The 21st Show

Green Veterans Illinois; How Ambulances Get Diverted From The Closest Hospital; Karate Is Now An Olympic Sport


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About 9.5 million veterans are in the American workforce. One group called Green Veterans wants more servicemembers to work in clean energy and sustainability. Plus, hospitals in the Chicago area have been sending ambulances away in an effort to reduce overcrowded emergency rooms. But, this practice is actually moving the problem instead of solving it. And, the centuries old sport of karate will be an Olympic event for the first time in Tokyo next year. We speak with some Olympic hopefuls.

Green Veterans Illinois

About 9.5 million veterans are in the labor force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They work in a wide range of fields whether it’s in office settings, health care, transportation and they’re also much more likely than to work in the federal government than non-veterans.

One organization is hoping to encourage more veterans to consider another career path. Green Veterans connects service members with jobs in sustainability, clean energy, and other environmental initiatives. Not just because it’s a growing industry, but because it might actually help veterans re-adjust to civilian life. And just last month, the organization launched an Illinois chapter.

Jessica Klinge  is the founder of Green Veterans Illinois. She’s also an army reserve officer. 

How Ambulances Get Diverted From The Closest Hospital

If you have to call an ambulance, you are already in a high-stress situation. It means that you, or a loved one, needs medical attention right away, and luckily, most times, paramedics are there to help. The assumption in calling an ambulance is that EMT’S will take you to the closest hospital as quickly as possible.  

But, it turns out that’s not always the case. When a hospital goes on “ambulance diversion” or “ambulance bypass,” it means that they don’t accept patients coming in to the ER in an ambulance. Sometimes that can mean a patient has to go further, and wait longer for care. 

Some of the laws and oversight around this issue in Illinois were tightened decades ago when a newborn girl died after her ambulance was diverted. But, an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found that since then, Illinois has been lax in its oversight of this practice. 

The Journal Sentinel found that some of Chicago’s top hospitals continue to close their emergency room doors to ambulances, some of them for thousands of hours every year. 

John Diedrich is an investigative reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. And Kevin Crowe is a data journalist at USA Today. 

Karate Is Now An Olympic Sport

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo are still months away but of course, athletes are training now, and many, have in fact, been training almost their  lives for a chance at gold. 

And for the first time, you can add Karate athletes to the list of olympic hopefuls. Karate, the ancient martial art dating back to 14th century Japan, will be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. That’s after a nearly 40-year battle to get the sport in the games. 

We have two members of Team USA karate joining us to tell us more. Tom Scott is ranked third in the world by the World Karate Federation, and is a Pan American Games Gold Medalist. 

Sakura Kokumai is a world bronze medalist and eight-time USA National Champion from Los Angeles.

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