Rescue 7 has been promised for a decade, dangled like a carrot on a stick in front of the weary eyes of an over worked rescue division. Five thousand plus runs a year is too many calls to maintain an effective, motivated crew. Running around like a bunch of fools is no way to operate an EMS division. Another unit would have greatly improved the working conditions in the EMS division of the Providence Fire Department, increased morale, improved patient care, lengthened the careers of the more experienced people in the division, saved on wear and tear of the fleet, and most importantly, would have ensured my promotion to Captain!!!
Looks like I'll be dying on the vine, as they say about people like me who linger on a promotional list but never make it. Wish I had all the hours I spent studying for a promotion that will never come back, I would have put those hours to good use, things like sleeping, enjoying the holidays, reading for enjoyment and spending quality time with the family.
Rescue 7, contractually agreed upon last year to be commissioned in January of 2012, after years and years of broken promises is dead. The mayor demanded six million dollars in give backs from the firefighters union. The firefighters union, consisting mostly of engine and ladder company firefighters chose to use Rescue 7 to get closer to the demanded concessions. It is now delayed until 2014. I'll believe it when I see it.
Rather than embrace the EMS division, and make it a model of what could be done, and lead the region by example in making The Providence Fire Department the best first responders anywhere, we will continue to treat EMS as a secondary concern, and continue to have six units do 75% of the call volume all the while telling anybody who will listen how busy we are, and how many runs we do, and use those numbers when we need them, and forget about the few who are actually assigned to the rescues who are doing the lion's share of the work.
But, like the firefighters tell us when anybody from the rescue division dare mention the late relief, the missed meals and the burnout, "if you can't take it, get off the truck."