Are EMS providers hated?

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ffemt8978

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Last chance to get back on topic
 

DrParasite

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On which specific metrics would you justify arming EMS personnel?
Did you read the 5 article I provided? I am not trying to justify arming EMS personnel, but it's naive to think that we have this invisible bubble that will keep us safe from all threats. And if you are being threatened, attacked, and killed, a conclusion can be made that a subsection of the general public hates us, esp since that was why the OP carries a personal cat TQ
Last chance to get back on topic
Who is off topic? well, yes, one person seems to be consistently off topic, and some of us (myself included) are responding to him, but the whole reasoning behind EMS being hated was the OP saying he needed a cat TQbecause of all the hate.

Personally, I don't think we are hated, but there are people who want to cause us harm for one reason or another, so providing justification about how and why we get hurt (and some potential responses from nationwide EMS publications) are on topic.
 

E tank

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Did you read the 5 article I provided? I am not trying to justify arming EMS personnel, but it's naive to think that we have this invisible bubble that will keep us safe from all threats. And if you are being threatened, attacked, and killed, a conclusion can be made that a subsection of the general public hates us, esp since that was why the OP carries a personal cat TQ
No, I didn't read the 5 articles, and I'm not going to.

I just asked a question of you since you seemed interested in the topic...because you posted something about it. Feel free to ignore...
 

CarSevenFour

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Folks burn down their neighbor's businesses in a lot of places too...more of an indicator of cultural decay than animus toward any single agency, IMHO...
I worked EMS in the days when, even though we were EMTs, most people still called us "ambulance drivers". All of my employers used that official job title as the emergency services began to realize times were changing and finally got with the program. So we were ambulance drivers and EMTs at the same time (actually, most of us were Driver-Attendant-EMT), it was a time when you hardly knew what to call yourself. I worked for Schaefer's Ambulance in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA, and the gang guys living in the L.A. "projects," treated us the same as cops. We got set up one afternoon for an ambush in South Central (Watts) by the Crips. We were no different than cops to those guys and they called in a phony OD emergency. The only thing that saved us was my black partner, the best guy I ever worked with, who used his ability to talk people down and bought us enough time to explain who we were. We figured out there was no patient, after a search of the building, and got the hell out of there. So, yeah, it is possible for the general public to misidentify us. In my last EMT job before retiring we wore those baggy, multi-pocketed dark blue tactical trousers and white uniform shirts with first responder boots, epaulets, patches, etc-looks close enough to mistake the uniform for PD for many people. Some services look positively tactical in their uniforms-in news footage it's difficult to ID the cops from EMS. I wonder what it was like for the guys who worked on the Los Angeles Brown Bomber "George Unit" ambulances stationed at Central Receiving Hospital in the '50s and '60s. They wore essentially the same uniform, complete with similar patches and peaked hats as LAPD. Must have been pretty rough for them in the "bad" parts of the city. looking back, 1973 or 2021, the job is still the same and many of the issues we faced back then are still issues today.
 

Jim37F

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When did Schaefer respond in Watts? That's LAFD. And I can say, working out of Willowbrook working for McCormick wearing the dark navy uniform that looks so much more police than white shirts do, I can't recall anyone seriously misidentifying us as cops, or treating us like law enforcement. Police and Sheriff's would often tell people they could go with us or them, most of the time they choose us heh.

We got plenty of hassles, being treated as glorified (if that some days) taxi drivers, etc etc, but we didn't have any problems being "hated" (unless you count the Hawthorne LACoFD Captain sending us BLS to Harbor at 2 in the morning with the guy who only wanted his meds refilled...)

Plenty of drunks, people high on all sorts of junk, and psychs reminded me that things aren't all sunshine and daisies and perfectly safe, and a few people with anger management issues or whatever who are already wound up with whatever was going on for us to be there that if they let loose wasn't specifically directed at us for being EMS.

But certainly no one premeditating ambushes explicitly against ambulance crews. We never felt particularly unsafe cruising around or parking in public on post move ups or going into stores in uniform, whatever.

It's like being in the Army. I've heard plenty stories of Soldiers being spit on in airports back in the 60s. But nowadays that is pretty much unthinkable. Maybe an odd isolated incident, but for the most part, we weren't treated any particularly differently, in either uniform.
 

RedBlanketRunner

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The original question, EMS... Hated, is simply too vague and covers way too much ground. I've seen and been in civil disturbance situations where medical persons were verbally called out. It was way out of line and equating individual ambulance crews that responded with law enforcement during a riot and a response to a residence to perform medical service is miles apart. The people yelling in the direction of the paramedic crews were way out of line and much of the crowd knew that and turned on their own, telling them to dial it down.
As far as universally hated? I can't even imagine such a thing. Take it incident by isolated incident.

Completely anecdotal, but the last time I had a nurse working an extraction, it was when we pulled up to a rollover on the GSP and I saw a pair of legs sticking out of the driver's side door. the Nurse, in scrubs, was on her way to work, came upon the crash, and provided assistance before the AHJ arrived. once we showed up, she gave us a quick handoff, and went on her way, with my thanks. True, she was an ER nurse, so this experience might not be the norm, but you shouldn't disparage an entire profession based on your individual biases.
You chose to read something into a post that wasn't there. Went fault finding. Nurses have my deep respect and admiration. Victimizing them with appearance only uniforms restricting their ability to do their job is asinine. Forcing them to go out and perform work in the field without training ... that's horrifying. A fish riding a bicycle. Again, victimizing them. Of course a field trained paramedic with nursing training can be a best of both world scenarios. Woman I worked with was an RN, enlisted, did a tour of duty in a combat theater, came back to the states and got EMTII+ and worked it, along with being a member of a VFD. Awesome, incredibly capable person and the coolest head in our ambulance service.


Oh, and while some nursing schools do still keep the cap for graduation, they don't wear them regularly. in fact, from a global perspective, while the nurses' cap continues to be widely used, the use of the nurses' cap had begun to slowly decline in Western Europe and Northern America by the mid 1970s. The use of nurses' caps in the medical facilities of the United States all but disappeared by the late 1980s with the near universal adoption of "scrubs"

So if you are seeing nurses wearing skirts and caps, keep in mind they are 30 years behind the US, and 40+ years behind western Europe and North America.
Put your biases away. I disparaged the uniform, not the nurse.

Hated? I simply can't relate animosity generally to the jobs we did, you people do now. Only isolated incidents. Ignoring the ongoing bad blood between FD and PD which has always struck me as arguing over your favorite ball team.


A post script
I worked EMS in the days when, even though we were EMTs, most people still called us "ambulance drivers". All of my employers used that official job title as the emergency services began to realize times were changing and finally got with the program. So we were ambulance drivers and EMTs at the same time (actually, most of us were Driver-Attendant-EMT), it was a time when you hardly knew what to call yourself. I worked for Schaefer's
That brings back memories. Schaefer went down to Echo Park and beyond South Pasadena and that area if I recall correctly. And back then, an identity crisis sums it up. To some physicians we were earth worms. Some nurses, pains in the **** on over to much appreciated. To some FDs, relief hand offs and thanks much for showing up!
 

CarSevenFour

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When did Schaefer respond in Watts? That's LAFD. And I can say, working out of Willowbrook working for McCormick wearing the dark navy uniform that looks so much more police than white shirts do, I can't recall anyone seriously misidentifying us as cops, or treating us like law enforcement. Police and Sheriff's would often tell people they could go with us or them, most of the time they choose us heh.

We got plenty of hassles, being treated as glorified (if that some days) taxi drivers, etc etc, but we didn't have any problems being "hated" (unless you count the Hawthorne LACoFD Captain sending us BLS to Harbor at 2 in the morning with the guy who only wanted his meds refilled...)

Plenty of drunks, people high on all sorts of junk, and psychs reminded me that things aren't all sunshine and daisies and perfectly safe, and a few people with anger management issues or whatever who are already wound up with whatever was going on for us to be there that if they let loose wasn't specifically directed at us for being EMS.

But certainly no one premeditating ambushes explicitly against ambulance crews. We never felt particularly unsafe cruising around or parking in public on post move ups or going into stores in uniform, whatever.

It's like being in the Army. I've heard plenty stories of Soldiers being spit on in airports back in the 60s. But nowadays that is pretty much unthinkable. Maybe an odd isolated incident, but for the most part, we weren't treated any particularly differently, in either uniform.
Hi, Jim. The stories you heard about spitting on returning GIs are absolutely true. I'll never forget the long line of ambulances waiting their turn on the tarmac to pick up returning Vietnam wounded from Military Airlift Command Nightingale aircraft. It was heartbreaking to see these paralyzed guys totally demoralized after a long flight from Honolulu being hated by the public. The war was still going on in the early 70s and we saw a lot of hate for EMS from the protestors as well. Our ambulance was spit on and hit by picket signs while leaving the airport, loaded with 4 stretcher patients going to Long Beach VA, which primarily handled spinal cord, TBI trauma, and multiple amputations (some of these men were torsos on the stretcher, having lost all their limbs). We also responded to Watts on EMS calls back in those days. In Los Angeles, there are more than enough calls to go around. I worked for 11 years in urban fire dispatch centers as a lead fire dispatcher on 24 hr. shift (northern Orange County). If I was rolling a 2nd or 3rd-in engine to a call with no medics, the private ambulances were dispatched Code-3 (primarily Southland Ambulance), regardless of "whose area" it was. There was no such thing as an area being strictly "fire," it simply could not work that way with the heavy call volume, there weren't enough fire medics and RAs to handle the load without Pvt ambulance back-up. Consider yourself very lucky if you never went to "Watts", because, in those days Watts was often referred to as "Watts/Willowbrook" in the press, so your McCormick station would have been right in the thick of it. We worked out of the Scahaefer station (P&S) at Florence and Normandie on a first-in BLS 10-hour day car, six days a week. The area is technically Hyde Park, but in that part of town, "boundary drops" were more the norm. And, it was definitely a thing with the CRIPS to set up ambushes near "The Projects." I absolutely know this is true because I was there. I don't recall McCormick responding to calls in the area, but I believe they rolled units out of Inglewood. It was mostly Schaefer running in South Central and we'd see Adams running calls there as well. Sometimes I think the public "hate" is overrepresented by those of a certain generation who think the world hates them and their thin hides. I see more "hate" being directed at "old school" ambulance crews by younger EMS guys who can't understand that different times had different standards than today, but at the time, they were valid and considered advanced. Today's EMS folks think they have the right to stick their noses in the air at the very mention of the hated words "ambulance drivers." I served in ambulances and the fire service for 29 years, with time off in a totally different profession to deal with PTSD and get my head together. I retired in 2012 as a private ambulance EMT, dispatcher, and volunteer firefighter/EMT. I knew my time was getting short and went out full-bore. Those were good years despite the hard times; I still miss emergency work very much.
 

VentMonkey

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Having grown up in the areas you’ve mentioned @CarSevenFour —mostly South Gate/ Lynwood—I am familiar with the hodgepodge of Ambulance companies from “the day”.

I remember Adams Ambulance HQ on State St and yes all the BLS FD’s.

IIRC, the old Goodhew station was off of Wilmington in the CPT down the street from MLK (“Killer King”). It later became the AMR 24, then the McCormick one.

It really was a free-for-all with those companies TMK. A lot of them did indeed have functional ALS paramedics. Think Crippen and Goodhew, haha ol skool.

Back on topic, I still don’t see the “hate”, then again I’m kind of in a weird subset of EMS nowadays. I don’t even think I’d consider myself a frontline responder, lol.
 

RedBlanketRunner

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Not seeing hate, but most certainly disparagement within ranks such as the usual 'i'm going to call BS' @CarSevenFour was subjected to. Whether it's some gripe from the general public or the 'I've never heard/experienced that therefore the person is a liar' attitude it's unfounded, unneeded and certainly not beneficial to the EMS community any more than conclusion jumping from people who don't understand our business.
 

ffemt8978

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Not seeing hate, but most certainly disparagement within ranks such as the usual 'i'm going to call BS' @CarSevenFour was subjected to. Whether it's some gripe from the general public or the 'I've never heard/experienced that therefore the person is a liar' attitude it's unfounded, unneeded and certainly not beneficial to the EMS community any more than conclusion jumping from people who don't understand our business.
Over the years we've had more than a plethora of members who have posted some extravagant experiences and claims. Almost everone of them shared some common traits besides their wild experiences: the experiences they post are almost always borderline unbelievable; they are able to post exacting details like vital signs years or decades after the call; and when questioned about the experiences, they usually respond with some variation of you weren't there so you have no idea what my version of EMS was like. Some of these members weren't even in EMS at all.

Semi-anonymous internet forum members making claims about how their years of experience was non-stop high speed low drag "Roll With It" video calls does not advance our profession because it creates false expectations for our patients and people looking to join the profession.

I'm not saying that any of this applies to the posts in question, but experience dictates that it is possible. Anyone in EMS for any length of time has had wild and questionable experiences, but most of us don't brag about them or even mention them (especially in detail).
 

VentMonkey

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Haven’t inherent risks and dangers of this job sort of always been there and implied?

I don’t think the sporadic and occasional patient who flips out on a provider classifies as a “hater”.

Be the nicest you can and provide adequate care. Irrelevant far-fetched stories aside, it’s not that hard to live life, even in this day and age.
 

CarSevenFour

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Over the years we've had more than a plethora of members who have posted some extravagant experiences and claims. Almost everone of them shared some common traits besides their wild experiences: the experiences they post are almost always borderline unbelievable; they are able to post exacting details like vital signs years or decades after the call; and when questioned about the experiences, they usually respond with some variation of you weren't there so you have no idea what my version of EMS was like. Some of these members weren't even in EMS at all.

Semi-anonymous internet forum members making claims about how their years of experience was non-stop high speed low drag "Roll With It" video calls does not advance our profession because it creates false expectations for our patients and people looking to join the profession.

I'm not saying that any of this applies to the posts in question, but experience dictates that it is possible. Anyone in EMS for any length of time has had wild and questionable experiences, but most of us don't brag about them or even mention them (especially in detail).
This was the call that literally changed my life. Of course, I remember in excruciating detail. It's not bragging, it was written to show that when you go to work, you might run into a call that comes totally out of left field and you suddenly find yourself having to face the full import of what we take on that goes beyond lights and sirens and a spiffy uniform. I responded truthfully and with increasing detail and literally a newspaper article that supported what I wrote about because I was asked to elaborate. There are very many others who were involved with this call and I wonder how they are doing now. This one call taught me to hold on to the people you see every day, who extend small comforts to you just because you looked like you needed a cup of jasmine tea, and you one day end up finding them on the floor in dire straits within that very same office and you never told her that that one simple offered cup of tea made my day. Most of this was brought back to me after watching TED talks with paramedics detailing their experiences of PTSD, questioning their abilities or whether or not they made any difference. They stand before an audience and bare their souls. They're not bragging, they're telling the truth of what we take on when we jump in the unit and slam the door or answer a 9-1-1 call from a complete stranger who you will now bond with. I'd rather listen to them and maybe understand my own journey through another's experiences and learn something about myself too as I realize that my experiences may have also been shared by others. All of this and many others, I kept bottled up inside that internal leather sack where I stuffed all the other horrible things until it came out in a torrent and I had to deal with it. We all will someday face that, and many of us just can't, choosing instead the gun or the noose or the drug to put an end to it. That's all I'm saying. Watch a TED talk and see that those of us that have a need to show that EMS is a profession filled with traps and poor choices that shouldn't befall people who have a calling to serve. Apparently, there's plenty of hate to go around. I see EMS losing its heart.
 

VentMonkey

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Suicide is terrible any way you spin it. Allowing the job to consume you to death, again, devastating and tragic.

Both points are still somewhat irrelevant to the thread topic.

I also don’t see EMS losing its heart. I do see EMS moving away from old dogma and thought processes that have led us nowhere. Thank God.

That is not hating, that’s progress. Apples and oranges.
 

RedBlanketRunner

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I'd like something clarified here. Are EMS Providers Hated? Is this in reference to the viewpoint of the general public? That is beyond far fetched. What would best describe the general public point of view is appreciative.
Undoubtedly there are a lot of individual incidents where some degree of animosity is directed towards a rescue team. Most often the response is to a loved one, a family member, where the rest of the family is in borderline freak out mode. Finger pointing and accusations during the scenario and immediate time after isn't uncommon, but most of the ill feelings are caused by the public not understanding much of what we are doing. Average bystander is thinking we can perform some miraculous resuscitation and most of what we are doing seems to be fiddling with equipment or asking what seems like silly questions - the usual sleuthing as we try to get a handle on what exactly has come down.

Lack of information causes a lot of anciety and animosity.
One obvious problem that could always cause animosity is there often isn't an open channel of communication available to explain to family and friends what condition the patient is presently in, what procedures are being done (which can be almost impossible to comprehend) and what the prognosis is. Everyone working the ER is busy and doing public relations is often very far down their list if it is even on it. That leaves who to clue the family?
This brings to mind some incident that came down in the ER where a number of family members were very angry and in hospital gossip was flying. I never found out what the incident was but the supervisor of QA and Social Services jumped in and they were put on the on 24/7 call list to be brought in if anyone noticed a distraught friend or family member in or around the ER.
I wasn't even aware that Soc Serv had some new P&Ps until I became a patient at that hospital and Soc Serv worker came in and grilled my wife and I, working on down a check list. In turn they went sort of above and beyond getting answers to some questions we both had. Those P&Ps undoubtedly went a long way in dialing down and helping out patient, friends and family.

Hope this makes some sense.
 

CarSevenFour

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Suicide is terrible any way you spin it. Allowing the job to consume you to death, again, devastating and tragic.

Both points are still somewhat irrelevant to the thread topic.

I also don’t see EMS losing its heart. I do see EMS moving away from old dogma and thought processes that have led us nowhere. Thank God.

That is not hating, that’s progress. Apples and oranges.
No, the public doesn't hate us. The hate comes from within. We discount each other, we are responding to an OP that is thin and open to conjecture. We, worst of all, hate ourselves, where we came from, and blunder on, not learning the lessons from the past. Yeah, we were even killing ourselves over the job back in the old days. I gave a partner a good stethoscope one day because he needed one. Months later, he went home and used it to find the best spot in his heart to put a .38 in. No one really cared to dig deep and find out why. No one in the public knew or cared what we did when we reported for duty. That's the reason for all the EMS and fire suicides. Almost to the man, the person reaching out to others through public TED talks and online show a trend where we go into this avocation wanting to help others and end up hating what we become. Callous, uncaring, tired and feeling alone, so we "buck it up," because, "others need us." That is on topic that is THE topic.
 

CALEMT

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In again before the inevitable...
 

jgmedic

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No, the public doesn't hate us. The hate comes from within. We discount each other, we are responding to an OP that is thin and open to conjecture. We, worst of all, hate ourselves, where we came from, and blunder on, not learning the lessons from the past. Yeah, we were even killing ourselves over the job back in the old days. I gave a partner a good stethoscope one day because he needed one. Months later, he went home and used it to find the best spot in his heart to put a .38 in. No one really cared to dig deep and find out why. No one in the public knew or cared what we did when we reported for duty. That's the reason for all the EMS and fire suicides. Almost to the man, the person reaching out to others through public TED talks and online show a trend where we go into this avocation wanting to help others and end up hating what we become. Callous, uncaring, tired and feeling alone, so we "buck it up," because, "others need us." That is on topic that is THE topic.
You say back in the old days like it isn't still a problem.
 
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