Closing Out EMS Week

As we close out EMS Week 2016, I thought I’d share some more thoughts and observations as you digest your snacks from the break room and enjoy your party favors with the pre-printed motivational saying on it.

Yesterday, on Facebook, a good friend shared a post that I modified and shared.  I think it’s worth sharing here as well.  I’d like to thank the people who’ve made EMS Week possible for me. Thank to the instructors who made it possible for me to get my EMT and then paramedic certification. Thank you to the mentors who’ve inspired me over the years. Thank you to the coworkers who’ve partnered with me over the years. Thank you to the managers, supervisors, and medical directors who’ve put up with way more from me that you should have. Thank you to my family and friends who’ve always supported my passion for EMS. A special thank you to my non-EMS employers who’ve been supportive of my extracurricular EMS activities and given me the time off to pursue them. And finally, thank you to each and every patient who’s trusted me to care for them. There’s too many of you to mention by name and I wouldn’t want to overlook everyone, so please know that each of you has made it possible for me to enjoy both EMS Week and every shift I get to work.

To top yesterday off, I came home and found the latest edition of Dr. Bryan Bledsoe’s paramedic text waiting for me, courtesy of UPS. Spoiler alert: the medical-legal chapter is co-written by yours truly. The biggest thing that we can do in any profession is to pay back the mentoring we’ve received along the way.  I don’t get out on an ambulance nearly as much as I’d like, but I make it a goal to leave EMS better than I found it.  And the biggest impact I can make is to improve EMS education.  In my case in particular, I’d like for EMS students of all levels to have an understanding of the law relating to prehospital care as opposed to myths and urban legends about EMS legal issues.

I’ll leave you with two thoughts as we close out EMS Week 2016. One, the perfect EMS system is much like the Loch Ness Monster. Everyone is looking for it and no one has found it. Strive to make your EMS system the best it can be and find out what you can live with for the pay. (It’s never about the pay.  It’s ALWAYS about what people will put up with for the pay they’re given.)  Thought number two:  If we’d spend 25% of the time that we spend complaining about being called “ambulance drivers” on actually improving EMS, we’d find that, in a very short time, we wouldn’t be called ambulance drivers.