LETTER: Lack of communication, engagement and leadership driving EMS further down the downward spiral

EMS in action (2018 photo)

Dear Editor,

Members of the Antigua and Barbuda Emergency Medical Services (ABEMS) who serve the citizens and visitors of this beloved nation have endured much throughout the years.

The lack of proper ambulances, equipment, protocols, a medical director, sufficient ongoing education…. is driving EMS further down the downward spiral.

Low morale is frequently referred to by individuals in positions of leadership as the core cause of numerous failed efforts and difficulties in engaging ABEMS personnel.

They often blame low morale for inadequate organizational operations, a lack of professionalism among staff, and employees not taking advantage of educational opportunities.

Despite the fact that problems with organizational morale can certainly cause complications, morale is not the issue.

This is a symptom. Similar to how a combative diabetic patient’s behavior is caused by a blood sugar emergency, low organizational morale in ABEMS is a symptom of a bigger problem.

There is a lack of communication, engagement and leadership with staff. The most recent general staff meeting was almost four years ago.

Leadership primarily now communicates through strictly memos, which are occasionally connected with unintentional misinformation.

This frequently occurs when the memo’s information is misinterpreted by the EMT.

Leadership blamed COVID for the lack of a general staff meeting, yet COVID is now nearly non-existent, and they still do not meet.

Addressing communication issues will go a long way toward alleviating organizational morale shortfall.

Leaders must be deliberate in their efforts to facilitate successful communication, as communication is any organization’s Achilles heel.

Failure to manage communications will almost always result in morale issues.

The long and short of it is that EMS personnel do not feel valued. EMTs were at the tip of the spear during the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for and transporting the sick and injured to definitive care.

Our EMTs were lauded by elected officials and the ABEMS leadership.

While praises is appreciated, it is time for those same elected officials and ABEMS leaders to make substantial improvements by providing better working conditions, additional equipment, protocols with medical direction, benefits and wages to bring us up to parity with our public safety partners.

It is past time for EMTs to speak out and demand their rights. As you can see, no one in our country, not elected officials, unions, shop steward, or the leadership, is fighting or pushing for EMTs. Leaders who are no longer fulfilling their responsibilities should be replaced.


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  1. Jumbee_Picknee would like to know, so that he can report back to Mami_Wata, as to why #ALL these government managed agencies are all on a “downward spiral,” while those #WHO’RE charged with their management, seems to be doing great and have no sympathy for those who are under their management?

    Mami_Wata help the Nation out and send your #Spirits to haunt these crooks and criminals #WHO’RE taking advantage of the People.

    • @Iman…we have a saying in the Contruction Industry, “a man/woman without a tool to do a job is a fool.”

      Unlike, the Construction Industry where you can substitute a pliers for a hammer at times, a screwdriver for a chisel, and it may take added time to get the job done, this is not and I repeat, this is not the case when it comes to agencies/departments such as EMS – Emergency Medical Services where seconds count. The proper and specific tools, equipments are needed to perform ones task. A turkey/ham baster cannot replace a sterile syringe to give an injection.
      A cutlass cannot replace a scalpel to relieve pressure on a wounded area, crocus/flour bags cannot be ripped to make sterile bandages(this is not 1872, aren’t we a Powerhouse Nation about to put soldiers on Mars with Our 1 Spruce Goose Space Force).

      Or better yet, maybe, they could contract with the Donkey Santiary to provide power for the Donkey_Cart and PAWS to use their stray dogs as the Ambulance drivers.

      While, you Iman have the right to your opinion, please stop making excuses for PPP – Piss Poor Planning and PPM – Piss Poor Management, of the Public Sector.


  2. Maybe if some of the EMTwere more intelligent, this letter would make sense. All kinds of people driving ambulance now. Even the minister driver is a EMT. Eager to please, they are gullible

  3. I think that the problem with the ABEMS Is the Director , what I am seeing is more vehicles adding to the EMS fleet that ambulances (bus, vans cars that are unnecessary) what there need is a transformation leader not a autocratic leader.further more the second in command needs to go also because of there lack of knowledge of leadership.

    • Rebel, do you want the job? You have to then learn how to carry news and suck up
      Besides ABS, Health is the most toxic place ever. Toxic Toxic Toxic.

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