1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hub of Placer County, CA
    Posts
    1

    Default FF/Medics Am I too traditional?

    Hey guys I'm new to this site and was just wondering what the rest of you think about the topic of medics sweeping the fire service. At least in my area the bigger departments have started hiring medics exclusively and I for lack of a better word refuse to go to medic school because I feel they are destroying the fire service I was raised around. "Old man fire" and all that stuff.

    Am I not progressive enough? or does someone else agree with me that because so many people have run out and got their medics so they can get a job these "Cookie cutter medics" are hurting the EMS side of the fire service because their skills are poor and their hearts aren't in it.

    Let me know if the way my fathers, grandfathers, and those that came before them fire service is dead and gone. And my hope that medics are a fad is misplaced and I need to accept where we are going in this new millenium.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Well there are 2 completely different ways to look at it. Personally...i am not enjoying medic school one bit. I want nothing more then to just be a fireman and not worry about all this EMS stuff. But, it is what is keeping our jobs, and it brings in the green so the city's can justify hiring more. Another way to think about it is look at when your grandfather and father were firemen...when did they accept wearing full PPE and SCBA. To them that probably was a hassle to the fire service, and now...its the only way to go. So as far as the medic thing goes, i wish i didnt have to do it, but its part of the job now so i mias well try to make the best of it.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,584

    Default

    Let me know if the way my fathers, grandfathers, and those that came before them fire service is dead and gone
    .

    Thankfully, it is!

    The days of SCBA is for pussies, no hazmat awareness, no training, no EMS for our own on the fireground other than a resuscitator, puking one's guts out for inhaling too much smoke, blowing black snot out odf your nose for days, dying of cancers, emphesema and whatnot before getting to enjoy retirement.. I can go on and on.

    Not all FD's require you to be a paramedic. By your screen name, I'm getting that you have trasnplanted yourself from Jersey to to Cali.

    You want the job? You have to play by the rules and do what you have to to get it. If you have to be a medic or become one, so be it. If you don't want it, there's a rather large line of people standing behind you willing to take your place.

    Your situation is like the guy who can fly a Cessna 150 complaining that he has to go to the Air Force Academy and flight school to learn how to fly the F22 Raptor. Flying is flying, right?
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  4. #4
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,325

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ2CAFF View Post
    Let me know if the way my fathers, grandfathers, and those that came before them fire service is dead and gone.
    Yes, it is. Simple as that. Now, I support traditions as much as the next guy, but nothing stays the same forever, and the fire service isn't exempt from that either.

    Medics are here to stay. There seems to be a wide-spread belief that EMS is the cancer of the fire service, and the FF/Medics are personally spreading that disease around. That's not the case for a majority of the FF/PM's out there. Are there some out there who could give two $H!t's about the fire service, and just wanted to EMS with better benefits and schedules than private-service EMS? Sure! But I wouldn't let these handful of providers tarnish the rep of the guys who are both outstanding firefighters AND outstanding medics. I work with guys who do both equally well, and would put 'em up against any FF anywhere.

    Just remember, the more medics that are out there, the less chance you'll end up staffing an ambulance!
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default FF/MEDICs

    Well you asked for it, Here it is plain and simple. I like my grandfather and my father am in the FIRE SERVICE. I started as a JR fire fighter in 1971. My father was a fireman back when I would sit in my mothers car and watch him and his fellow firefighters run in and out of structure fires with rubber hip boots and old BUNKER gear. No SCBAs, and very little water supply. I watched on a number of fires where they took him as well as others to the hospital after being overcome by smoke. I was so taken by the sight of all this and the fact that in my eyes these guys were true heros. As soon as I could hang around I did. My father died of an ugly form of lung cancer, But now I am a FireMedic, I am a FireMedic because that is the best and most true way to fully serve the public. A firemedic is a full service answer to 911. I at a young age back before we had EMS as we know it today I watched many times at MVCs or large structure fires being the ones to get to someone who needed medical attention only to start looking for an ambulance. The truth is for the most part ambulance personel are not cut out to do what we do. I see it all the time, a Paramedic or EMT who has been in EMS for a number of years comes knocking on our door for a job. 9 out of 10 times they never get past the physical agility portion of the process then if they do when it is time for the SCBA and some real fire training they are done. you see there is a place for EMS paramedics and there is a place for FireMedics, We are the ones that do the job in the most physical and demanding environment. I will be the first to tell you 98% of our calls are ones both could do but the other 2% are down and dirty where the rubber meets the road. Now this is in no way knocking ambulance/private EMS. Hell I do that too for a second job. someone has to do the hospital transfers and the dialysis patients as well as the geriatric stuff. On another note tax bases what they are its hard to cover a large county for just fire protection when call volume is about 100 fire calls a year, on the other hand about 2500 more calls a year are medical. Job security is in the medical. Hey we are all brothers and sisters for the same cause. Care of those in need. As for cookie cutter medics, You are as good at something as you want to be. We have all seen the firefighters that have just learned the basics of how to put the wet stuff on the red stuff, Cookie cutter firefighters? Medic school was not easy it took time from my family but now I look back and I am proud as I know my father would be that I am a FIREMEDIC! Oh and as a matter of fact I was a Combat medic in IRAQ in the triangle of death too and now I fly as a flight medic as well, It all started in the fire service, cookie cutter medic? I think not.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N. Ridgeville, Ohio
    Posts
    811

    Default

    If you want a job in NE Ohio at all, you had better e a medic. We have more medic per capita than anywhere in the country here. If it were not for EMS, we would have more job cuts and more department closures. The percentage of EMS to fire here is somewhere in the 80-90% range for almost all of the departments. Now, they almost all bill for EMS runs, this is how they pay the bills and how we keep the jobs.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    DjInferno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mt. Vernon, IL, USA
    Posts
    219

    Default

    I was the same was as you BaderD, when I started EMS as a first responder. But I did it because I had to. 6 years later, I'm a medic and I LOVE it. Fact of the matter is, there's just not as many fires as there used to be. Times have changed the firefighter has had to evolve with the times. I took the job to help people, not to wear the shirt and blow the airhorn. I help more people as a FF/Medic than I ever did as just a FF. My dad started in the old days of the fire service, and I'm pretty sure he will tell you the same thing.
    DJ

    IAFF L738
    www.iafflocal738.org

    IACOJ

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hub of Placer County, CA
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Ok well I guess that answers my question. I thought everyone else was crazy when they tell me I was just born in the wrong decade. Apparently they are right and I am incorrect. I guess I will go on hoping that medics are a fad. (Just like my grandfather thought diesel engines were a fad!) Or that the major departments get so loaded with medics that they start looking for old fashioned firemen.

    I shoulda been born in the forties!!

    thanks for your input guys. stay safe and keep'em small.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    islandfire03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,594

    Default

    Thank goodness the fire service of our fathers and grandfathers is dead & gone . They had entire city blocks of tenements and mill buildings burning on a regular basis. We also had firefighters dying on a regular basis.
    We managed to burn down entire city blocks, and when we instituted new fireproof construction standards life began to change for the better.
    Now it's a battle of the budget and the only way any city or town is going to keep the firehouses open is to generate productivity and revenue out of emergency services. like it or not many departments run 75% or more of their call volume as EMS.
    Now how departments deliver EMS is a very touchy situation. I was visiting in a large NE city recently and watched as an 800,000 dollar tower ladder came screaming code 3 through the downtown area all in order to deliver a Paramedic to a simple fall down go boom call at a local parking lot. How can they justify using such a specialized piece of incredibly expensive apparatus just to deliver a medic to a simple BLS call. Because it's logged as a truck company response to an emergency?????? Why don't they just put more ambulances in service and save the big red trucks for fire calls. Sure would be a lot safer for our brothers and a whole lot less expensive for the maintenance guys.
    Before the flaming starts ,I am a certified cross dressing FF/medic who understands that if we want to survive we need to change with the times.
    I wear the EMS hat a lot more than i need to wear the turnouts.

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    477

    Default

    or does someone else agree with me that because so many people have run out and got their medics so they can get a job these "Cookie cutter medics" are hurting the EMS side of the fire service because their skills are poor and their hearts aren't in it.
    Absolutely.

    On the flip side of this argument, if people who actually want to do EMS were allowed to do it to the best of their ability and not forced to be firefighters too, we'd both solve our problems.

    Here's a crazy idea- how about EMTs and Paramedics ride the ambulances, and Firefighters ride the fire trucks.

    Before the flaming starts ,I am a certified cross dressing FF/medic who understands that if we want to survive we need to change with the times.
    Thank you for illustrating both mine and NJ2CA's point beautifully. This is a horrible, awful, no-good reason for a firefighter to be working an ambulance, or for a fire department to own one.
    Last edited by emt161; 12-31-2007 at 01:02 AM.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    126

    Default

    In a word, Yes.

    That said, a mad headlong rush into pumping out medics is bad too. Paramedicine is not to be taken lightly...just doing the bare minimum because you're required to be a medic is a ****-poor unprofessional attitude. I don't think everyone does this, but we all know those who do. It's just as important to keep up with and learn more. Just like probie school, medic school only teaches you enough to get started. Like it or not, it's part of the job now and requires just as much dedication as putting the wet stuff on the red stuff. It does beg the question though: Is it possible to master both equally? I think it's possible but requires a huge amount of work, work and time that many places don't see fit to pay for. My previous career job only paid and extra $40 a week for medic licensure, even though just about everyone except the most senior guys were required to have and maintain it. Even with that extra $40, we still were paid less than many FFs with only basic EMT licenses in other depts. Why? tradition...the city didn't see how much it changed things for the job that we were doing ALS...never mind that we were doing it with literally half the staffing they'd had 20 years previously when they weren't staffing two paramedic ambulances.

    EMT161: Many places don't have the luxury of enough $$ to have single-role personnel. Sure, some of the big cities and wealthy counties do but, especially here in the non-urban northeast, most places are having enough difficulty paying for dual-role. It's only going to get worse...

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Quad Cities, Illinois
    Posts
    12

    Default Gotta Pay the Bills!

    I think that if EMS wasn't integrated into the fire service, there would be an even worse shortage of manpower in the paid fire service in middle sized cities in America. The revenue generated by EMS truly does pay many of the bills that fire departments are faced with, and it is unfortunate that we get stuck running EMS calls, but when departments staff an engine with 2 personnel, the 2 FF's on the ambulance sure do help with operations that the company participates in on the fireground, plus makes the job safer. I'm not saying that I agree 100% with the system in place, but I also don't want to see anyone, or be the one who is injured because we don't have enough guys at a working fire. EMS also keeps us on the streets, keeps us familiar with territory, and makes us visible to the community. That's a big plus, the taxpayers know that we are there and that we are doing something for the money that they pay us. We also run engines on EMS calls, and that way we know that the engine is operating when it's time for a real call, not just in the morning on the apron. So in my opinion, I guess it's a necessity these days, it keeps us busy and justifies our jobs.

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    477

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mtngael View Post
    EMT161: Many places don't have the luxury of enough $$ to have single-role personnel. Sure, some of the big cities and wealthy counties do but, especially here in the non-urban northeast, most places are having enough difficulty paying for dual-role. It's only going to get worse...
    It's a matter of priorities. I bet your cops aren't doing anything other than law enforcement. Hell, even the DPW guys maintain your infrastructure... and that's it!

    Why does EMS have to be that stuff you get stuck with in between fires?
    Last edited by emt161; 01-01-2008 at 11:29 PM.

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Sunny South Florida
    Posts
    453

    Default

    Why does EMS have to be that stuff you get stuck with in between fires?
    Because many places don't have fires. My 5 station FD has run 27 calls since the new year started. 1 was for a fire that was just a pot on the stove, 4 false alarms, and 2 MVA's. All the rest were medical calls. How would you justify having the stations, equipment and manpower if you didn't go on the 75-80% of the calls that are for EMS. We would all love to fight fires and cut up cars all shift every shift, but that just doesn't happen. Cops are almost always busier than we are. When their not running calls their doing(hopefully) proactive law enforcement work. Besides inspections, which are not always done by suppression crews, we just sit around and wait for the tones to go off. Lets face it, if it were not for EMS many of us would not have jobs at the FD and many FD's wouldn't get the funding and personnel they do.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber
    DjInferno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mt. Vernon, IL, USA
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    It's a matter of priorities. I bet your cops aren't doing anything other than law enforcement. Hell, even the DPW guys maintain your infrastructure... and that's it!

    Why does EMS have to be that stuff you get stuck with in between fires?
    If you want to take that argument, when did the fire department become responsible for hazmat? If its on fire sure, but otherwise, why us? What about extrication? We're the fire department, not the rescue department. High angle rescue? Trench rescue? Swift water rescue? Search and rescue? The list goes on. The fire department has evolved into a department that just helps people when they need it most. Fires are down, but everything else isn't! The cops aren't going to do it and the city ain't going to fund another department to do it.
    DJ

    IAFF L738
    www.iafflocal738.org

    IACOJ

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Sac, CA
    Posts
    12

    Wink Get over it...

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Absolutely.

    On the flip side of this argument, if people who actually want to do EMS were allowed to do it to the best of their ability and not forced to be firefighters too, we'd both solve our problems.

    Here's a crazy idea- how about EMTs and Paramedics ride the ambulances, and Firefighters ride the fire trucks.

    Thank you for illustrating both mine and NJ2CA's point beautifully. This is a horrible, awful, no-good reason for a firefighter to be working an ambulance, or for a fire department to own one.
    That's all fine and well; how about you find a city/county/township who can afford to run large numbers of single-function firemen AND EMS folks. If "firemen" didn't run EMS calls, they'd spend 99% of their time sitting on their asses, doing nothing, just costing the District money. We run fewer and fewer fires each year, and there is less and less need for heavy companies of firemen. Why do you think many, if not most, departments run 3 men on an engine when it used to be 5 or 6?? Because there just isn't the need for that many firemen anymore. If you want to blame someone, blame your Fire Prevention folks.

    Now, don't get it twisted, I sure as hell didn't get into the fire service to ride on an ambulance. But the reality is this: I ONLY GOT HIRED BECAUSE MY DEPARTMENT WAS GROWING LARGER...and the reason they (we) were (are) growing is because we were adding more and more equipment every year...guess what a majority of that equipment was???

    Here's another brain scratcher: Fire Engines and Trucks don't make money, Ambulances do. So in the age of ever shrinking budgets, adding an engine is a cost whereas adding an ambulance can actually BRING IN MONEY to support the paycheck of those hard working Engine and Truck guys asleep in the recliners.

    The world changes; we run less and less fires and the need to keep us around has to be modified. At the end of the day, we're there to provide emergency services and help those in need. If there's a fire, we handle it, if there's a medical need, we're gonna handle that too. That's what 'public servant' means. My hot button is the bogus use of 911 as a personal physician, and not allowing EMS induced refusal of transport, but that's another rant.

    I wish we were going to the number of fires our grandfathers did...of course, they're dead from any number of service-related ailments now. The progression of technology will (hopefully) save us that fate, just as it decreases the frequency of calls we need that technology on.

    This is the new fire service. You don't have to like it, but you're not going to stop it...and if you're resistant to it, you just make everyone around you less efficient and more grouchy. Don't be "that" guy. Learn a new skill and provide better service to your customers.
    Last edited by rigging65; 01-03-2008 at 01:45 PM. Reason: because I can't spell

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    477

    Default

    Because many places don't have fires.
    How would you justify having the stations, equipment and manpower if you didn't go on the 75-80% of the calls that are for EMS.p
    If you can't make the arguments to justify your own existence, that isn't the patient's problem- they didn't call 911 to report a fire anyway. I've never understood the thinking that medical calls (which need an ambulance) somehow justify engines and ladders (which are not ambulances).

    Look at that article of the woman in Philadelphia on New Year's Eve. She needed an ambulance, she got an engine, AND a ladder. She's dead. Why does Phili have so many engines that they can put one at her door in 5 minutes, and follow it with a ladder, but they run so few ambulances that it took an hour and forty minutes to get her transported? Does that make ANY sense?

    Be at the medical call because you want to provide the best medical care available- not because you'll get your budget cut if you don't.

    When their not running calls their doing(hopefully) proactive law enforcement work.
    Why can't you do something proactive? Fire Prevention isn't sexy, but I guarantee you'll save more lives doing that than you will once the tones hit.

    That's all fine and well; how about you find a city/county/township who can afford to run large numbers of single-function firemen AND EMS folks.
    I'm not sure FH wants me to list them all here- it's a damn lotta bandwidth.

    If "firemen" didn't run EMS calls, they'd spend 99% of their time sitting on their asses, doing nothing, just costing the District money.
    Damn, that's harsh- are you sure you're actually a firefighter?

    Now, don't get it twisted, I sure as hell didn't get into the fire service to ride on an ambulance.
    Which is fine- many guys don't. My argument is, you shouldn't have to. Because if you do, you probably aren't going to be good at it or even care about being good at it. It's just human nature. I'd rather not be cared for by the guys who couldn't get out of it.

    So in the age of ever shrinking budgets, adding an engine is a cost whereas adding an ambulance can actually BRING IN MONEY to support the paycheck of those hard working Engine and Truck guys asleep in the recliners.
    NOW we're getting somewhere- you're not in EMS to provide care, you're doing it to pay for people have have NOTHING to do with EMS! Thanks for your honesty. This is pretty much the worst reason to own an ambulance that I can think of at 1am.

    (Ps- If you think most fire departments ever see their ambulance revenues again, you haven't been around city government long enough.)

    If there's a fire, we handle it, if there's a medical need, we're gonna handle that too.
    I bet I can guess which one you and your department spend more money, training time, personal study, and effort on. Please don't insult my intelligence by suggesting that you do both "equally well." That's not a personal attack, but it is a widespread fact of life.

    My hot button is the bogus use of 911 as a personal physician, and not allowing EMS induced refusal of transport, but that's another rant.
    When American EMS gets serious and increases the requirements for a Paramedic license to at LEAST a two-year EMS degree at an accredited institution, I might support EMS-initiated refusals. Not a minute before. We aren't ready.

    Guess who's fighting the increase of EMS education standards? (Hint: we will accept "fire departments" and "fire chiefs.").

    I wish we were going to the number of fires our grandfathers did...of course, they're dead from any number of service-related ailments now. The progression of technology will (hopefully) save us that fate, just as it decreases the frequency of calls we need that technology on.
    Here here. We can both agree on that.

    Learn a new skill and provide better service to your customers.
    I support that. Learn all the skills you want.

    And leave medical care to medical professionals.

    Good talking to you. Stay safe.
    Last edited by emt161; 01-04-2008 at 01:42 AM.

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber
    DjInferno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mt. Vernon, IL, USA
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post

    And leave medical care to medical professionals.
    And who would THAT be? Private ambulance services? Now don't get me wrong, the medics who work for private services are just as good as any medic. But all the company is after is the bottom line. More money=bigger business. At least in government run EMS (ie fire based) the money stays in the municipality.

    I COMPLETELY support government run EMS. But a bunch of ambo's, staff them with full time paramedics and house them at the fire stations. Leave the firefighting to the firefighters and the EMS to the paramedics. Sounds great! Now how about you come with me when I present that to the city council and we can both get laughed outta there. I wish it could work that way, but it can't in most areas. So until then, we're gonna make it work the best we can.
    DJ

    IAFF L738
    www.iafflocal738.org

    IACOJ

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    2,959

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post

    Here's a crazy idea- how about EMTs and Paramedics ride the ambulances, and Firefighters ride the fire trucks.
    That already happens everywhere. It just happens that in some places the people riding the ambulances and fire trucks can and want to perform both tasks.

  20. #20
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    2,959

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    If you can't make the arguments to justify your own existence, that isn't the patient's problem- they didn't call 911 to report a fire anyway. I've never understood the thinking that medical calls (which need an ambulance) somehow justify engines and ladders (which are not ambulances).
    It's not that the medical calls justify the engines and ladders, it's that they help prevent the closing of those companies because some politician thinks that since there's less fires then they don't need as many fire trucks. Unfortunately, a reduction in that area doesn't directly correlate to a need to reduce the size of the force.

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Look at that article of the woman in Philadelphia on New Year's Eve. She needed an ambulance, she got an engine, AND a ladder. She's dead. Why does Phili have so many engines that they can put one at her door in 5 minutes, and follow it with a ladder, but they run so few ambulances that it took an hour and forty minutes to get her transported? Does that make ANY sense?
    The problem there was not that the FD does the EMS. The problem is that they are grossly lacking when it comes to transport units, probably because the City Admin won't authorize enough funding to fix the problem - i.e. hiring more people to staff additional ambulances.

    She got the engine and ladder because they are in place based on fire response needs and most fire calls take less time than an EMS call that includes transport time. Then add in delays with transfer of care at the ER and an already taxed system can be in trouble.

    It's not right that it took that long, but sometimes s#@t happens. Unfortunately her emergency happened during a very high demand period of time. Hopefully, it'll be a catalyst for the needed improvements there.

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Be at the medical call because you want to provide the best medical care available- not because you'll get your budget cut if you don't.
    If it were only that simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Why can't you do something proactive? Fire Prevention isn't sexy, but I guarantee you'll save more lives doing that than you will once the tones hit.
    Who says we aren't already doing that, along with EMS?
    a firefighter?


    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    I bet I can guess which one you and your department spend more money, training time, personal study, and effort on. Please don't insult my intelligence by suggesting that you do both "equally well." That's not a personal attack, but it is a widespread fact of life.
    I work in both Fire and EMS and yes, I can't say that I do both "equally well". I'm not sure how I'd measure that in the first place?? However, this doesn't mean that I do either poorly. I am more than compotent at both and I'm sure many others are too!

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    And leave medical care to medical professionals.
    Yes, exactly who would they be?

  21. #21
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,325

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    That already happens everywhere. It just happens that in some places the people riding the ambulances and fire trucks can and want to perform both tasks.
    You've described 90% of the 500+ people that work for my department...
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  22. #22
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Sac, CA
    Posts
    12

    Default

    That's all fine and well; how about you find a city/county/township who can afford to run large numbers of single-function firemen AND EMS folks.
    __________________________________________________ __
    I'm not sure FH wants me to list them all here- it's a damn lotta bandwidth.
    Wow! Lucky for you!! Most areas around here are just trying to scrape together enough money to keep rigs and equipment running...I couldn't imagine us having funds to support both single function firemen and medics!


    So in the age of ever shrinking budgets, adding an engine is a cost whereas adding an ambulance can actually BRING IN MONEY to support the paycheck of those hard working Engine and Truck guys asleep in the recliners.
    __________________________________________________ _____
    NOW we're getting somewhere- you're not in EMS to provide care, you're doing it to pay for people have NOTHING to do with EMS! Thanks for your honesty. This is pretty much the worst reason to own an ambulance that I can think of at 1am.

    (Ps- If you think most fire departments ever see their ambulance revenues again, you haven't been around city government long enough.)
    Not so. I'm not in EMS for the money, although the department I work for may be. And why not? It's obvious (at least out here) that there just isn't enough money to go around, so an ambulance is another way for the department to bring in revenue...which in turn gets spent on gear, training, equipment and staffing. It's not like the Fire Chief gets to keep any overage at the end of the fiscal year...and it's not like the guys working on the ambulance are making more money because they work on it...at least not where I work.

    (P.S. - I work for a Special District, so ALL of our ambulance revenue goes back into our budget. Maybe that's not so for all departments out there, but I know that several, if not most, in our area do get the money back in their coffers.)


    If there's a fire, we handle it, if there's a medical need, we're gonna handle that too.
    __________________________________________________
    I bet I can guess which one you and your department spend more money, training time, personal study, and effort on. Please don't insult my intelligence by suggesting that you do both "equally well." That's not a personal attack, but it is a widespread fact of life.
    A "widespread fact of life" where??? We continually bring in new EMS equipment and policies, upgrade our existing medic units and have added more ambulances (and ALS trained personnel) than any other piece of equipment of the past decade. I would honestly say that we do "do" both equally well. If you're department doesn't maybe that's your problem...


    My hot button is the bogus use of 911 as a personal physician, and not allowing EMS induced refusal of transport, but that's another rant.
    __________________________________________________ __
    When American EMS gets serious and increases the requirements for a Paramedic license to at LEAST a two-year EMS degree at an accredited institution, I might support EMS-initiated refusals. Not a minute before. We aren't ready.
    Why not do it the same way we give cardiotonic meds and interpret 12-lead EKGs, with a protocal? We could easily create protocols for paramedic induced refusal. As for giving Joe Medic the right to refuse anyone, I tend to agree with you.

    Without any method to sort out patients who need an ambulance from those that don't, all we have is a system that wastes time, manpower, ED beds and money... and creates bad attitudes and burns out people who really DO want to help those in need.


    If "firemen" didn't run EMS calls, they'd spend 99% of their time sitting on their asses, doing nothing, just costing the District money.
    __________________________________________________
    Damn, that's harsh- are you sure you're actually a firefighter?
    Abso-freaking-lutely, and I don't go to work to sit on my ***. And please don't insult MY intelligence by trying to tell me there aren't a whole bunch of "senior firemen" out there who look forward to sitting on their asses as much as possible, bid slow houses so they can get paid for doing nothing or consider the firehouse there own personal gym/hobby shack/movie theater and are offended when the public has the audacity to demand they run a call other than a hero fire!

    Like I said, you don't have to like it, but this is the fire service now. We all have to adapt. If your department isn't training and staffing for EMS as heavily as they are for Fire, then they aren't only doing a disservice to their citizens, but to their employees as well. Maybe you should look for department that does, it might change your outlook if you were working for an outfit that WANTS to be progressive.

    Stay safe, and don't give up! You might yet learn how to appreciate EMS...

  23. #23
    Permanently Removed

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Abso-freaking-lutely, and I don't go to work to sit on my ***. And please don't insult MY intelligence by trying to tell me there aren't a whole bunch of "senior firemen" out there who look forward to sitting on their asses as much as possible, bid slow houses so they can get paid for doing nothing or consider the firehouse there own personal gym/hobby shack/movie theater and are offended when the public has the audacity to demand they run a call other than a hero fire!

    I think you need a history lesson. Medics are on engines because of many of those senior firemen. Our dept. tried in 1976 to hire medics, but failed in part due to private ambulance lobbying. In 1985 we were successful in convincing council to put medics on our Engines, since most Counties have contracts for transport. Since we did not have the luxury of transport, we hired Medic Firefighters. Most Senior firefighters back then, who by the way lobbied hard to get medics, were bumped out of their spots to accommodate medics on the engines. I was hired in 1975, the guys bumped were hired in the early and mid 60's, and most were vietnam vets.

    Your privelage, and I will say privelage to be on an Engine is because of senior firefighters, and the Unions that lobbied hard to make it a success. Call it a trend, or necessity, or whatever, but dont forget it was done on the backs of many before you, or even myself who landed in the fire service.

    I am not a medic, but lived through our transition 23 years ago, and as with any change, it is not easy, but in all it has been the best for the community and the F.S.

    Medical calls make up a majority of all our runs, but it is not our only sole mission. Ambulances can run medical calls, but no one else is equipped and trained to put out a fire. Next promotional exam you take, tell me if your simulator will be testing your medical skills....? I thought not, because fires dont happen as often, but are the most dangerous job you will do, and requires you to do it with others. Our roles in the fire service may change with Medical responses, Hazmat, USAR, WMD, etc..., but we still are firefighters. I am guessing you did not complain about senior guys who do nothing when you went in for your first interview to get the job? Did you?.

  24. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Sac, CA
    Posts
    12

    Default

    I think you need a history lesson. Medics are on engines because of many of those senior firemen. Our dept. tried in 1976 to hire medics, but failed in part due to private ambulance lobbying. In 1985 we were successful in convincing council to put medics on our Engines, since most Counties have contracts for transport. Since we did not have the luxury of transport, we hired Medic Firefighters. Most senior firefighters back then, who by the way lobbied hard to get medics, were bumped out of their spots to accommodate medics on the engines. I was hired in 1975, the guys bumped were hired in the early and mid 60's, and most were vietnam vets.
    I appreciate the history of medics in the ire service, and I do know why medics are on Engines. I work in California, the birthplace of Paramedicine, and I appreciate the senior guys who worked hard to get us what we've got. But I also see, first hand, how our roster is built...that is, there are VERY few medics on top. All of those guys were given the opportunity to go to medic school, on the department's dime, but declined because of the amount of extra work and responsibility it piles on, without almost any change in pay. And since they've got the seniority to stay off the ambulance, why should they take on extra work?

    I believe, at least in our area, the medics from the fire service, as a whole, provide a higher level of care than do the medics from the private ambulance providers. This is just a generalization of course, but it seems to hold up most of the time. I think this is true because of the amount of training we do in EMS and because of the natural pride firemen feel about doing their job, any job, as well as they can.

    Where I think we fall down is that we don't insist that ALL paramedics in the Department spend at least some time on an ambulance every quarter. One of our neighboring departments does...and I think it makes sense. We have senior firemen that are paramedics and collect the pay, but are woefully out of date in protocol and procedure. Why stay up on it when the ambulance is just a few minutes out? I think that's just a poor attitude.

    Medical calls make up a majority of all our runs, but it is not our only sole mission. Ambulances can run medical calls, but no one else is equipped and trained to put out a fire.
    Not true. Our ambulances carry SCBAs, turnouts and forcible entry tools. We are dispatched to every fire and are used freely, expected to be able to slide into ANY job on the fire scene and be proficient at it. I'll admit, this is a pretty progressive idea for some departments, but it works well for us. BTW, all our Engines and Trucks carry a full compliment of ALS equipment, including monitors and drugs. The idea is that ALL our units can work in ANY capacity. Yes, Engines carry water and hose, Trucks carry ladders and fans, and Medics can transport...but we are all cross trained to work in ALL environments, and it makes us a better able to deliver service, or all kinds, as a result.

    Next promotional exam you take, tell me if your simulator will be testing your medical skills....? I thought not, because fires dont happen as often, but are the most dangerous job you will do, and requires you to do it with others.
    Actually, the reason we don't test medical skills on promotional exams is because you're promoting to a position of leadership. That is, you're expected to already be proficient in basic skills of all types, but now you're proving you can manage a scene...any type of scene. And yes, we do do EMS scenarios for promo exams...but your role is the leadership one. Large scale MCIs and the like...

    However, our entry exam has a very strenuous EMS portion; in order to test that you actually know what you're doing as a medic and didn't just pay your way through school and get the cert. We feel we can teach most anyone to be a firemen, but medic stuff is a bit more difficult.


    Our roles in the fire service may change with Medical responses, Hazmat, USAR, WMD, etc..., but we still are firefighters.
    Absolutely. And we ALL need to be able to do ALL aspects of our job. That includes young guys learning about fire fighting and old guys learning about EMS. Ambulances allow us to deliver just one more level of service to the citizens we serve. Why wouldn't a public servant want this?

  25. #25
    Forum Member
    gunnyv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    SE MI
    Posts
    1,433

    Default

    I wonder if when we made the switch from horspower to motorized apparatus how many of the new guys complained that they shouldn't be required to have a driver's license?

    The job has changed. For better or worse, the people who pay our salaries via taxes have come to believe that the FD is the agency that they trust to take care of them in a wide variety of incidents. The more we go out, the more they see us out of quarters, the less they feel we are sitting around the firehouse playing checkers wasting their money. If you are not willing to do the job required, then find something else.

    I purposely took a job at a department that didn't respond to medicals. The private ambulance company was very politically connected (and still is). 2 years after I was hired, we started running BLS. 15 years later I'm a FF/Medic. I had the seniority to pass up the medic class if I wanted. The extra $ is nice, but I did it because it was the right thing to do for the job, the community, and my brother firefighters.

    What does it have to do with the other firefighters? We take care of each other, right? I would much rather have my brothers treat me if I have a heart attack or go down at a fire than some rookie private service medic making $9/hr and marking time till he finds another job. We're here for 25 years plus, we have experience and training beyond most of the privates, and I trust our guys with my life. Go beyond just them to those whose families live in the community we serve-wouldn't you rather have your guys running on your family?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Traditional Helmet?
    By rmhinkle in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-11-2006, 11:19 AM
  2. Traditional Helmets????
    By nobull911 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 11-26-2003, 11:29 PM
  3. Best Traditional Helmet?
    By LFDAC21 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 10-28-2003, 04:21 PM
  4. the good traditional??
    By logan in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-22-2002, 07:40 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register