Vote yes on Question 1: Nursing staffing

Recently, a letter was sent to the citizens of Attleboro regarding Ballot Question 1, Patient Safety Act.

Like so many letters from the ‘no campaign’ this letter was littered with exaggerations and false statements. One in particular read, “Could you imagine if Firefighters or Police Officers had ratios and couldn’t answer a call if they didn’t have exactly a set number of First Responders?”

In fact, there are ratios set both locally and nationally that apply to firefighter staffing, both on apparatus and ambulances. According to minimum staffing levels set by the National Fire Protection Association each engine company and each ladder company should be staffed with four firefighters, to include an additional company officer on each.

According to local Emergency Medical Services Operational Orders, ambulance-staffing levels require two firefighter-paramedics to provide patient care during transport to the hospital. In addition to local protocols, the Department of Public Health requires each ambulance maintain an adequate number of EMS personnel “at all times.” The definition of “adequate number” is than listed. As you can see, there are ratios set for firefighters when responding to every type of emergency in Attleboro and across the Commonwealth. Just like the nurses, first responders everywhere will always “answer the call” with or without “a set number.” Let’s make the nurses job safer and more efficient by meeting adequate staffing ratios and vote yes on Question 1 Patient Safety Act.

Paul Jacques


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