By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
We never asked for an ambulance, because we have two cars of our own, and the facility was really close. What happened next nearly made me sick all over again.
Southwest sent me a bill for $375. The charges, it said, were for the ride and 10 minutes' worth of service Southwest workers administered. My hospital bill was slightly more than $500 for lots of medications and nearly five hours of service.
I'm still fighting Southwest to take those charges off my credit-bureau report. As far as I'm concerned, if I ever really need its help, just let me die. I'll have a lot more money in my pocket.
A. Evonti Anderson
As the wife of a Southwest Ambulance paramedic, I would like to comment on what I have seen. Southwest may be a "patient-oriented company," according to CEO Bob Ramsay, but it should also be employee-oriented. I am talking about employee satisfaction, turnover rate and having updated equipment so the employees can do their jobs exceptionally.
When there are traumatic calls, everyone who is at the scene, including firefighters and police officers, go to a debriefing. The firefighters and police officers are sent no questions asked, but most Southwest employees are told either find relief for your shift or go talk to someone on your own time. During the winter months, Southwest Ambulance is extremely busy. I am always worried about my husband driving home after being run nonstop from call to call 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
I don't know if someone like Bob Ramsay could survive a 24-hour shift. Have him work in one of his ambulances, at one of his stations. How about Pat Cantelme working for the same wages as a Southwest Ambulance employee. Maybe then they would see through their green-colored glasses. They would have plenty of reasons to rectify things.
In reply to the comment made by the union's business manager, Jim Hayden, regarding the 2 percent of Southwest's workforce being made up of disgruntled employees, I know that the percentage of grumbling employees is tremendously higher. With the negative aspects within Southwest Ambulance, I believe the only reason people work for the company is because of love of what they do. Maybe it's easier for disgruntled employees to sit back, instead of (and I quote Hayden) "potentially creating their own problems."
Club Foot in Mouth
I appreciate New Times' effort to provide club listings for the Valley's music scene. But the listings are not much good if they are not kept up to date. After calling three clubs to confirm that a band I wanted to see was indeed playing, I discovered that none of them had played there in weeks. One coffee house in the Jazz/Latin listing changed its name from Kelly's to Charlie's months ago. There must be some way to peacefully rectify this obscene absurdness.
Editor's note: The Clubs listings are updated on a weekly basis with all information received within the deadline parameters clearly stated at the top of the column. The responsibility to provide that information rests with the clubs. New Times' Clubs listings reflected the Kelly's/Charlie's name change in its February 13, 1997, issue. That is months ago.