Armstrong Ambulance Educator and Clinical Team Member Co-Author Op-ed on Tiered Response vs. All-Advanced Life Support EMS System

Armstrong Ambulance
87 Mystic St.,
Arlington, MA 02474

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Contact: Jessica Sacco
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Armstrong Ambulance Educator and Clinical Team Member Co-Author Op-ed on Tiered Response vs. All-Advanced Life Support EMS System

ARLINGTON — Armstrong Ambulance Service Inc. is pleased to announce that two members of its team recently co-authored a piece published in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services on emergency medical response.

Armstrong educator and tactical medical provider Stephen Wood co-authored the op-ed, titled “Too many Medics? Debating a Tiered Response vs. All-ALS EMS System” with Armstrong’s Director of Clinical Integration, Benjamin Podsiadlo.

Wood is also a nurse practitioner at Carney Hospital and fellow at the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics.

In their op-ed, Wood and Posiadlo examine the debate between the All-Advanced Life Support (paramedic) EMS System and Tiered Response. In a tiered response system, paramedic units serve regional areas, and in the All-ALS EMS System, paramedics are staffed on every ambulance and some fire engines. 

The op-ed also serves as a response to a editorial by Champaign, Ill. Fire Chief Gary Ludwig published this February in “Firehouse Magazine,” which argues that more paramedics staffing ambulances and fire engines would be beneficial. Chief Ludwig argues that although these paramedics may not be getting as much skill maintenance in the field as they did in the tiered response system, they can train in simulations. 

In their analysis, Wood and Posiadlo instead suggest that while it may be beneficial to have more paramedics staffed on emergency vehicles, these professionals need to have access to better training, ongoing education and exposed to a practice environment regularly that will support skill maintenance. The pair also argues that EMS providers need to take a more prominent role in the study and analysis of the tiered response and All-ALS EMS system moving forward, and to focus that research on patient outcomes. 

“This is an incredibly important debate in the field of EMS, and the argument in this op-ed highlights the key issue between these two systems: skill maintenance,” Armstrong CEO Rich Raymond said. “By contributing to the larger conversation about tiered response and the All-ALS EMS system, Stephen and Ben reinforced what truly matters: patient outcomes and the professional skills and development of paramedics.”

To read the op-ed in full, click here.

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