This email is in reference to the proposed resolution on tonight’s council agenda.  As you navigate through  the process I ask that you consider how any proposed change in incident response could adversely affect the medical care that the citizens of Allentown receive.
Scene safety and security is not only important for providing immediate care,  it is the first rule taught in every medical certification protocol.  AFD and AEMS routinely respond to drug related incidents, domestic disputes, vehicle accidents and mental illness calls.
Patient agitation and violent reaction for afflictions ranging from imbalanced blood sugars to administering Narcan to an overdose patient happen frequently.  APD is an integral part of that conflict resolution and assures that AEMS and AFD can effectively provide medical treatment for the most positive outcome.
I have heard some of you say and much has been reported that this resolution as well protocol changes are an effort to divert calls and funding away from APD to social service responses.  As you know I am a huge advocate for mental health awareness and have come for your support on the issue in the past.  The mental health and addiction efforts should be focused in preventative measures and aftercare, not emergency service budget reduction.
Allentown citizens safety and treatment is the priority, but my members safety is also a concern when APD funding and response is being discussed.  Scene safety is paramount in the treatment we provide.  We are not in a controlled environment like a hospital or treatment center.  APD has done a fantastic job providing the security we rely on in very volatile situations with limited resources.
Once again I ask you take into consideration the ripple effects of any decisions being made with regards to protocol and funding. I sympathize with you having to be a steward for both citizen and employee and I trust you will be able to do right by both.
Jeremy Warmkessel
President Local 302 IAFF