Home Paramedicine/The Job Take This Week And Shove It

Take This Week And Shove It


EMS Week, that is. It’s just a pat ourselves on the back week for lazy bosses and hospital administrators. Oh joy, I can go to a senior citizen housing development and check people’s blood pressures. Or, I can show up in uniform and be a prop in someone’s EMS Week dog and pony show. We got a lame ass email from our boss telling us how great we are. Well, we get about one of those a month anyway, but they still continue to overwork us, short change us on equipment, nickle and dime us on overtime (but not them), and generally make asses of themselves.

Some of the hospital appear to be doing stuff, but of course that’s only for the day guys and the night guys that come in early to work. Anyone who works after 5:00PM continues to get nothing but the empty boxes and plates of food that were given to the day guys. The only good thing is that I only work two days this week so my aggravation level will be lower.

One of these days EMS workers as a group are going to figure out that we are being played for chumps and refuse to participate at all. Of course that will be well after I’ve retired. Which come to think of it, would be a great way to celebrate EMS Week!



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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.


  1. I laughed so hard at this little excerpt. While I must admit that yes we as prehospital providers don’t get paid nearly enough, don’t have nearly as good of benefits as we should, and don’t get the recognition we deserve, we aren’t always treated badly. Yes EMS week may seem like a farce because wow hospitals try to feed people or at least hand out little goodies to show that eventhough they scream as us they do appreciate some of our hard work, but we are being recognized none the less. Every company should take some time to do something special for their employees to show them they are appreciated and many don’t even attempt it. Hell my last company’s idea of showing employees they were appreciated was a twice a year company party where upper management slept with other ppl’s spouses, bought people drinks all night (which isn’t coming close to showing appreciation in my book) and treating female employees like 2nd class citizens eventhough females now hold more college degrees and jobs than males do. What ever happened to spur of the moment pot luck dinners at garages or people houses so everyone can hang out, share war stories, and know for a fact that they are truly appreciated. Maybe I ask for too much, but I’ll take whatever little bit of appreciation and recognition I can get even if it is just a cheap hot dog and chips for free.

    • As someone I know says, “What you put up with, you deserve.” So, if you put up with crappy treatment, let alone participate in it, you’ve gotten what you deserve. I choose not to be a prop for someone else’s self congratulatory dog and pony show, so I don’t. I used to, because I deluded myself it was good for the profession. In truth it degrades the profession and all that are in it.

  2. my partner just turned to me and asked me if i wrote this since i said the exact same things to him earlier in the shift.

  3. And we don’t even get the cool pens/coffee mugs/lunch bags anymore! What DO they do (besides get overtime to “distribute” the non-existent EMS week “gits”)?

  4. The only way to gain any support for EMS is with the help of the public. The only way to gain the help of the public is to inform them what EMS does on a daily basis (is it our administrators from decades ago that caused this? Yes perhaps). EMS Week – along with events ALL YEAR – is the way to do this.

    • It’s not that people don’ t know what EMS does, it’s that they don’t care. The public does not think about EMS until they need an ambulance. Then, for the most part they just want transportation. What type of events do you propose that will change that?

  5. I hear people like you complain about how horrible EMS is and yet you lack the education, ambition, skills or whatever it maybe to do something about it. Simply put my friend, if you don’t like your job, QUIT!!!!!! Don’t go blaming company policies, management and the community for your inability to pass the fire fighter exam.

    We buy you key chains or coffee mugs and you bitch about them. why spend the money on such items that you never really cared about in the first place. All your looking for is something free. Those stupid rules we make you follow are there to protect you, me and the company. The limited overtime is not there to piss you off either. Here is a little tidbit for you. That bill for $800 you just sent to lil miss whatever with the toe injury will only get reimbursed a VERY small percentage. You cant get rich working in EMS or even owning an EMS company. it is what it is.

    I’ll be the first to say that we do not get paid nearly what we are worth, but lets face it. EMT’s are a dime a dozen and the good ones are well compensated.

    • News flash dude. I passed the fire exam. Not only that, but I got three offers of jobs. Turned them all down because they paid about half of what I was making for a 40 hour work week. I just decided that I didn’t really want to be a firefighter. I know you’ll find the incomprehensible, but not everyone wants to be a fire fighter. Those stupid rules are never there to protect the employee, they are always there to protect the employer. I’ve been doing this much longer than you have, on that I’d place a bet. I’ve done supervisory and administrative jobs as well as field medicine. In one of my assignments I had to learn way more about billing, CMS, and reimbursement rates than I really wanted to. I know for example that the $1370.00 bill that my mother got because CMS refused to pay it is only reimbursed at about $500.00. As to the owners not getting rich, that’s laughable. I know some guys that own or even are general managers of private ambulance companies. They do pretty well, thank you. EMTs are a dime a dozen because we have set the bar incredibly low for the responsibility they have.

      Don’t even start me on the EMT and paramedic burn out machine that is System Status Management. We don’t use it fortunately, but I see those poor bastards in the privates sitting out on street corners in the middle of the night trying to cover two or three towns because their bosses won’t put enough units on to provide adequate coverage. If the town officials responsible for those contracts knew how thin the coverage is, they’d sue the companies. And using the towns’ FDs as first responders to stop the response clock is just shifting the cost burden back to the taxpayers.

      As to education, I have not one, but two college degrees. I’ll wager over the years I’ve done way more to advance EMS as a medical profession than you could ever dream of. I’d guess you got your management job because you have sturdy knee pads and can hold your breath for a long time.

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