L.A. Officials Push Greater Oversight of EMS Staff
Los Angeles Fire Department officials are moving to increase incident reporting requirements by emergency medical responders to comply with a state law regarding disciplinary action after a Los Angeles Times investigation drew attention to the issues, the Times reports.
Battalion Chief Daniel McCarthy, commander of emergency medical services, last week informed employees that the department is legally responsible for disclosing certain matters to regional and state authorities for investigation and possible discipline.
McCarthy cited a Times investigation earlier this month that found a lack of oversight among emergency medical responders in Los Angeles and statewide. The Times identified cases in which fire departments failed to report internal investigations and patient care problems to independent regulators.
Marc Eckstein, the fire department's medical director, is responsible for reporting any internal disciplinary action but never was informed of any problems, according to the Times.
However, Eckstein said he now receives regular reports on all internal investigations and disciplinary actions. He added that state regulators are notified when cases are related to emergency medical care (Connell/Lopez, Los Angeles Times, 5/30).