Is it true that most firefighters hate running EMS calls?

Bullets

Forum Knucklehead
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Around here the issues with EMS and FD largely stem from what the FD sees as EMS encroachment on their turf. One town has a paid engine M-f who used to 1st respond but they refused to accept our protocols for their response and treatment, so we told them to get lost. Another town has no paid FD, so the paid EMS has taken on hazmat, rescue disciplines, ect.

Probably doesnt help that in both towns, we have loudly talked about buying an Engine and staffing it since the FD cant get in service.....
 

RLineTig

Forum Ride Along
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Any reason why his answer invoked such a thoughtful, mature, and articulate reply in yourself?

Your obviously a little one sided .I also see this (responding to discussion) is your life .anyway a fire doubles in size every 30 seconds ,so I think a faster response is warranted .


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

CALEMT

The Other Guy/ Paramaybe?
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Your obviously a little one sided .I also see this (responding to discussion) is your life .anyway a fire doubles in size every 30 seconds ,so I think a faster response is warranted .

He's probably one of the more impartial posters on here. You're two posts in on here and you're already calling other posters on here who have been here longer than you.
 

luke_31

Forum Asst. Chief
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He's probably one of the more impartial posters on here. You're two posts in on here and you're already calling other posters on here who have been here longer than you.
Guy is probably a troll. Contributed nothing of true substance and is looking to rile every body up. It's not worth discussing this topic with him.
 

VentMonkey

Family Guy
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I see this (responding to discussion) is your life.
Ah, ya' got me, I have no life. Ya' cut me, ya' cut me deep. I enjoy this forum. Yeah, I'm relatively new here, too, but I figure I like to chime in and either offer some of what I have learned to do, or not to for the younger, less experienced crowd, lighten up the mood with a bit of smartassery, share tales with my colleagues, or just say what's on my mind (within reason). It's my personal way of paying it forward to the (EMS) community.

Now that I'm done explaining myself to you, Mr. FyreMAN let me just say it sure is nice when someone such as yourself comes on here. It, A) keeps things lively, and B) only further serves as proof that some---not all---firefighters are by no means educated professionals deserving of such inflated budgets, perhaps their egos keep them warm at night; does yours?

I'm glad to know that at 54 I will have life figured out, or at least how to articulate at the 4th grade-level. There are some really cool cats on this forum, some are firefighters, firefighters-to-be, or anything in between. Heck, my pal Ep is an economics badass.

Anyhoo I can't really recall directly insulting you in my previous posts, but meh, apparently you're very thin-skinned. Do you double up on your turnout when racing to a blaze?

Last I checked there was no rules to the amount of times one can post. I'm simply at a slower station than previously, so I have quite a bit of free time on my hands these days:).
it's the response to hometownmedic comments that firefighters are waiting for retirement.
Oh, and as far as this comment, not for nothing (nor am I speaking for hometown), but aren't we all waiting for retirement?

@luke_31 you're most likely right, nonetheless, I figured it's only right I reply. I wouldn't want to be rude now, would I?
 

NysEms2117

ex-Parole officer/EMT
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Your obviously a little one sided .I also see this (responding to discussion) is your life
I ask you as somebody with no moderator status/authority on this website to either A. apologize or B. scurry off/skedaddle and learn some respect.
 

captaindepth

Forum Lieutenant
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So I wrote this a few months ago and never posted it out of fear of igniting a fiery storm but this thread seems to be headed in the general direction of what I wrote. I will admit that I struggle with the EMS/Fire relationship in my system and I'm trying my best to be better with my interactions with the fire guys on calls. Recently the city FD asked to expand their BLS protocols and scope of practice which is interesting since most of the crews still seem less than interested on the majority of medical calls. The hospital is beginning to work on QA'ing fires reports and beginning to look at their medical call statistics to see if they can appropriately expand fires scope and what training may be necessary for them to have the expanded scope. I feel that this is a step in the right direction and might give fire a better sense of what we (EMS) really do and thought process behind it.


Paying Firefighters as EMT-Bs

Ok first off, I know this is going to ignite a s*** storm and I just want to make one point absolutely clear, I mean no disrespect to any firefighters and the job that they do (when it comes to firefighting).

The city that I work in has an all BLS fire department and the 3rd party ambulance service provides all the ALS/transports for the city. There seems to be a growing animosity between the paramedics and the firefighters in the city and I think it really stems from what each agency really does. I can not quote specific numbers but the vast majority of 911 calls are for emergency medical services, not fires, confined space rescues, high angle rescues, or even car accidents in need of patient extrication or vehicle stabilization. The paramedics on the street (myself included) are becoming increasingly frustrated when it seems like fire shows up on scene (usually first due to 38 fire houses in the city and only 23 ambulances at peak times), is there for a couple minutes and maybe get a quick history and some borderline trusted vital signs before handing off their note (often times no demographic information written down, the medications are usually written as “see list” but of course they get the paramedics name and ambulance number for their “documentation”) and then they take off. Now of course not all fire crews are so blatantly disinterested in doing the job of a basic EMT, and some can actually give a great history and event information but that is a rare few. It seems there is no system in place to the hold firefighters accountable for their patient care, assessment skills, V/S accuracy, or ability to perform treatments/skills (IN Narcan, appropriate use of O2, CPR, general patient care) or their documentation.

So now the idea, why not pay these firefighters as EMT-Bs like everywhere else. I’m not sure what the going rate in the city is but lets call it $12-$16 an hour. Pay them as EMT-Bs for their 24 hour shifts UNTIL they go on a fire or rescue or some type of advanced firefighter call. I will never try to talk s**** about firefighters ability to actually fight fires, they are great at it, train for it, and truly go above and beyond, they deserve to paid for it. The second they get dispatched to an active fire, they should be paid hazard pay, big time hazard pay. So they make the $12-$16 an hour and then boom they go on a fire and they’re making something like $500 an hour in hazard pay. Now I know there are other calls that they respond to with increased risks, like confined space and high angle rescues, gas leaks, and even certain trainings that they do on a regular basis. Maybe there should be some type of sliding scale hazard pay for all of these increased risk activities.

Why pay these guys 80k +++ a year (within the first 3 years of being hired!!!) when they are doing the bare minimum during the vast majority of their job duties? Its hard to watch the younger guys coming out of the fire academy be trained “on the street” by the other guys not to care about EMS calls and to just hand off the patient to the ambulance crew like “It’s their problem now, lets go.” I have literally been on the ground trying to control a truly combative patient and trying sedate him, when fire will walk up and ask “Hey, are we good to go?” the answer is “No mother****** get over here and help!” I know a lot of this is my own projections on the situation and system dependent but the questions remains, why not totally restructure how firemen are paid to reflect the day to day work that is done?
 

hometownmedic5

Forum Asst. Chief
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Well, I have to say I'm surprised he even came back to try and defend that turd of a post.

Either way, we all have different perspectives and experiences that define them. His experience being different than mine doesn't make either of us more or less correct.

I work with a very old department. One group at my station is literally counting the days. The whole group has less than three years to go. They spent a lot of time talking about retirement. In ten years or so, it will completely flip over and be a pretty young department; but for now, this is what I deal with.

So yeah, is my perspective colored by what I see every day? Absolutely. So is yours. Again, having different opinions and experiences doesn't make either of us wrong.

If you're going to be an active member here, it would behove you to make an effort at intelligent discourse. Your presentation of your position isn't doing us as a profession. Some of us are trying to climb out of the basement here. Acting like a toddler doesn't do that goal any favors.
 

VentMonkey

Family Guy
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I agree, I really don't want to see this thread closed on a count of one bad apple. In short I live in a fire-based state, but relocated to one of the parts within it that still works off of an "EMS handles EMS, and fire helps EMS handle EMS" areas.

Is it perfect? Nope. Egos are everywhere, both sides. My richard is bigger than yours blee bloo blah, who cares? @captaindepth, I understand your frustration. We all chose our career paths so there's no sense in spouting off about why "we have this, and you don't...", in fact I can't even recall anyone really implying that.

@NomadicMedic was right regarding the ins and outs of privatized EMS. A private EMS operations manager is not a job I envy.

I get along great with most all of the fire crews in town, and am still getting to know some of the ones in the outskirts who launch us (the vets at my base know them, and get along well with them). Life is never perfect, but back to the OP's question:

Again, it all just depends on where you're at, and more so the particular departments role in embracing such a (EMS) service.

I have seen, and even emulated some great firefighter paramedics, and have smh at others.
As far as being one-sided, well, I don't know how my former interns turned FFPM's feel about it, but sure know it feels great to see them land their dream job.
 

medichopeful

Flight RN/Paramedic
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it's the response to hometownmedic comments that firefighters are waiting for retirement .


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I understood that it was in response to hometown, but for a professional forum I had a hard time reading your grammar and syntax, which doesn't help get your point across.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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The paramedics on the street (myself included) are becoming increasingly frustrated when it seems like fire shows up on scene (usually first due to 38 fire houses in the city and only 23 ambulances at peak times), is there for a couple minutes and maybe get a quick history and some borderline trusted vital signs before handing off their note (often times no demographic information written down, the medications are usually written as “see list” but of course they get the paramedics name and ambulance number for their “documentation”) and then they take off.
Sounds like you need more ambulances...... after all, if most of the FD's calls are medical in nature, yet they have 15 more trucks than you do, and they need that 38 to answer all the calls quickly, than logic would dictate that you need at least as many to handle all the calls, including being unavailable for calls as you are transporting the patient.

also sounds like you have never had to enter a NFIRS run report.... let me educate you a little bit about the process: if the FD is first, they have to fill out an EMS run, which requires much of the demographic information. so they might wait until you get it for their paperwork. and second, if I have a sick patient, I want their history and vitals, along with medications (see list is only acceptable if they actually have a list), because their basic demographics don't really affect how I treat the patient (maybe the age, but that's about it).

In almost every system I have been been in, once EMS shows up, the FD backs off, and lets them do their job. If you have a combative patient, and they ask you if they can leave, did you follow it up with your supervisor, and their battalion chief? And if you say no, they should help, but you, as the paramedic, need to tell them exactly what you want them to do (because they don't want to stop on your toes, now that your in charge of the patient). While you might not appreciate the comment of "it's there problem lets go," at the end of the day, it is YOUR problem, they are only first responders until EMS gets there. it's their problem until you show up, than it's YOUR problem.

Are you a little jealous that they are making 80k a year as a professional first responder, while you are making half of that? Maybe instead of saying how they should make less, maybe you should be making more? or even better, get hired by the FD so you can make 80k after 3 years and be just a first responder?

But I will agree with you, very few systems hold first responders accountable for the quality of care they provide, and very often it is very basic. In fact, our medical director has narrowed the scope of FD EMTs compared to EMS EMTs. It's actually quite frustrating at time, when according to the state protocols you can do certain interventions, while the county medical director won't let you do them to help the patient.
 

captaindepth

Forum Lieutenant
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@DrParasite My point in writing this was not to argue fire should make less money, it was an idea to pay them in a way that more accurately reflects their day to day work.

Like I said I am trying to improve my attitude with my interactions with the FD and work better with them. I understand patient care is my responsibility once I'm on scene, which is great, it's why I love my job. I previously worked in a system with an ALS FD and a private ambulance service. I saw a lot more head butting over patient care when there were numerous paramedics on scene from different agencies and who was actually in charge of patient care. Working with an all BLS FD now is great because us (ambulance crews) really do have full control over patient care and it leads to less confrontation about the care provided on scene. We are pretty darn good at delegation and have no problem instructing them on what to do, but when they are regularly asking to leave as soon as we get there it gets old... quick.

I feel like overall the fire crews are more than willing to step in and help when they are instructed to, but not all of the crews. There still seems to be an attitude of looking down on EMS calls and the idea that it's an unwanted side effect of their job. I just have a hard time with this attitude when fires make up approx 3% of their call volume with other technical aspects making up an equally small portion of their overall responses. Why not embrace medical calls and strive to provide the best care possible within their scope of practice? Why is such a large portion of their regular training fire based and not medical based even though it's the majority of what they do? EMTs are an invaluable resource for the patients and what happens in the first few minutes of a truly sick patients care can really make all the difference down the line ( the whole BLS before ALS thing and BLS maneuvers save lives thing). I believe they should embrace EMS standards and be held to them.
 

Bullets

Forum Knucklehead
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I wish i worked in a system where my BLS engine stepped back and waited for our instructions. I get them wrestling with a postictal patient because they are "combative" despite me telling their LT to step off. Even though they are 5 guys with EMT certs, i view them as a single provider of dubious clinical acumen.

Also, @captaindepth of all the things i learned during my paramedic time, it was trust BLS at your own peril. Working as ALS intercept, i have pretty much stopped listening to MOST of the BLS agencies i deal with, because their reports are either provide no info or they are just wrong.
 

terrible one

Always wandering
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My favorite response "you're just jealous because fire makes double your salary".

I'd say most EMS providers are not "jealous" they are frustrated that FDs have this incredibly higher pay scale, yet act like medical aids are the biggest inconvenience to them. The apathy is palpable. EMS makes up 80% or more of your call volume, if you didn't run those calls your budget would be dramatically lower.

I've worked in close to over 40/50 different cities and with probably 20 different FDs while I was on the private ambulance. The attitude toward medical calls/patients was usually poor from the majority of FDs.

I currently work for a FD and the people I work with usually don't care to run medical aids.
 

CALEMT

The Other Guy/ Paramaybe?
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I currently work for a FD and the people I work with usually don't care to run medical aids.

You don't have to answer this on here, but do you still work for BDU? Or in CA for that matter?
 
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You don't have to answer this on here, but do you still work for BDU? Or in CA for that matter?


Not looking to good for them in Victorville huh....or are you referring to Cal-fire?
 

CALEMT

The Other Guy/ Paramaybe?
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Not looking to good for them in Victorville huh....

I'm pretty far from it, but that whole mess has made its way out to us (not surprising). I honestly couldn't care less, it doesn't directly involve me and I'm just following it just to follow. From what I've heard county fire was asking for an additional 9 million dollars for pensions(?), personally I think it was in anticipation of the AO program taking over the high desert. From some of the ICEMA crews it sounds like Victorville and Apple Valley will create some sort of fire protection district. Rumors of course, but I can believe it as it's certainly a possibility.
 
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I'm pretty far from it, but that whole mess has made its way out to us (not surprising). I honestly couldn't care less, it doesn't directly involve me and I'm just following it just to follow. From what I've heard county fire was asking for an additional 9 million dollars for pensions(?), personally I think it was in anticipation of the AO program taking over the high desert. From some of the ICEMA crews it sounds like Victorville and Apple Valley will create some sort of fire protection district. Rumors of course, but I can believe it as it's certainly a possibility.

Copy. It's all rather interesting.

Btw, I confused BDU with BDC
 

CALEMT

The Other Guy/ Paramaybe?
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