucks to follow AMR are unnecessary, especially when condos are involved, no need to knock down doors when guards have keys available.

In this regard, AMR should be asked on the record for the need to have the VFD follow them on medical calls. Again, this writer has been told by informed persons that BSO followed their EMS to provide that 3rd Paramedic/EMS personnel not on their ambulance. We were told one of the benefits of th new AMR service would be 3 on board at all times. Also, rather than thrown out statistics, what are the real stats for firefighters required to perform forced entry on medical calls?…

THE E-MAIL sent on Saturday November 29,2008…

VFD Chief Perkins
AMR Lt. Liddle
Madam Town Manager Colon
Town Attorney Abbott

We would like it to be known by the LBTS-VFD/ AMR -LBTS Public Safety Providers that it is our wish to not have any member of the LBTS-VFD inside our home on a medical call if AMR is called in for service.Our home addresses are 221 Washingtonia Ave. and 5000 N. Ocean Blvd. #412, LBTS 33308.

This will be the desire of all family members residing at each premise.

We are concerned with our right to privacy about health matters and do not feel assured that confidentiality will be adhered to by VFD members, especially those who are also speaking from the dais in elected office, as was recently witnesses by our family concerning a medical call that was the topic of Vice Mayor McIntee’s Commissioner Comments (Nov.25,2008).

We are also requesting that if the situation arises and the new AMR Medical Review Board is put into action,resulting in any member of our family to be discussed after any medical event, that no Commissioner is privy to our medical care, only the protocol of what transpired with no names or medical history revealed in their presence, honoring both our stated wishes and Hipaa.

If there are any forms required to keep on file at both the VFD and AMR, please send them to us and we will fill them out. We will require 5 for family members to fill out if they need to be separate.

Please see that this letter is sent to each Commissioner as well as AMR.

Thank You,
Steven and Barbara Cole

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Here’s The Scoop…Where Do I Sign Up?…

November 28, 2008 by Barbara


BCbythesea…had a call a few days back…seems a resident was very upset to see the bloviating “2 hats” Vice Mayor…describing the scene of a north end neighbor …his 911 call for help and the VFDs’ use of 12 firefighters to put the very heavy man back into bed!…Oh the Vice Mayor did go on to say how great the firefighters felt to help out …and the resident called with gratitude….BUT…did this resident know…the VFD Training Officer would then bloviate the emergency from the dais…for all to hear?….Would this individual continue to feel such gratitude?…Most think not!…

The Vice Mayor certainly violated Hipaa as well as using this man’s private incident for his own grandstanding…WOW!…

After that this writer has heard from a few…that the Vice Mayor showed up with AMR to a 911 call…again in the north end of town…and proceeded to stay in this residents living room..although he was not needed in any capacity…and would not be of any help for her care…she was uncomfortable that he was there…

So now, a said to be in the works…residents who do not want the Vice Mayor in their home…on their property…for any medical calls…and do not want him or any Commissioner to sit in at the newly formed AMR Medical Review Board…to have any private details of anything that the resident would not want known…

BCbythesea…is in full agreement…and thinks the Medical Review Board idea needs to be rethought out…to keep Commissioners  informed without name or address…even those who serve as both Commissioner and VFD…if not…a big problem will be forthcoming for AMR….

This is the problem we have with “2 hats” and a grandstanding Vice Mayor…incapable of being discreet and trustworthy…in this writer’s opinion…

Right now…if you are against both the Vice Mayor or any other VFD  not on the AMR truck…in your home for a medical call…you do have the right to let the VFD and AMR know…call them and make sure they are aware of your decision.

The only reason for the Vice Mayor or any VFD to be in your home for a medical call is if AMR requires that help…for some reason…and for the Vice Mayor to install himself without that reason…is unacceptable to many..including this resident…who intends to call and state …No McIntee in my home…ever….

Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robert Perkins 954-772-8978
American Medical Response Brooke Liddle 954-776-3300

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop….hipaa and AMR-In LBTS…Like Invoking The 5th?

November 8, 2008 by Barbara

From the Futures…11/7/08….

‘ BYTHESEAFUTURE also submitted a two-page list of questions to AMR , the private transport company hired by the town to provide emergency medical services, concerning their response to the near-drowning incident on October 25. AMR declined to comment, citing “federal privacy laws.”…

Hipaa….laws…seem to be defined to cover personal medical information…not what is being asked…by the paper or the Town….about the personnel who were responsible for the care of the victim on the 25th…and who was acting in what capacity during the incident…such as assessing the patient,giving oxygen, stabilizing victim and putting on any required strapping for transport…

If AMR is going to refuse to address this in front of the dais on Monday…it sounds like someone invoking their 5th amendment rights…and certainly will taint the residents present favorable opinion of AMR and the use of a private company for EMS verses a government entity that writes an incident report and is ready to report on their actions…as BSO has done…

Below…is from Google online….

‘In other EMS News

HIPAA: Big Bark, But Little Bite So Far
Despite receiving thousands of complaints about violations of the federal privacy law protecting Americans’ personal health information, the U.S. government has not fined a single violator in three years, the Washington Post reported in June. In addition, there have been just two criminal cases stemming from breaches of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The federal government has received 19,420 formal complaints of HIPAA violations so far, the Post said; the most common of these have concerned inappropriate disclosures and insufficient protection of protected health information; disclosures of more details than were necessary; disclosures without obtaining proper authorization; or patients having difficulties getting their own records.

More than 14,000 of these cases-upwards of 73%-have been closed with determinations that no violations occurred or promises by accused entities to fix whatever problems they’d had.

“Our first approach to dealing with any complaint is to work for voluntary compliance,” Winston Wilkinson, head of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (which is in charge of enforcing the law), told the newspaper. “So far it’s worked out pretty well.”

Around 5,000 cases remain open, Wilkinson said, some of which could result in fines. The federal government has received 19,420 formal complaints of HIPAA violations so far.

EMS is bound by HIPAA requirements.-Washington Post’–Medical-Services/Developing


‘For EMS one example would be best explained like this:

We are prevented from discussing particular details of patients that we handled in public. Such as:

Hey, remember that run we had on Joe Blow last night over on Green Street? Well he died from his gun shot wound last night after we transported him to Homer’s Hospital (Ficticious name). Dr. so and so said that his femoral arteries were too damaged and couldn’t be repaired during surgery and he bled to death in the O.R.

If something like this is said in the general public, we are subject to fines and or imprisonment and the potential for termination or suspension of our medic licenses (should there be an official complaint.) for making these statements in public. Not to mention the possibility of a family member or a family friend overhearing a conversation like this.

On the other hand, if we discuss it in this manner:

(One medic to another.) I guess that guy we transported last night passed away.

This does not give away any of a patient’s identity, medical conditions or any other means of being identified.’

More to come on Monday…Agenda Item…15 J.

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