The BRMC Ambulance Page

Update February 2015: After 20+ years working part-time I resigned from the ambulance service. I seemed to have less and less time to devote to working there. In the summer I'd rather ride my bike and in the winter I have projects to do. For the first 11 years I worked pretty much every weekend...first on Friday night then on Saturdays. When I started building my garage in 2005 I cut back to two Saturdays a month. Around 2010 I cut back again to working once a month. This is the minimum requirement for a part-time employee.

The last few years I didn't really enjoy working there but I wanted to stick it out for 20 years. The hospital was now part of the IU Health network and last year our ambulance service was merged with Bloomington. Things have gotten very corporate with a thousand unnecessary rules and a complete lack of common sense. The hospital became a 'critical access' hospital. This allows them to obtain more reimbursements from Medicare/Medicaid but it requires the hospital to have a census of less than 25 patients. What this means for the ambulance service is constantly transferring patients to Bloomington. This, combined with the ever growing abuse of the healthcare system, made me more and more cynical and apathetic every time the tones would sound. Also, the Indiana EMS Commission redefined the requirements for an Advanced EMT and most Advanced EMTs were automatically demoted to a Basic EMT. Bastards.

Another thing that had a negative affect on me was when the ambulance service switched to digital radios a few years. After listening to 'my ambulance service' for nearly twenty years they were suddenly gone from the airwaves. I no longer knew what was going on and felt detached from the service.

One of the things I enjoyed about the ambulance service were the 24-hour shifts. You could watch TV, use the computer, sleep, run errands...just hang out. If you weren't busy it was like a 24 hour getaway. That all changed with the merging with Bloomington. 12-hour shifts. They took away the beds. Everything is done on the computer even if it takes ten times longer. A hundred passwords to remember that seem to change every month. Less hours per shift meant less pay with no hope of uptime. Tons of mandatory training and it was always 'during the week, during the day' and I would have to take vacation time to attend. Bloomington also requires their Basic EMTs to take a lot of paramedic-level training and I wasn't going to do that. Financially, it was making less and less sense to work there, and my heart just wasn't in it.

So, on a cold February evening, I turned in my resignation and cleaned out my locker. I miss the people. I miss the honor of serving the community and helping people in need. But I don't miss what the job had become. When you work at something in addition to a full-time job you have to enjoy it and I no longer did.

The BRMC Ambulance Service is part of the Bedford Regional Medical Center, and is located at 2900 West 16th Street, Bedford, Indiana. We are a 'paramedic service', which means at least one of our trucks is always staffed with a paramedic. We have two trucks staffed 24 hours a day with two-man (excuse me, two-person) crews.

We currently have 21 employees: 13 full-time and 7 part-time. This also breaks down as 8 paramedics, 9 advanced EMTs, 3 basic EMTs, and 1 dispatcher. Our Ambulance Director is Bob Atkins.

OnSpot tire chains.

Ambulance laptops.

See our new ambulance here.

See our new ambulance station here.

Below are our ambulances:

Here are two of our ambulances...Ambulance 2 (foreground) and Ambulance 3. Ambulance 2 was placed into service in August 1999, and Ambulance 3 in April 2001. Both trucks were manufactured by American Emergency Vehicles. Ambulance 2 will become a backup truck with the arrival of the new Ambulance 1.

This is Ambulance 4. It is our backup truck and is used for special events.

Our ambulance dispatch is located across the street in the main hospital building. Approximately half of the ambulance personnel are also city or county firefighters, which gives us added knowledge and expertise.

Our hospital is now part of the Clarian Health Network, which was a merging of Methodist Hospital, Riley Hospital for Children, and the IU Medical Center, all of Indianapolis. Our hospital was founded in 1970 as the Bedford Medical Center, along with a separate suite of doctors' offices known as the Edgewood Clinic. In 1996 the hospital and clinic became one entity and merged with Methodist Hospital, becoming known as the Bedford Regional Medical Center.

Public Education Section

BRMC is a regional training center. Click here for more information.

"Ambulance driver" - A generic term often used by the public to describe EMTs. If you want to irritate an EMT call them an 'ambulance driver'. This refers back to the old days when an ambulance provided little or no medical care, and just drove an injured patient to the hospital. These days ambulance personnel are highly trained, medical professionals. In Indiana they are divided into 3 classes:

EMT-B, the 'Basic EMT'. They do all the normal stuff. Bandaging, oxygen, etc. They can now use automatic defibrillators and non-visualized airways with the proper medical direction. Requires ~200 hours of class time, ride time, and ER time.

EMT-A, the 'Advanced EMT'. In addition to the skills of the Basic EMT they can start IVs, use non-visualized airways, interpret monitor rhythms, perform glucometry, and manually defibrillate. Requires an additional ~100 hours of class time, ride time, and ER time over the Basic EMT.

EMT-P, the 'Paramedic'. They do all the things people normally think of and see on TV: give drugs, intubate, etc...they do it all. Becoming a paramedic is a serious step. It requires ~1500-2000 hours of class time, and tons of hospital/ER/ride time. Paramedics have a right to be proud of their certification. Some let it go to their head, though, and the basic/advanced EMTs have to give them hell for it. If you are in EMS, I'm sure you know at least one.

Worth Noting

BRMC Ambulance has been featured in 'Rescue 911'. They also provided medical direction/care on the set of the movie 'Best of the Best 3' at all their Indiana locations.

Several of BRMC's EMTs are members of the Lawrence County Emergency Response Team (SWAT team).

Follow the EMS links below or click here to go back to my homepage.

EMS links

Bedford Regional Medical Center - the hospital's official website

Indian Creek VFD EMS Page

EMS Experts - a website by Guy Haskell, one of our paramedics

Dunn Memorial Ambulance - another member of our county's EMS team

Lawrence County EPICS

S.M.A.R.T., Inc. (SAR/DMAT)

Lifeline Helicopter

JEMS Online

Horton Ambulance

McCoy Miller Homepage

American Emergency Vehicles

Wheeled Coach Homepage

E-One ambulances

E-mail me

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