EMTs generally don't have a glamorous job. But some are getting a chance to rub shoulders with the beautiful people, thanks to a new business that supplies on-site medical staffing at events around the country.
ParaDocs Worldwide has staffed fashion events for Victoria's Secret, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs and New York International Bridal Week, along with outdoor music festivals and fundraisers. Not to mention providing EMTs for movie shoots, TV shows and commercials. Other clients include MTV, LivingSocial, New York City Triathlon, Viacom, Cigar Aficianado and Norwegian Cruise Line Corp. In all, the company does about 1,200 events a year.
Alex Pollak, an emergency medical technician and founder of ParaDocs, hopes his 3-year-old company will hit $2 million in revenue in 2015. “We never send a bill to the patient,” Pollak said. “Everything's paid for upfront by the (event's) producer.”
In New York City, where ParaDocs is based, public events that attract more than 5,000 people are required to provide their own security. Pollak's company covers everything from fashion shows to the Electric Zoo Festival. High-end events will often opt for ParaDocs' services to avoid a disruption if a medical emergency brings an ambulance to the scene, he said.
The company also has offices in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with a part-time staff of 400. Staffers are mostly paramedics and EMTs but also include physicians and registered nurses, all paid per diem. Although ParaDocs will send a patient to the hospital for a medical emergency, that scenario happens in less than 1% of cases, Pollak estimated.
“We don't care about the billing, so we treat a lot more (patients on site) than an ambulance company that's incentivized to take people over to the hospital,” he said.