Leaders Lead


I finally figured out why this whole Community Paramedicine push is driving me nuts. It’s because I have no idea who is behind the pushing. I spent decades working as an EMT and never got a memo from my leaders, never got a phone call, never was invited to join any organizations, never answered to anybody but my immediate officer, who, when I became one found out never answered to anybody but his own conscience.

Every now and then a fire chief would rear his ugly head and ask why I wasn’t taking more runs, but as long as nobody complained or sued the city, we were on our own.  Some nights we would work codes on people dead from gunshot wounds, watch old people die, feel for pulses on dead teenagers found hanging in their basements and deliver a stillborn from a crack addicted mother and just keep working while our brother and sister cops and firefighters would gather at the Critical Incident Stress debriefing after responding to a fatal car wreck while we transported the dying to the ER.

Yeah I’m bitter, and a little protective of the people still in the EMS trenches who I believe are being sold down the river by the invisible “EMS Industry Leaders.”

Be an EMT. Be a Paramedic. Do your job, but do not let somebody tell you that your job now includes doing Mobile Integrated Healthcare. Unless that is what you want to do, and if that is the case there is a world of opportunity for that career path.

My advice? Be a leader. Take charge of your destiny. Establish a Community Paramedic program in your area that allows people with EMT and Paramedic licenses to expand their role under a new category of health care provider. But be aware; money is the true leader here, and the supposed leaders pushing for this stand to make a lot of it.

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