Thursday, June 24, 2010

Elsewhere in (Medical) Blogtopia*

Two disheartening things from the world of EMS blogging... first, Mark Glencourse, a British paramedic and a leader of the EMS 2.0 movement, announced that he was closing his blog, Mark took this action in response to the usual political BS that sometimes arises with blogging about the emergency services community (which is why I don't do it). Mark and San Francisco Firefighter/Paramedic Justin Schorr (who blogs at are also the driving force behind an upcoming reality show, The Chronicles of EMS. He will be sorely missed.

On a less pleasant note, one of the medical bloggers I read on a regular basis, who lives in Massachusetts, admitted today that he was one of 207 MA EMTs who falsified re-certification training records.

Thanks, dude.

Glencourse, Schorr, and countless others are trying to make EMS a profession, not a trade. They're trying to re-educate the public, and convince the masses that EMS personnel are entitled to the respect that 2000+ hours of advanced trauma and medical training should bring.

These guys are trying to make the job better, get us some respect, maybe even livable wages. But you and your lazy-ass buddies down there had to screw around cause you didn't want to sit through continuing education classes.

Now the public looks at all EMS personnel and wonders, "Did he really do his continuing education? Or is he lying, like those Massachusetts losers? Is he gonna save my life or will his rusty skills and outdated knowledge KILL me?"

You may wonder what the big deal is. It's this: we're talking skills and knowledge needed to save lives. We're not talking about missing the latest changes to the Tax Code, or a fast-breaking tech bulletin on Toyota's acceleration issues here. We're talking life or death. How to calculate the appropriate dosage of the appropriate medication for your infant based on size and weight, or remembering how to correctly interpret an ECG strip or perform an endotracheal intubation successfully. You know, the stuff that will keep you alive so you can walk your daughter down the aisle at her wedding and bounce your grand kids on your knee.

The thing is, I don't know if he is truly a lazy bastard, or if he got in with the wrong crowd (as our parents used to say), or what. Whatever the reason, he has made our jobs harder, by violating the trust the public had in us.

What IS it with folks in emergency services these days?!? Have we all lost our friggin' self-respect, our professionalism, our very minds? We have Oath-Keeper cops claiming the right to kill you for disagreeing with them, we have medics lying about training. We have firefighters confessing to arson.

WTF, people?

If we want to be respected, if we want to inspire today's kids to become tomorrow's protectors, hell, if we want a decent paycheck, ...


And we don't earn it by putting on the funky clothes. We earn it by being the very best cop/firefighter/medic we can be, by delivering the level of service and knowledge and skills we would demand for our spouses or our children.

People in my generation went into emergency services inspired -- in part -- by shows like Emergency or Adam-12. What inspired the current crop, The Simpsons? Beavis and Butthead?

* y!sctp (Yes, Skippy coined the phrase).

1 comment: