Sunday, September 13, 2009

An open letter to the members of Region IV

My name is Daniel R. Gerard, MS, RN, NREMT-P, and I am running for the NAEMT Region IV Director. I have worked the streets as an EMT and paramedic in one of the busiest EMS systems per capita in the United States for over 20 years. I know what we do and how difficult our job is.

I started as a volunteer EMT in Newark, NJ in 1981, switching over to a career position in 1983. I became a paramedic in 1985, and I have served as an EMT Instructor, dispatcher, EMS Tour Chief, paramedic instructor, continuing education coordinator, college professor, clinical coordinator, QI coordinator, and EMS director. I have served NAEMT as Chair of the Paramedic Division, program development for AMLS, liaison to CECBEMS, and CAAHEP. Other leadership positions I have held, I am the past-President of the NJ EMT Association, past-Treasurer of the San Francisco Paramedic Association, and I currently serve as the Chairman of the Occupational Injury Prevention Committee for the International Association of EMS Chiefs. In addition I was the lead consultant for the ambulance service re-design in Hong Kong and I worked with the Pan American Health Organization in the Bahamas.

NAEMT is a member driven organization. As a member of NAEMT I have consistently dedicated myself to the Association and the membership.

I am not running to advance my resume, to get a new job, or to make money. I am running because I believe in who we are and what we do. I believe that we deserve better. I believe that as a profession we deserve equal consideration with other healthcare and public safety professions.

I seek this position with no illusions.

In my personal opinion NAEMT has let us down in regards to how they manage our finances and responding to EMS occupational injuries.

How much money does NAEMT spend on travel? What is the result of the travel that the leaders of NAEMT have engaged in? What happened to the financial audit that the membership was told was going to take place? What happens with OUR money? Don’t we deserve to know?

Previous officers have said that this year we are budgeted for 21% travel. Twenty-one cents out of every dollar goes to travel. My question is how many DOLLARS did we spend?

No one has answered that question.

Out of the 79 cents left, we still have to pay salaries, benefits, of the staff in Clinton, operate and maintain the building, taxes, print and mail the newsletter, correspondence, computers, paper, and last but not least, benefits to the membership.

If we spend 21% of every dollar on travel, how much money do we spend on the members?

If I am paying you my money what do I get from the Association, in dollars and as a percentage of the total budget for my dues that I paid during the last completed fiscal year?

I have not received a response yet.

The officer making comment on first class travel asked for the information that I had regarding travel, and another officer stated that no one had any upgrades to first class. I then referred them to the Clinton Travel Agency records for the last three years, specifically the credit card receipts and to please look for the 500 Mile Upgrades purchased to be utilized for upgrades in travel.

I have not had a response yet.

I am also stating that the Association has paid for the frequent flyer club membership for officers. They maintain they haven’t. This is a misstatement of facts by the Association.

Last but not least, the biggest problem I have is that the Association flew several officers to the retirement party for another officer of the Association. I am sorry, this is wrong. We don’t fly officers/board members to a party.

I am against the new by-laws change. My opponent is for the new by-laws. Let me state clearly that the by-laws change does not affect my opponent or myself. I believe that I am speaking for the membership by being against the change. I feel in my personal opinion, that the by-laws will not open opportunities for members to run for office, but instead limit the opportunity to a narrow group of people. Again this is my personal opinion, but what I would ask you to look at the by-laws change, and say ‘if I wanted to run for office, under these by-laws, would I be able to run?’

I think at that point, it will be clear.

There is a letter from the attorney of NAEMT regarding the by-laws change. I have asked that the letter be provided to the membership so that they can make an informed choice. For whatever reason, the Association has not or will not provide the letter to the membership. Various people have quoted from the letter, but no one will make the entire letter available to the members. Why?

If it is a positive letter, let us see it and then we can get behind the by-laws change. If it has negative comments or ascertains, let us see that as well, so that we can be well-informed and make a decision that is right for us.

In regards to a single federal EMS agency, I will ask you a couple of questions:

Are you better off today than you were last year, 2 years ago, 5 years ago?

Do you think we have equal representation with the police and fire services on a federal level?

Do you think we have a powerful voice in the federal government, to advocate for us, and to advance an agenda to improve our profession?

If you say yes, then I would have to disagree, please read my previous posts. If you say no, then you and I are on the same page.

Every one deserves to have a safe environment to work in. In regards to health and safety issues let me ask one more question:

Do you feel any safer than you did last year, 2 years ago, 5 years ago?

If your answer is no, who has been representing you?

My goals if elected:

Work toward creation of a national EMS administration, as the membership has stated in previous polls

Working with the U.S. Dept. of Labor to develop a unique coding mechanism for EMS Occupational Injuries

Develop a program to identify and recognize programs of excellence. From these programs, develop the tools and guides for organizations to incorporate so that they too may be able to reduce occupational injuries and deaths.

Responsibly manage your money, reduce cost, by eliminating frivolous travel

Answer and be accountable to the membership

Do you work hard for your money? Do you work hard for the money that you make to pay your dues to NAEMT? What do you get for that NAEMT membership money?

How much money does NAEMT spend on travel? What is the result of the travel that the leaders of NAEMT have engaged in? What happened to the financial audit that the membership was told was going to take place? What happens with OUR money? Don’t we deserve to know?

In all of my time in EMS, I have always felt that EMT’s and Paramedics must stand up and defend their own rights. There is no end to this battle, when we are old and no longer able to carry on the fight, what we fought for will live on in the future of our brother and sister EMT’s and paramedics.

I have answered every question, EVERY question that has been put forth by the membership.

Stand TOGETHER with ME, TOGETHER vote for ME, and TOGETHER WE will carry the banner to a new tomorrow.

Stay safe, I will see you in the street,

Daniel R. Gerard, MS, RN, NREMT-P


Anonymous said...

This is an email I sent to KC Jones Mr. Gerard. I have been corresponding with you and I appreciate that you have taken the time to respond to me and explain things in detail to me.

I was originally going to vote for your opponent. You have gradually swayed me. The straw that broke the camels back is contained in my email below.

You have my vote. Please continue to fight the good fight. I don't know if you will win, but in my eyes you deserve to.

When I first met you, it was at the AMLS course in Reno in 2000 or 2001, I forgot which year it was, but I immediately liked you because as myself, you are a good Christian man.

I was following the forum postings for NAEMT. I emailed Mr. Gerard to voice my displeasure, and he was kind and courteous, and he actually spoke highly of you as an educator. He stated that his issues were primarily directed at the Association. He asked me to follow the responses, which I did. I asked him for more information, and he has provided me volumes.

I was disappointed with your initial response to Mr. Gerard, because I never saw anything in Mr. Gerard's posting that attacked you personally, he spoke to short comings in the Association. I was depressed when I saw the responses and attacks from Jerry Johnston, Pat Moore, and then Rick Ellis, because as with your response, it started to seem that there was meat on the bone here.

I actually started to discuss with several of my colleagues what the dollar amount spent for travel is. Why would they fly to a party. What do I get for my membership?

I continued to follow the posts. I wasn't going to change my vote, I still believed in you as a person. I felt your response where you stated "Our expenses are down this year...Praise the Lord!", was forced and not natural. I was disappointed in you.

The straw that broke the camels back through was your last posting.

I too teach at a college. I set high standards for my students. I was shocked to see that you plagiarized an entire Wikipedia citation regarding public safety. Word for word. If you don't think other educators will notice this, you are sadly mistaken. I recognized it immediately.

You sir should be ashamed of yourself. If you cannot do the work, you haven't earned my vote, or the vote of other members of the Association. If you will lie and cheat in a forum for the members, I can only imagine what you will do in the board room.

I am posting my email to Mr. Gerard's blog.

May God have mercy on you.


Anonymous said...

I am a FORMER PHTLS, I now teach ITLS.

I have read these comments and let me pass on one piece of advice:


Naemt is a lost cause. I say former PHTLS instructor, because last year I was at the PHTLS conference in Las Vegas. I was never an Neamt member, but I was considering it at the conference last year.

While I was standing talking to some friends near the exhibit hall, I overhead an Naemt 'officer' talking with a 'member'

Now let me point out this person is not on the PHTLS national team. The PHTLS people are very good people. they do so much work, always willing to help you, i beleive it is the best prehospital trauma program available.

this 'offical' person from Naemt, if I told you his name you would be shocked, was jawing about he went with PHTLS to south America to teach, and all he did was lay on the beach and go out at night! he said he didn't do any teaching!

I knew right then, I did not want to teach for Naemt or be a member. I was not going to work hard so that someone from Naemt would get a free vacation. That is why I am a FORMER PHTLS instructor.

Do youself a favor DONT RUN. when you lie down with dogs you get flies.

Jerry Wilson, EMT-I/ITLS Instr.

Anonymous said...

I am stunned at the unprofessional conduct and the wholesale disregard for member concerns that is being exhibited by the supposed leaders of NAEMT. This is not how you treat members regardless of how you may personally feel about the individual or the issue. As a "leader" you are supposed to be objective, equitable and mature enough to address issues & problems with clear vision, supportable facts and a true voice. None of these seems to be traits the contemporary NAEMT officers possess or are capable of demonstrating in this matter. If there is nothing to conceal then they should release the document from the lawyer that my dues paid to have issued. Why not let us see it? Who is the law firm? I wonder what they think about being dragged into this when all NAEMT had to do was publish the opinion.

Mr. Gerard, thank you for standing up to the bullys and fighting for us in the street. The NAEMT leaders seem to have forgotten they are the ones responsible to protect us and provide for us. I have to work extra shifts to get the money to belong to NAEMT. I am starting to think that it would be better spent taking my kids to the movies instead of funding their follys. If it was not so important, they're freshman class antics would be comical.

Anonymous said...