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Since the a new company took over where I work, our entire workforce has been issued badges and required to wear them during the day time. I think they do add to the "professional" look (along with our nice Flying Cross shirts and pants). I disagree about the authority thing. Everyone has different authority in different areas. Police obviously enforce the law and have the most authority. Firefighters have their authority in fires/mci situations. EMS personnel have authority in medical situations. This is how it is in my county. While the EMS provider is a "private" company, we are working as a leg of the public EMS system in our county. Our turnout coats don't even mention our company's name, they simply say "Monterey Co. EMS" (not to mention the county paid for em). Frankly I'm tired of our own people trying to place us below police and fire. We are all on the same team. We wear badges because we are here to help the people of our county. I never wear mine off duty, and if I'm on my way to work I don't put on my dress shirt until I get there (you're damn right I don't want to get shot at for wearing a uniform off-duty). It's different everywhere you go, but that's my take on it.

Personally, I can do without them. I've been called officer so many times since we got the damn badges that I've almost wanted to yell at someone and tell them that I can't press any freaking charges. Then again, I could do without class-b dress shirts. It's all under the category of dress in my book. If the standard is a nice pressed class-b with a badge, then I will damn well wear it and show pride in it.

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I think they do add to the "professional" look (along with our nice Flying Cross shirts and pants).

Yep, the problem is, it's the look of the wrong profession.

I disagree about the authority thing.

Really? What authority do you have? To render medical care? Well, then I guess we should issue badges to doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, nurses aides, and orderlies too. Otherwise, how will anybody know that they have the "authority" to save their life? :roll:

Everyone has different authority in different areas.

Perhaps you can list all the "authority" you have here for us?

It should all fit here in between these arrows. -----> <-----

It's all under the category of dress in my book. If the standard is a nice pressed class-b with a badge, then I will damn well wear it and show pride in it.

I certainly agree with you there. One should strive to look as professional as possible, no matter what retarded uniform your retarded employer sticks you in. But the fact remains, they should be striving for an appropriate image that separates you from public servants and clearly identifies your purpose, which is medical care. You are not a public safety official. You are (or should be) a medical professional. And the only thing medically significant about your uniform in this case is the stethoscope around your neck.

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Whether we have real authority or not, we are considered authority figures. Maybe that's the wrong word. Public servant DOES sound better. When the public needs help, we go. We don't have a choice. Public or private agency, it's all the same. Once again, it's dependent on where you are working though. No, I don't have "power" over the average Joe (and that's not why I got into this btw), but if someone assaults me they get the same treatment as if they did it to a firefighter or cop. It's a hybrid job in that sense. The fact is, when someone is looking for help, they go towards badges. That can be good or bad. Bad if they're running from a guy with a gun, good if they're having a MI. It's the growing sentiment where I work. Maybe it's our way of coping with having to wear badges now. Think about what it is we do. We show up with lights blazing, walk into the homes of people we've never met, and we ask them questions and do things to them. If they're altered, we force them to come with us. I can see how a badge can make family members and even patients show us a little more respect. What's wrong with that? Do you not want respect for what you do? We don't get much else for it. We make less than some fast food workers, we get little to no respect in the medical field, and we're on the bottom of the food chain for helping the public. However, we are still in that chain. In my county, everyone who provides services to the public on the streets gets a badge. It doesn't have to be that way. I'd be fine with only cops having badges. I'm just not going to fuss over something as trivial as being called a "Ricky" or "wannabe" for having a badge. I'm more concerned about our turnout coats which are metallic dodger blue with lime green reflective tape....yuck. Much more tasteless than wearing a badge and a name tag (which I'll say again looks plenty professional for our field).

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I understand what you are saying, and actually used to have the same feelings. But we should not be public servants. We should medical professionals. With doing such we should not have the need or desire to "dress up" or be confused by the public of being of such. Like Dust describes do you see physicians wearing badges ?

Whenever EMS finally understands what the abbreviations stands for Emergency Medical Services then maybe.. the public will too.

R/R 911

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I see your point, but physicians don't work on people in the middle of the highway nor do they respond into people's homes. Why don't we all just wear scrubs on the ambulance then? Ambulances and EMS are a public service. Yes, it is medicine, but like I said...hybrid job. How many fire companies fight more fires than run ems calls? Almost none at this point. They practice medicine as well. I don't see much point in arguing over it further, as it's just an opinion clash. I'm just going to leave it at this. I just think it's unreasonable to call me a wanker because I have a badge. I used to have an AMR ID card, and that worked just as well. The point is we need something looking official when working on the streets. If a badge is how we do it, then so be it.

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The point is we need something looking official when working on the streets. If a badge is how we do it, then so be it.

You still fail to explain WHY wee need something "official looking." We are not officials. We are medical professionals out on the streets representing the licence of a Medical Doctor. The only "authority" we have or represent are that medical licence. So how is it that a badge or shield would be even remotely appropriate for that representation?

Why don't we all just wear scrubs on the ambulance then?

Apparently are too new to the field to realize that many EMS systems do indeed wear, and it works very well for them. Been there, done that. I found universally that our patients were comforted to see somebody representing MEDICINE at their side, instead of somebody with questionable eudcation in a uniform which could represent any one of four or five different jobs.

The fact is, when someone is looking for help, they go towards badges.

Not when they need MEDICAL help, which is the ONLY thing we represent. Do you think that if we dressed all our doctors and nurses in Flying Cross shirts and big gold shields tomorrow, millions more people would start streaming into the hospitals as a result of this magical power of the badge to attract people who need help? Come on, dude. There is not an ounce of logic behind any of this.

Think about what it is we do. We show up with lights blazing, walk into the homes of people we've never met, and we ask them questions and do things to them.

You are the one who needs to step back and think about what it is that we do. Obviously you are looking at the profession dangerously superficially. "What it is we do" is completely summed up in two words: MEDICINE and TRANSPORTATION. Period. Your beloved lights and siren, which seem to be a big part of why you are even in this field, are the only intrinsic similarities our operations share with police or fire. Every other thing about the profession is common not to "public servants," but to doctors and taxi drivers, neither of whom wear badges.

Yes, it is medicine, but like I said...hybrid job.

Only if you intentionally make it a "hybrid job." There is no hybrid to the practice of EMS. Medicine is medicine, regardless of your location, whether it be in an office, in an ER, in a surgical theatre, or in the streets. The only "hybrid" factors are manufactured by individual systems which cross train their personnel or put their personnel in "public safety" uniforms because they lack the vision to clearly understand the function of EMS. Or else, as is so often the case, because they are frustrated cop and fireman wannabe's who couldn't cut the mustard to be either one of those, so they settle on EMS as a last ditch effort to get a job wearing a badge and playing with the siren. And clearly, if the educational standards in EMS were raised to where they should be for entry, we would be rid of those wankers in short order. As is stated here so often, they don't actually care enough about the practise of medicine to go to a couple of years of college for it. If they had to do that to be in EMS, they'd just go be wrecker drivers instead and still get to have flashing lights on their truck.

I just think it's unreasonable to call me a wanker because I have a badge.

I'm only calling you a wanker if you went out and bought that badge to stroke your own ego. Or if you carry it around in your wallet, or worse, on your belt or around your neck off duty (both of which are the case of the individual in NYC whom this topic is about). But if your employer issued it to you, then I am calling your employer a wanker.

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well, badge or no badge, in my opinion is completely up to the owner / person. If you feel better having a badge, get a badge, for those of you who don't like it and feel differently, don't get a badge. It's that simple. Further more don't forget that many of us are in different parts of the united states / different country, and what may hold for your county / state may not hold for others. so basically all i'm trying to say is, don't impose a single view from a single county across the whole country.

so yeh, if u want a badge, go get it. if you don't want one or don't like it, then don't get it. It's simple as that

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It's been almost 9 months since I first brought this topic up, and it's been 9 more months since I've been working as an EMT. I'm seeing the valid point's you bring up Dust, but in my opinion, having the badge as part of the uniform reinforces your duty as a public safety officer and a EMT. I'm not 100% sure of exactly how much AUTHORITY we do indeed have, but I can safely say that you need to peform some of the duties law enforcement has when the situation permits. I don't know how it is in other locations, but I can tell you that not many people will respect or so much as to listen to EMS authority here. Cars cut off ambulances all the time, you don't ever see them doing the same to squad cars. If you're the first unit to respond to a street job, forget about it - you'll find yourself surrounded by a buncha people just adding to the confusion. If you're on the road, you better keep looking over your shoulder because you're guaranteed to either get hit or have yourself a real close call. Since when was directing traffic, setting up road blocks part of the job description? Sure it's part of "scene-safety" and this comes BEFORE the "authority" to render patient care. They teach you to light a couple flares in basic class if you're lucky enough.

The uniform isn't enough most of the time. People see a badge, and they seem to think twice before not listening. If it helps you stop the moron trying to squeeze pass a scene of a accident, or that potentially hostile idiot standing a couple feet from you then I'd rather be standing there with a shield. I didn't tell them I was a cop, they can assume what they want. And that assumption that you DO have authority may prevent the other BS that slows you from doing your real job. Sure it doesnt always work like that, but for those few times it does give a notion of authority, why not?

"I'm only calling you a wanker if you went out and bought that badge to stroke your own ego. Or if you carry it around in your wallet, or worse, on your belt or around your neck off duty (both of which are the case of the individual in NYC whom this topic is about). But if your employer issued it to you, then I am calling your employer a wanker."

Whoever said anything about stroking the ego? Or wearing it around your neck or belt when you're off duty? Back to my original post I was told by somebody in my company to go get one and that was all. And no, I don't have stickers all over my car, nor do I wear my badge around my neck while dropping by the post office, nor do I have a belt with a hundred things clipped onto it.

You have the Authority to provide a SAFE scene until law enforcement arrives so that you may render medical care. (I'm talking about the direction of bystanders, not gang bangers with guns)

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