Skip Kirkwood had this reply to a post by Michael Morse over at Rescuing Providence,
When we decided to settle for the lowest possible educational standards, and to fight every effort to upgrade our profession, this is what is left. It’s not too late to fix the situation, but if we let it go on much longer, somebody is going to step in front of us in line, and take the “good stuff” that is out there just beyond reach.
People who say “pay me first” don’t have a clue. You make the investment first, then later you get the divided.
I wish that I had written that. Well, I sort of have in the past, but not nearly as cogently and succinctly as Mr. Kirkwood.
Not only have we decided to settle for the lowest possible educational standards, in many cases we’ve demanded it. If you’re a reader of EMS blogs, I’m going to exempt you, because obviously EMS means something more to you than just a job. Sadly, the vast majority of EMS providers seem to be stopping here for a while to make some money while the figure out what they want to do when they grow up. Some want to be cops, many want to be firefighters, some want to be doctors, nurses, or PAs. They figure that EMS is a low cost investment that gives them some experience, pays them a bit, and isn’t all that hard. It’s ideal as a stepping stone to whatever it is they really want to do.
This attitude seems to permeate EMS at every level. We have minimal entry standards, minimal, if tedious recertification standards, no plan to make EMS a profession, and then we wonder why everyone eats our lunch. Every step of our professional lives is dictated by outsiders. Politicians, doctors, administrators, everyone seems to think that they know more about EMS than the people who actually work in it. Even “Our Week” is dictated to us by an outside organization. I know that the American College of Emergency Physicians came up with the idea. The question is why? Where was the National Association of EMTs when that was being put together? Oh, wait they are taking on a secondary role to ACEP and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
No wonder we get no respect, we’ve done so little to deserve it.