A Country EMS in The Big City

Last night I was fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity by Baltimore City FD to ride-along with one of their EMS crews as part of the EMS Today 2012 conference. My desire was to learn some of the many differences between their service and the more rural EMS service back home. While there clearly were definite differences, the thing that struck me more than anything else was actually how similar we all are, not how different.

I anticipated the promise that each tone held to expose me to some uniquely urban situation. And while the individuals I met were clearly unique, the choreography between us all was mostly a repeat. This is exactly how we are trained in EMS. We take whatever situation is given to us and we bring a defined order to the chaos. We seek sameness in purpose and outcome. The empathy I felt for the apparently homeless patient with the self-induced alteration in LOC and the young woman facing a possible miscarriage was no different here than anywhere. I simply wanted to help. The public attitude toward EMS leading to abuse of the system and the painful inefficiencies it causes was also no surprise. We face the same issues everywhere even if the proportions change.

It was witnessing the banter between calls that told me I wasn’t back home. The teams and even the sports were different, the union issues too. But then then there was the discussion of changes in protocols, the latest findings in medicine, the issues faced in home life. Maybe I am not so far from home after all.

At this conference I have already met medics from truly rural areas as far apart as Georgia and Alaska. I’ve met some who work for private agencies and others who come from city or county services. It is a commonality that brings us together and that allows us to discuss and learn from each other about our unique situations and approaches. The pre-conference session I attended yesterday has also helped me think about operational questions I had never considered before. Personally, I am definitely ready to start this conference today with a proper perspective.

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Comments
Luke
What Higher EMS Pay Requires
How about the company you work for makes 800 on one call and you make 600$ after two weeks of work.... And running 50 calls... Let's just be a little more fucking fair here....
2015-08-01 06:06:03
Jake
Static v. Dynamic: A Continuum of Cost
I whole-heartedly agree with Joey, what is our purpose? Why are we here? We are here to provide the best possible care to our patients. Part of best possible care is an expedient time-frame. I've been a dispatcher for 5 years, and I hate seeing my Medics get burned-out, but I hate even more so…
2015-07-20 07:13:24
Marcelo Bahl
Did You Watch ‘Nightwatch’ Last Night?
Hello, work in the EMS system in Brazil and whenever I can, I watch the episodes that leave recording to watch later, you show the reality of day-to-day of your city, which is very good and has no censorship as the shocking images that we see every day, because here everything is censored. One more…
2015-07-15 12:52:18
Jeffrey Hammerstein
Stop Dissing Response Times and Start Dissecting the Argument
I think that the position someone takes on this issue depends entirely on the circumstances of the particular EMS system they have in mind when they consider the question. If we're comparing a 7 minute response time to a 70 minute response time (or infinite as mentioned above), then of course it matters. That's a…
2015-07-03 11:44:45
Dave Shrader
Stop Dissing Response Times and Start Dissecting the Argument
I had meetings recently with a client in an underserved County. They have multiple tax supported volunteer organizations, and a City FD as EMS providers. The system is totally Balkanized with each agency doing it’s own thing. One agency failed to even respond to 66% of its calls last year. So, 66% of the time,…
2015-07-03 08:08:44

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