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Just Plain Ruff

Are you really part of EMS???

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wow...so many directions to go...

My first reaction was that this is exactly the kind of argument we need not be having. In my experience, we are still trying to convince the public & our receiving facilities that we do more than drive fancy trucks. More important than arguing who is or isn't EMS and creating yet another division within ourselves is that we need to stand together, get the message out about what EMS does and is and get government backing and leadership so that we can grow as a profession and start making the kind of money we are worth. There is no reason that an ER nurse makes twice what we do (as paramedics) when we are more qualified and better trained for the job. But in order to accomplish this, we need to work together as all EMS to reach that goal - not try to divide muny vs. private; volly vs. paid; EMS vs. NEMS. To quote someone famous - we can hang together or we can hang separately (referring to nooses)...I vote for hanging together and winning the fight.

I have been in this industry for 5 years. In that time, I have spent a majority running "non-emergency" transfers. I have seen more in those non-emergencies than in most of my "emergent" 911 calls. We cover some poverty stricken areas - we get 911 calls because someone wants a ride to their brother's house - and he happens to live near the hospital...and because he says "chest pain" we take him. On the other end of the spectrum, we take little Mrs. Jones to and from dialysis TIW - we are the only people she sees outside of the overworked and undercaring staff at her SNF - we bring joy to her life. As others have mentioned, there are also many transfers that go sour, which is why they go by ambulance and not taxi cab. In which case is most good done? What difference does it make what the vehicle/service is called? In order to stay in business, my company has to do the transfers to make up for the "emergent" patients who don't pay their bills. It's a fact of business. As others have alluded, this doesn't make our bls trucks who do mostly transfers any less valuable, especially when we call them as back up for a cardiac arrest.

I would encourage everyone in this discussion to consider People Care by Thom Dick. It is a quick read found cheap on amazon.com. Read it and consider the importance of what we do - to provide care to those in need. That's what it's about, folks. It doesn't matter what type of service you run, or what title you give it - it matters how we take care of those people who need us, whether it's for a ride to their brother's, or to dialysis or to an awaiting cardiac team because their having the big one. Ultimately this is a petty argument - can't we all just work together for the betterment of ourselves and our profession.

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Once again, I am going off of what I know. Where I come from, we don't have private ambulance companies. We are all 911 based, but we all do transports as well. So therefore my opinion still stands.

If you don't do emergency your not part of the Emergency Medical Field.

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