Podcast#23: “Grounding the Frequent Flyer”

Ridealong8No matter where in the world you practice your emergency medicine, no matter how long you have been a paramedic, there is always one constant that draws us together for a collective moan and groan. The “Frequent Flyer”. That patient who is a persistent user of the EMS system. Somebody you would see on a regular basis, week in and week out, the patient you get to know by first name. Instead of rolling my eyes at the strain this sector of society is placing on our struggling ambulance and health systems, I was curious to see how others handled this burden. This summer I spend a day with the San Francisco Fire Department and got some insight into how they have approached the issue.

I ride along with Captain Niels Tangherlini for this podcast and vlog. During my visit it soon became clear, standing on a street corner in the middle of San Francisco that the issues faced by this Paramedic are exactly the same I face on my own EMS patch any given day of the week. The futility felt in negotiating with a regular intoxicated inebriate about life, love and a logical plan of action in getting them out of this destructive circle of despair. With the NHS system under strain and close to collapse, it’s little surprise that having a drunk, sleeping off a hangover in the ED department is something most in the NHS feel is a waste of valuable resource. But yet, nobody has a definitive plan that would make a difference or have an impact on this demographic.

Listen to Podcast#23: “Grounding the Frequent Flyer”

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The Show Notes:
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My Guests Bio:

NTangherliniA Paramedic Captain with the San Francisco Fire Department, Niels Tangherlini is the recipient of the Jefferson award for making a difference in his community. Niels created the Homeless Outreach and Medical Emergency Team, which delivered comprehensive social services and medical treatment to high-frequency users of 911, including the poor, homeless, mentally ill, elderly, disabled, and alcoholics and drug abusers. The awards are administered by the American Institute for Public Service, a national foundation that honours community service. Niels lives in the East Bay with his wife, Miriam, an emergency medical technician, and their two sons. Niels works out of an office at the San Francisco Department of Public Health building at 1380 Howard St. Although he officially works 10 hours a day four days a week, he often goes beyond the call of duty.

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