July 24, 2017

** Massachusetts paramedic, who died from Hep C after being bitten by patient, is added to National EMS Memorial

** New Zealand to end single crewing for ambulances

UNITED STATES NEWS

** The National EMS Memorial is adding the name of a Massachusetts paramedic who died after contracting Hepatitis C from a heroin addict patient who bit him. That is the word from Boston25 News (May 14) which said friends of Worcester practitioner John Lynch, 60, will make a honorary bike ride to Arlington, Virginia to attend the Washington D.C. ceremony honoring the EMT. According to the news site, riders will do the 550 mile journey over 7 days. The National EMS Memorial Weekend runs from May 19-21st this year.

NEW ZEALAND NEWS

** New Zealand is getting rid of single crewed ambulances. TV NZ (May 14) said all ambulances will be double crewed by 2021. According to the news site, the initiative is part of a $59.2 million cash infusion into ground EMS. As part of this, 375 new jobs for paramedics will be put in place over the next four years. Health Minister John Coleman said the plan is to reduce the number of ambulances that have to respond to a single incident. Coleman said he hopes two crew members per EMS unit could dip such calls by around 6,000. FirstUnion, however, said the idea does not go far enough. Spokesman Lynette Blacklaws said only 100 of the new providers will be paramedics. The rest will be emergency medical assistants. Blacklaws said the UK tried a similar approach, but later scrapped it because it was a failure.

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