Yeah, I can't say I will ever be fond of the term, or the implications it has on our profession, but I have to admit that this story certainly gives me a whole new way of looking at it. I always thought it was more of a self-depreciating term used by New Yorkers, that I really didn't like. But now, with the historical perspective on it, that's actually pretty cool. Unfortunately, all the newbies never hear that story and don't know the history, which leaves a derogatory feel to the term. That's too bad.
As for the rest of the country, where we don't share that history, I don't think it's appropriate, and most of the people in EMS that use it do so only to imitate what they saw on "Turd Watch".
99% or more of the public has no idea of the history. They hear us call it a bus and will conclude that we are not medical professionals but just bus drivers. They will just see us as transportation and nothing more. History is neat but we need to quit living in the past and do what is best for our profession.