Medics fighting fire?

When a firefighter working in a Fire/EMS system doesn’t embrace EMS he is considered a pariah, a dinosoar and a  bum but it is perfectly acceptable for a paramedic working in the same department to shun fire duty.

Doesn’t seem right, but that is the way it is.



  • Don Spinniken, Paramedic, I/C says:

    When a Paramedic working in an EMS/Fire (based on call volume) system doesn’t embrace Fire he is considered a pariah, a dinosaur and a bum but it is perfectly acceptable for a firefighter working in the same department to shun EMS training and duty.
    Doesn’t seem right.
    Is it possible that this gate swings BOTH ways?
    Can’t we all just learn to get along?

  • Robert Lanious says:

    This is another reason fire needs to stay out of EMS.

  • Ben Chlapek says:

    After working as a firefighter, a paramedic, and a chief officer for almost 40 years, I see what you mean in one small slice of the profession. To clarify my statement, I have to say I’ve worked with many awesome FF/Ps who “get it,” love EMS, love fighting fire, and have a general drive to help those less fortunate. They are there for service as the job is a calling to them and they are team players. In the same breath, I have friends who are paramedics who migrate to the private, 3rd service, or strictly EMS systems because they have no desire to fight fire. The worst part exists on the fire department. There are those who think that all they should do is fight fire – – they don’t want to be bothered with EMS calls. Unless they are part of a very, very small dinosaur that’s left, they respond to EMS calls. Sadly, I’ve seen chief officers as well as brand new firefighters shun EMS providers, even union brothers and sisters in the same stations and part of their company. They see EMS as “a nuisance” and treat the crews the same way. While this is not the rule and many departments “get it,” I still see some chief officers in leadership positions that say EMS is low priority and I don’t want it. It is my experience that there is much more good than bad, but looking at a department that just decided to take turnout gear away from department members who staff ambulances, we have a long, long way to go. Best wishes and stay safe out there! With humble respect,

  • EMS Artifact says:

    You inspired me to write a blog post that’s been swirling around in my skull for a couple of years.

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