As any good citizen, I sat up last week and listened to the President go on and on and on and I've been blessed by seeing his sound bytes played over and over and over again. So I did a little research because my dad always told me if it looks to good to be true it probably is. Well dad's right. I find it interesting that "it will be completely paid for" but where is this money coming from? I still haven't found that out but it has to come from somewhere. I think NONE of these credits are really going to do much to spur hiring.
But what really made me annoyed was that EMTs and Paramedics were left out. There is a section to save teachers, hire new teachers, cops and firefighters. Well excuse me for not being brave enough to be a cop or a firefighter. I wouldn't want to do their job. Fire is hot and well people are crazy. This has annoyed me because its a slap in the face that my job as a Paramedic isn't as important. I have been threatened, had a knife pulled on me, been pushed around, dodging traffic, all while treating my patient who is near a burning car. I've taken family members, my own child to be specific, colleagues and family of colleagues to the ED but yet my job isn't stressful. I recently went to a patient's house only to find that he had a rifle, pistol and a banana clip in his room. But hey my job is simple right?
As providers we are becoming this generation's doc on wheels for lack of a better term. I want my profession to be as respected as that of a LEO or FF. I'm so sick of us being overlooked. We put ourselves at risk in order to help our community just like my local LEOs and FFs. I have a great deal of respect for what they do and the dangers that can come with their job but each day I suit up and go to work I can't guarantee that I'll come home. I kiss my kids and my husband and hope that the unaware public don't take me out on my way to someone who needs my help from that MI, stroke or trauma they're experiencing. I also hope that my patient or their family aren't in a terribly bad mood and decide to take out any aggression on me.
Its time that we as EMTs and Paramedics get squeaky. We need to make those folks in D.C. and locally aware that what we do, no one else wants to do. Talk to any MD and I'm sure they'll tell you that they wouldn't want my job and see what I have to see. They don't want to see that toddler dead in the car seat that mom or dad didn't strap in, that high school senior dead in his car, that elderly man whose family has completely neglected them and I can go on. I've had calls that have changed me forever. The most recent was a 9 month old girl who died of SIDS. I was a mess after that call. I made my husband wake up my daughter and put her on the phone. I needed to know that my baby was ok. I cried for weeks and even now I can remember every detail of that call. We have an emotionally stressful job and its time that we stood up and made the public and local leaders take notice. When they have their medical emergency we'll be there and not always in the safest of places.