Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK, Sadness, Thanksgiving and EMS

The Day Hope Died
We thought we’d take a break from what has been a pretty intense round of documentation focus for the past few weeks’ posts in order to share some random thoughts from the billing office brain.

Fifty years ago today was the day that many historians say hope died. The hope of “The Greatest Generation” was embodied in the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

JFK was swept into office not just by votes, but by the promise of a new tomorrow. The United States could finally close the dark chapter of the depression era, followed by the gloom of global conflict by looking to this young, debonair leader to lead our nation into the promise of prosperity and a brighter future.

America was strong and vibrant. Fueled by successfully staring down a Soviet threat in Cuba, gaining a lead in the race to space with the promise of civil rights equality visible on the horizon; our mothers and fathers could finally take a deep breath and look toward a new tomorrow filled with safety, comfort and prosperity.

Science and technology were emerging strong, the economy was clicking on all cylinders and people felt safe and happy. We were experiencing a new era of hope…not today’s manufactured kind, but true hope that had backbone and promise.

And then it happened.

On a beautiful sunny day on a Texas street a shot rang out that would change the course of history. Hope seemed to have died that day.

The Ambulance
While recently viewing one of the seemingly unending JFK documentaries earlier this week, it struck us that one of the central icons of that gloomy November 22nd day was the bleak, nondescript ambulance that was parked in the sparse ambulance entrance to the Dallas Hospital where Hope lie cold and lifeless.

Naval AmbulanceWhat if there had been a functioning, modern-day EMS MICU rig following close-by that day? Could air medical have swooped down and whisked the President off for a quick save? Would there have been anything that any EMS crew could have done to keep Camelot alive? Could modern-day EMS have cheated history of one of its darkest and saddest days or would this just have been another one of those moments where we wish we could make a difference but fate barges on regardless of the best of our abilities?

Somehow, given the gruesome images of the damage inflicted by that high-powered rifle bullet, it would appear no level of skill could have saved the day…reminding us that given all that EMS has become there are just those times when nothing can be done.

But nonetheless, was it lost on you or me that one of the central images of the day to be burned in history was that rather bleak image of the lone, sorry-looking grey Pontiac station wagon with the single bubble light on the roof?

Speaking of that sorry-looking dinosaur, it was so much an icon that the Barrett-Jackson Auctioneers were able to pass off what may be a fake replica which recently sold for a whopping $120,000. The famed auction-house admitted that the actual ambulance that carried his body may have actually been crushed for scrap metal in June, 1986 (what a tragedy.) However, some researchers say that there is historical record that there were actually two identical Naval ambulances in play that day with one used as a decoy to thwart any attempts to steal away JFK’s body and/or divert any threat against Mrs. Kennedy in light of the fear and conspiracy theories that gripped the nation in the immediate aftermath of the assassination.

In the end, no one really knows…too bad for us.

A Loss…
We’re sorry about the sad tone for today’s post, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Enhanced Management Services and the Wyoming-Lackawanna County (PA) EMS Community lost a true friend this week.

Factoryville Fire Company Assistant Chief, Russell “Rooster” Gow was stricken suddenly in a Line of Duty Death while operating on a dwelling fire this past Wednesday evening. Russ was only 59 years young at the time of his passing.

Russ was a big guy. He could crush your hand with his firm handshake. He also had a big laugh, kind of like a Santa Claus type, belly-shaking laugh. In addition to holding numerous offices as part of Factoryville Station 9’s service to the community, Russ was a fire apparatus salesman who was known by many in the Fire/EMS community throughout Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

Chief Gow was the first guy we met at Factoryville when we first were honored to become Station 9’s EMS billing contractor. Thanks to his leadership and initial trust in our abilities we continue to enjoy a wonderful working relationship with our friends at Factoryville Fire Company.

Our prayers and support go out to everyone at Station 9 in addition to Chief Gow’s family as we all pause to remember a fallen brother and friend.

Thankful for You!
As we close out this admittedly unique blog post, we’d be remiss if we didn’t pause to thank each and every one of you who give of your time and talent to serve your communities as First Responders.

For those of you who have drawn the short straw and will be on-call Thanksgiving Day instead of bellying up to devour some savory bird and mashed potatoes…. We say Thanks!!

If not you, who?

We know that there are those outside of the Fire/EMS community that will never understand what we do. No one but those of you who have given countless hours to help others in their time of need can really grasp the sacrifice that is made by those of you who have devoted your lives to aiding and comforting your neighbors when they need it the most.

Be sure to take time for YOU sometime this week. Reflect and pat yourself on the back because you deserve it.

Without you the world is a lot less safe, a lot more painful and a lot less fulfilled. Kudos to all of you who wear the helmet, sport the badge and do the job.

On behalf of all of us, here at Enhanced Management Services…THANKS!!

(Have an EMS billing question? Clients can contact Client Services. Readers who are not Enhanced clients but are interested in the ambulance billing services we offer are invited to contact Business Development Manager, Chuck Humphrey at chumphrey@enhancedms.com or by voice, toll-free at (800) 369-7544, Extension 108.)
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