A city ponders: Who gets to drive the ambulance?
People with heart conditions could feel safe at Kansas City, Missouri, City Hall today. First responders packed a conference room on the building’s 13th floor in order to participate in a discussion about a possible merger between the fire department and the MAST ambulance service.
Earlier this year, the city council formed an advisory committee to look at the issue. Fire fighters and their union, Local 42, have wanted to manage the ambulance function for a long time. MAST officials wish to remain a city-funded private enterprise.
Louie Wright, the boss of Local 42, has a reputation for being a bully. But the portion of the proceedings I attended were pretty civil. Before the meeting began, a guy wearing a shirt identifying him as MAST paramedic offered his seat to woman wearing a KCFD hoodie; she politely declined the offer. “No, sit down, Carl,” she said.