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Are volunteer BLS services beneficial?


Volunteer BLS services are  

56 members have voted

  1. 1.

    • a useless pain in the butt.
      18
    • okay if they stay out of my way.
      2
    • competition.
      3
    • a good asset to have around.
      33


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Another thread brought up an interesting topic. Is there a place for volunteer BLS services in the EMS field. Several people had made a comment as to how some paid services do not like to hire EMT's with volunteer service in their resume.

I have mixed feelings about volunteers. I serve a volunteer BLS service and have aquired a lot of good experience in doing so. That same experience has helped me in a paid profession.

I will admit there are a lot of volunteers that just want to ride the truck and play with the lights and sirens, but that does not apply to all volunteers. The same could be said about some paid staff that I have worked with.

I created this poll to try and get a feeling for how people feel about volunteer services. I guess is more curiosity than anything.

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i think they are beneficial depending on the area that you are in

also as you said they are beneficial in many (including myself) the skills etc needed in the paid

i believe that there will eventually come a time when it will be paid across the board(our service when i started was 100% volly now its approx 50/50)

they can be beneficial

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It's not a simple question. First, you have to define what you mean by "beneficial".

Is saving the community from having to pay for EMS "beneficial"? The bean counters would have you think so. But would they provide it anyhow, even if you didn't give it away for free? Yes, they would. And, if they were having to PAY for EMS, do you think they would give more attention to the level of quality they are receiving than they are now? You bet, they would. So, is your "free EMT EMS" ultimately the reason your community does not have professional, paramedic level EMS? Yep, it sure is.

So, if you are the reason your community does not have paramedics, it's really difficult to term that a benefit. More of an excuse, really.

Of course, you also have to define the term "EMS". Are you talking about emergency ambulance service, or just first responders? Those are completely different concepts. The latter, EMTs are qualified for. The former, they are not qualified for.

The old argument that, "if it weren't for us, we wouldn't have EMS" is, of course, a load of shyte. You are not the reason they have EMS. You are the reason they have sub-standard EMS.

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This will stay on topic.

I'm not trying to be argumentative or a $*%@ disturber but isn't what you deleted exactly the topic? The topic is if BLS services are beneficial. The discussion was going toward the direction that no they are not and that in fact they should not exist except as first response agencies only. I fail to see how that was going off topic?

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This is not going to turn into a bash EMTs thread. Those posts were headed that way, and were deleted. If you don't think that EMTs are qualified to be on the ambulance, contact your local and federal offices that think differently and tell them to make a change.

Any further comments about my decision shall be made via PM to me.

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Of course, you also have to define the term "EMS". Are you talking about emergency ambulance service, or just first responders? Those are completely different concepts. The latter, EMTs are qualified for. The former, they are not qualified for.

Right.

For use on scene, good EMR's and good EMT's are great to have around. In my area, we have a few that are nurses or medics that work for other services and can give some great information and care. Sometimes they are familiar with the pt., have a good rapport and can give you a decent history if the pt. or family can't. Or, they'll be able to give you better directions or scene information for recreational sport calls (snowmobiling, ATVing, hiking, etc.) Some are just plain good people who care about their neighbors and friends.

However, there are the ones that just want an excuse to spend $500 at Galls. They usually go away as soon as the fire trucks or squad cars arrive. Shiny objects...

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I do believe Volunteer BLS Squads can be beneficial to EMS in general. When I joined my first aid squad, I had no idea I wanted to further my EMS career. This gave me an opportunity to be a part of something, without having to sacrifice years of schooling before doing so. How many people go to school for nursing, find it to be something different, and change careers, meanwhile wasting 4+ years of their life?

I also believe Volunteer First Aid Squads can be a strain on EMS as well. 5 minutes to get an ambulance rolling on a run is a little much. Patients then complain about response time as a result. 5 minutes to be responding, and another 5 at least for a response time to the location can lead to 10-15 minutes for an ambulance. Then what happens when a squad can't get a crew? They send it from squad to squad, which can easily add an extra 5 minutes on top of that. In this aspect, I believe the first aid squad is outdated. Towns around me no longer contain that nice little main street, where everyone lives within two minutes.

All that being said, I'm still a volunteer. I just obtained a job as an EMT as well, while working my way towards paramedic school in the fall. I've learned to stay at the building during my tour, and have no problem with paid EMS in my area. My only dilemma; Where are future generations going to experience EMS in order to get in to it?

Just my thoughts, and hopefully this will turn in to a constructive thread.

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I'm from a rural community and volunteer BLS is essential here There are many times that all of our ALS units are out of the county transporting patients to the larger hospitals and the volunteers are on standby for calls. I know that the BLS providers are limited in what care they can provide but, at least they can transport the patient for an ALS intercept when needed.

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My only dilemma; Where are future generations going to experience EMS in order to get in to it?

Out of all the professions on earth, ours is the only one where there are a significant number of people claiming that we even need this. And, of course, out of all those professions, ours is the one that sucks most. Coincidence? I think not.

Again, do what we have always done and we will only get what we've always gotten. After thirty-five years, there is absolutely no excuse for not growing professionally. And we have not, thanks to this "volunteer BLS" nonsense.

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This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

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