When you trade actual liability for perceived liability, it kills people and gets bad press in the process.
The perceived liability that a patient will sue you for not taking them in for a clearly non-medical complaint pales in comparrison with the ACTUAL liability of having too few ambulances to handle actual emergencies.
Whether your solution to this mess is privitization (Yeah, try to turn a profit there. Or here for that matter) or not, the solution is clear. It is time EMS stands up and says "NO."
I am a trained medical professional armed with state of the art equipment to assess your chief complaint and I have found that you do not need an ambulance so I will arrange alternative transport to the physician.
No more transport them all and let the MDs sort it out. It never worked, it will never work.
Detroit EMS, as with most other systems, including my own, have chosen to hide behind a false definition of liability, instead rolling the dice and hoping nothing will happen.
And we all know what happens when you work in EMS and hope nothing will happen.
A senior staffer will likely step down, replaced by another senior staffer who will enact the same policies and wonder if something new will happen.
See also: Insanity