So The Happy Medic goes on hiatus and I decide to show up again? No, he is not writing under my cover, although if he so chose, I wouldn’t be opposed. The writing styles would be immediately noticeable, however.
Anyway, speaking of re-appearances, DCFD (DCFEMS) decides to provide me with a little show and tell time. Stems from a story I read this evening about a man collapsing not too far from a fire station and being turned away, EMS is 30+ minutes away, and only shows up when a cop flags down an ambulance.
Imagine, if you will, a scenario where you have a man go unresponsive across the street from where you’re posted or assigned or whatever. Woman comes running into your house screaming her dad’s just hit the ground 100 yards from your door.
I know what I would do. The first call summons the house officer and the company to the front, the next call goes to the alarm office telling them we have an unconscious male out in front of our station, to assign our company, and that we need an ambulance, and I wouldn’t be making a third because I would already be grabbing some gear from our engine.
I saw a civilian get hit in front of our fire station when I was briefly assigned downtown. We all heard it, so there was no one screaming in the station doorway.
How is this difficult?
I have no idea, but some of the comments on the Washington Post and others have ranged from racism to low quality hires. I’m more inclined to go with low quality and just plain lazy employees. Yes I said employees and not “firefighters,” because there’s a difference.
Firefighters pay attention to detail. Firefighters come to work hurt, grieving, sick, or otherwise as to not let the other guys on their company down. Firefighters make sure all their stuff works at all times. Most importantly, firefighters will move heaven and earth to get to you and yours when the chips are down and the stakes are high. We sacrifice our bodies and make the sacrifice play because that’s what we do.
Employees will ensure that barely the minimum is done, just happy with getting their money (as I hear frequently), and will try and limit their personal responsibility and liability to any and all tasks above. But yet, those firefighters out there will pull those employees, sacrificing more and more to keep their company operating. I have seen many fire companies made up of employees.
It gets harder and harder, in the face of budget cuts, loss of benefits and pensions (which is another topic entirely I will probably write on soon as it has been a primary reason for my de-motivation) to be a firefighter and not an employee. I get that, but at the end of the day, you’re either a firefighter or just an employee.
“Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldn’t even be there, 80 are just targets, 9 are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, One is a warrior, And he will bring the others back.”
– Heraclitus, 500 B.C.
Check out Statter’s updated article here: http://www.statter911.com/2014/01/31/failure-respond-levels-nations-capital/