Severe pain + 2mg of Morphine = severe pain.

- Rogue Medic

IAFF’s Jack Reall faces discipline for delaying a 911 call in order to protest research he does not like


 

One of the advantages of fire department-based EMS is that there is a clear chain of command and that discipline is not a problem. The exceptions to this may be rare enough that they make headlines. Here is one.
 

A Columbus Fire battalion chief could face discipline for insubordination after an internal investigation found that he disrupted a pilot program intended to more efficiently respond to emergencies.[1]

 

The first oddity is that the Battalion Chief (Jack Reall) is also the president of Local 67 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. A management position and a union position – and not just any union position, but president. Jack Reall apparently cannot keep his priorities in order.

The fire department is studying whether 911 calls should receive an initial response from one paramedic with a basic EMT or from a pair of paramedics. There is no evidence that sending one paramedic and one EMT causes any kind of harm, or that two paramedics provide better care, so there is no basis to claim that anyone is being in any way endangered by this pilot program.

If there were a legitimate concern, then the time to address that was when the pilot program was being considered. It appears that Jack Reall is not happy with that and his union boss persona delayed a 911 response in violation of fire department rules.
 

The Fire Division launched a pilot program that morning to reduce the number of paramedics who respond to routine calls, allowing the division to disperse medics elsewhere. Instead of two paramedics on a truck, there would be one medic and a basic emergency-medical technician, or EMT.[1]

 

Is it possible that this was a complete surprise to Battalion Chief/Union President Jack Reall?

I don’t know what kind of preparations were made by the fire department, but I suspect that they began well in advance of BC/Pres. Jack Reall’s attempt at sabotage.

It is appropriate to study things when there is a state of equipoise about which is best.

Equipoise is just a fancy word for We do not know which is best.

When we do not know what is best, we should find out, rather than arrogantly assume that we know all that we need to know to force an uninformed opinion on others. That is the alternative – I don’t know, but I am going to force my opinion on everyone else because I am certain my opinion is more important than learning the truth.

Research means we learn more, even if we never learn the whole truth. Opposing research is opposing learning more – especially if the truth disagrees with opinion.

Equipoise means that we cannot be certain, because we do not know enough to be certain.
 

Reall was against the plan from the start and said fewer paramedics meant lower-quality service.[1]

 

The fire department and the union probably have worked out procedures for resolving these differences of opinion. They probably do not include delaying 911 responses to make a point.

If Jack Reall were behaving responsibly, he would have raised these concerns at an appropriate time and place.
 

Reall said the plan was not presented well to firefighters and paramedics and was “not well thought out.”[1]

 

He did raise them at the appropriate time, but he did not get what he wanted.

When I don’t get what I want, as a responsible adult, I should throw a tantrum.

True or False?

A Battalion Chief is supposed to be a person to turn to to resolve confusion, not to create confusion. One part of the job is to make a clear decision (such as to protect the interests of a patient) and to take responsibility for that decision.

It appears that Reall was doing the opposite.

Footnotes:

[1] Firefighters-union chief faces discipline from Fire Division
By Lucas Sullivan
The Columbus Dispatch
Wednesday July 9, 2014 5:51 AM
Article

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Comments

  1. I would hope that Batt Chief Reall is afforded due process in this matter. You certainly seem to have no problems making assumptions and jumping to conclusions regarding this matter. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time a union officer was targeted for frivolous discipline by his employer. The story in the press seems the give only the management side of the story. Perhaps when the matter is deposed, then ( if it is warranted) you can feel free to comment on the matter. Until then I think BC Reall has earned the right to having judgement reserved until the situation is resolved.

    • Steven Schnaudt,

      If you read the article, it clearly states that there has already been an investigation. The question is what to do with Battalion Chief/IAFF Local 67 President Jack Reall.

      A Columbus Fire battalion chief could face discipline for insubordination after an internal investigation found that he disrupted a pilot program intended to more efficiently respond to emergencies.[1]

      Are you claiming that there was no investigation?

      Are you claiming that the investigation was inadequate?

      Are you claiming that the article was inaccurate?

      Are you claiming that the investigation was unfair?

      Please provide some evidence to support whatever you are claiming.

      I would have preferred if the newspaper article included full quotes, but I did not write the article and I am not on the editorial board. Feel free to contact The Columbus Dispatch with your concerns.

      I do not see any reason to modify anything I have written.

      Of course, you are entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to treasure your unique and beautiful snowflake opinion. Flaunt your entitlements.

      Maybe I should write about whether the IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters) is spreading misinformation in order to protect fire fighter jobs at the expense of patient care.

      This would not be the first time that someone representing the IAFF has behaved badly, on behalf of the IAFF, and been caught.

      The IAFF is a union that has been established to protect the jobs of fire fighters. The IAFF does not represent patients.

      I am only interested in what is best for patients.

      Provide valid evidence and you will have my attention. Provide only an opinion and you provide nothing of value.

      .

  2. Mr. Rogue Medic,

    I find it ironic that I am somehow writing to a blog called rogue medic defending my alleged “rogue” actions. Although my contact information is readily available on the web, you chose not to contact me prior to basing your opinion on the opinions of others.
    Let me help you out:
    The investigation is not complete.
    The AC in question has a history of anti-union antics.
    The medic unit was not delayed due to my actions, in fact, I was not at the station when the call was taken, however the AC and a DC were.
    I am given the authority to make deployment decisions every day in the 15th largest FD in the country. I am a paramedic and know the appropriate response to a seizure. I chose on that day to send the 1 Paramedic vehicle to the seizure and leave the 2 Paramedic vehicle in service for another call that may be an ALS call. If you disagree with these actions, I would like to know why. That is the gist of the event. Unfortunately, it has gotten blown out of proportion by an AC who does not like the Union and a newspaper who opposed collective bargaining.
    Have a great day and good luck in your future endeavors.

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