Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sparring with the NAEMT Treasurer

I have been going round and round now with the Treasurer for NAEMT. I am echoing my responses from the NAEMT Forum, because they stand the possibility of being edited and removed. This has already happened, and while I am not happy, I will explore all options to have this rectified. Until then...

Anyone who wants a copy of the NAEMT Treasurers Report from 2008, please contact me.

Rick Ellis has decided to ask a question. Rick is the Treasurer for NAEMT, and while I have a lot of respect for Rick, I am sorely disappointed.

Rick's Question to me on the NAEMT...Please make sure you read my follow-up response, there is very little dynamite in this, but toward the end of MY response is a shocker.

Rick Ellis:

Dan:

I would very much like to see the information you have regarding NAEMT paying for members to fly first class.

If members get an upgrade at no cost to NAEMT due to their frequent flier miles then that is something they earned and NAEMT is not being charged.

Also to let you know, if you add all travel lines in the budget (to cover instructors teaching our expo precon courses, PHTLS, AMLS, EPC committee travel, BoD travel, staff travel to support our major conference) you would be close to being correct as it accounts for 21% of the projected budget. To date we have spent only 9.8% of that budget.

As you are aware we are in the process of writing the new editions of AMLS and PHTLS textbooks. Much of this work is being done remotely but there is a need for some face to face time with publishers and authors.

If we were to look only at BoD travel, there is 7.3% of the budget projected to account for travel to meet twice a year and to attend meetings representing you the member at national forums and committees. To date we have only spent 55% of the 7.3% projected. By exerting conservative spending ideas, we only spent 50% of the projected budget item for the mid year meeting.

Travel was drastically reduced after the past Treasurer's concerns were raised in his departing report and continue to be scrutinized.

Thanks for your concern and request for information and clarification.

Richard Ellis, BSOE, NREMT-P
Treasurer

My Response to Rick:


Chief Ellis,

As previous comments have been removed because the monitors of the forum have felt that they did not conform to the guidelines here, let me advise you that my comments and yours may be edited or removed.

As per NAEMT: “The views expressed here are strictly personal and are not necessarily subscribed to by the association. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten other members; have obscene, unlawful, defamatory, libelous, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content; or have spam, commercial or advertising content or links are liable to be removed by the website administrator. We also reserve the right to edit the comments that do get published”

If you want additional information, or documentation, email me at daniel.gerard@comcast.net

To answer your question:

You stated that due to the last treasurers report, that issues relevant to travel were addressed and travel was scaled back.

What other issues in the past treasurers report were raised that you have addressed?

I am curious because previously, on this forum, another officer spoke disparagingly of that report, and now I am confused because you are stating that you have actually acted on some of those issues.

If anyone would like to see what was said previously, please email me and I will supply you a copy of what was said. My email is daniel.gerard@comcast.net

You stated Chief Ellis, and I will quote you here “I would very much like to see the information you have regarding NAEMT paying for members to fly first class.”

Sir this is very easy, as you already have them in your possession. Please refer to the Clinton Travel Agency records for the last three years, specifically the credit card receipts. Please look for the 500 Mile Upgrades purchased to be utilized for upgrades in travel.

They are all right there.

Are you also saying that we never paid for the frequent flyer club membership for any officer of the Association? NEVER?

My original question, sir, with all due respect accorded your position, I asked how much money was spent. If I wasn’t clear sir, my apologies, but I want to know a dollar amount, not what you have budgeted.

Why? You have a budget of 21%. That budgetary number is just what you have allotted, it wasn’t what you spent. You are going into the most expensive time of the year, and in past years, because the conference is in the last quarter, we have historically had a difficult time.

So that I am clear, and others understand, before we spend any other money, we have allotted 21 cents out of every dollar for travel. 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?


To go back to my original question, please tell me and everyone else, what did the Association spend, in dollars and as a percentage of the total budget for travel the last 3 years?

What business was accomplished by the board of directors on this travel?

Why do I want to know this? If we are flying officers and Board members to state conferences to increase recruitment, the paid membership of the Association is between 6,000 and 7,000 members. The rest of the membership is composed of ‘free’ members who do not contribute anything in the way of dues, but have gained access for 1 year free by attending a PHTLS, AMLS, and EPC class.

Since we are not gaining a huge number of members, wouldn’t our money be better spent by keeping the officers and board of directors home, and letting local members of the Association staff the booths? This way we can kill two birds with one stone, develop local leaders, and put a real face on the organization, a member of the local EMS community who is also a member of NAEMT? What better person to explain the benefits of NAEMT than the guy or gal next door.

If the Association is growing by leaps and bounds because of the efforts of the officers of the Association, all well and good, it was worth the effort. Please provide the number of paid the members over the last 10 years (not the ‘free’ members who get their membership from AMLS, PHTLS, and EPC). Start from 1998 and show me how sending the officers to state conferences has increased membership.

I understand that travel is touchy subject, but since you brought it up Chief Ellis, have we spent any money to fly the officers or board members of the Association to a retirement affair for an officer of the Association?

I am sorry sir, regardless of how much I respect the officer in question, flying the officers and board members to retirement party is wrong. If it is wrong for AIG, Washington Mutual, and other bank executives to go to Las Vegas, it is equally as wrong to fly the officers of the Association to a retirement affair.

Our members are struggling, this isn’t responsible, it is reprehensible.

I can understand sending a couple (meaning no more than two) of the officers or members of the board for the National EMS Bike Ride. This is important for the Association and the EMS community as whole. I applaud the efforts of Jennifer for undertaking this.

I cannot and will not support flying officers to a party to have a good time on Association money, money that comes from the pockets of our members.

Previously I asked for and have yet to receive a response:

Which officers and board members traveled?

Where did they go?

What official business were they on?

How much did it cost?

Respectfully,


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

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