Some services should not be privatized, ever. Healthcare is at the top of that list for many people. And in Milwaukee, there just was a glaring example why it shouldn’t be.
On January 15, Milwaukee, like the rest of the nation, was in the clasp of a deadly cold snap. Jolene Waldref, a 49 year old woman, slipped and fell at a busstop at a busy intersection. She called 911 and a crew from Curtis Ambulance, a private ambulance company, responded. When they got to the location of the call, they didn’t see Waldref, who was laying on the sidewalk. They didn’t see her because they never bothered getting out of their rig. Adding insult to injury, it took two weeks for the truth to come out:
The details of what happened to Jolene Waldref, 49, on Jan. 15 have shifted as a redacted version of her 911 call has been released, as well as surveillance video from the busy intersection where she died.
Milwaukee Fire Department officials and leaders of the private Curtis Ambulance service are facing backlash after they revealed a Curtis crew did not get out of their truck to look for Waldref, who was down on the sidewalk just feet from where they drove past.
As tragic as the incident, the response to it is completely outrageous.
The Milwaukee Common Council wants to pass a law which would require ambulance crews to physically leave their rigs to search for a patient:
Westmoreland has introduced legislation he hopes will be taken up directly by the Common Council at its Tuesday meeting that urges Milwaukee Fire Chief Aaron Lipski to “adopt or modify Standard Operating Procedures to require rescue crews to exit their vehicles and search for those requesting assistance.”
Although the legislation is still in the works, he said it would apply to private ambulance companies and he was still working to understand Fire Department policies and procedures.
Leaders of the private ambulance company said that it actually is ther policy not to get out their rigs because they get so many gosh-darned false alarms, because people get on buses, etc.
In reality, the truth lies in that the company gets paid more money to transport someone rather than just respond to a call. And nothing matters more than their bottom line! Not even saving human lives.
The saddest part is not one of these “leaders” considered bringing these services back in house so that a more efficient and effective crew can go and get the job done correctly instead of worrying about the company’s profit margin.