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Keep It Real

As I said before, I don’t post here as much as I would like due to school, work and family commitments.  As I start paramedic school in a few weeks, that will only get worse.  I will post as I’m about and when the mood strikes.  If you want – and I highly encourage this – follow me on Twitter.  Anytime I post I tweet a link for it.  I also will tweet any other random stuff I think of so join the party!

As I sit here thinking of all the scandals that have rocked EMS over the last few months, I can’t help but be angry at my brothers and sisters who have tried to pull off this junk and honestly think they wouldn’t get caught.  By far the biggest thing we’ve had going on lately is the scandal in Massachusetts involving EMTs and paramedics who presented false CE and refresher certificates when renewal time came.  In a story posted on The Boston Channel’s website, an EMT identified only as “Kim” (who was suspended by the state OEMS for nine months) feels that her punishment is unfair because the refresher “repeats everything and (they) didn’t put (anyone) in danger.”

Right before that, she was quoting as saying that if she broke the law she should be punished.

So let me get this straight:  You broke the law.  You bought forged documents saying you had attended training that you never attended, presented them to the state as being legit and yet you think you’re being treated unfairly?

Forgive me but I wouldn’t want you, or your ilk, anywhere near me or any truck that I’m even remotely associated with.

The fact is, these unethical practitioners did break the law and they should be punished.  Everyone coming to their defense needs to take a look at themselves in the mirror and ask if they are truly serious about defending this crap.  There are guidelines and laws that are followed and for good reason.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in EMS for three years or thirty years.  We can always use new and remedial training on our skills.  There are reasons why states and the National Registry require EMTs and paramedics to recertify every few years.  New techniques are developed to enable us to give better care to our patients.  Existing skills, such as CPR, ACLS, ITLS, etc., are often tweaked and it’s essential that we keep abreast of improvement of these skills.  Plus, we don’t always use every skill we learned in school and it’s always good to be reminded of how to do them and why.

Knowledge should be a never ending quest in EMS.  It is not a destination, rather it’s a journey.

I’m mad.  I’m mad at the example these “pros” set for rookies like me.  I’m mad at the fact that the public now will be more apt to question whether or not the person starting an IV on them or intubating their child is properly trained and competent to perform.  I resent the fact that these individuals have broken rules and laws and yet they think they are being treated unfair.  If I were head of EMS in Massachusetts they would really dislike me because my position would have been that their licenses should be revoked.  They’re fortunate that they’re being given the opportunity to make it right.  Of course they should be off the street until such time as they do complete their training because their recerts are about as good as the paper they’re printed on.

If ever you’re tempted to play this same game, I have some advice for you.  Don’t think about getting caught by the state, the Registry or even your supervisor.  Other than the lives you put at risk and the lies that you would live, I want you think of the rookie sitting next to you in the day room.  What kind of example are you setting for them as they embark on their EMS journey?  Do you really want them to go down the same path and give sub-par care

What those people have done to our profession is disgraceful.  If you think people look at us as a bunch of ambulance driving jockeys, keep this up.  We’ll never be more than a taxi service to them if we keep acting in this fashion.  We have got to do everything in our power to show ourselves as professionals and that certainly includes new and continuing education.

Get those CEUs.  It doesn’t hurt, I promise.

Rural EMT-B

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