Political Roadblocks to Organizing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Allegheny County, U.S.A.
Unpublished Master’ s Thesis, University of Pittsburgh, July, 1973. This report concerns interorganizational politics surrounding a 10-year (1963-1973) struggle to develop an EMS system for Allegheny County. Since lack of official records hampered documentation, reliance was placed on personal interviews and review of correspondence, minutes of meetings, newspaper clippings, etc. Health Professionals striving to improve EMS and confounded by seemingly unrelated bureaucratic and political obstacles failed to understand objections voiced by people who although not directly involved in the delivery of EMS would be affected at some level. This resulted in polarization and proliferation of active Opposition and led to local government refusal of a $ 238,000 grant. Creation of a climate which reopened dialog, eventually led to concessions on both sides and subsequent acceptance of a major planning grant. Public health Professionals cannot deal with the totality of issues surrounding delivery of EMS unless they include in their own conceptual frameworks an understanding of the political and bureaucratic environment.