Is it true that most firefighters hate running EMS calls?

LifeOfAMedicStudent

Forum Crew Member
60
2
8
Most of the fire departments around here are separate entities from the EMS departments, versus in other places I have lived prior, the EMS was fire based.

Here, most of the transport-based EMS is county government (third service) or private in other counties.

However, some of the volunteer and municipality fire departments run EMS calls as a first responder agency.

A lot of the volunteer firefighters I spoke to say they don't like running EMS calls. Is this true for most?
 

VentMonkey

Family Guy
5,606
4,931
113
It's hit or miss. Some departments seem to embrace it, and are ok with it; others not so much.

I can't speak specifically for any of them, I'm not a firefighter.
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
11,146
3,359
113
From how it seems yes (at least for my local departments).

If they get an EMS call they will take their time to go responding but if it's a fire they will run to the engine.

When they go out for training they will go "second in for medical but first in for fires and TCs".

They spend a lot of time training on fire and vehicle extrication but only spend the bare minimum on EMS or even find ways to recertify ACLS, BLS, and PALS, in a 3 hour class...

There are exceptions to this rule. Just in my area it seems like 1:10 is a competent medic and 8:10 thinks they are the **** and 1:10 know they are ****ty medics but do nothing to change it.
 

hometownmedic5

Forum Asst. Chief
806
612
93
Some people embrace change. Some do not.

Fires are way, way down; even in my lifetime. The tax base is down. The dollar is soft and so on. The new model to keep a career fire department fiscally viable is to run, at least in part, medical calls.

Some fire guys don't see the writing on the wall. They think that if they weren't assigned medical runs, they'd be secure in their recliners until retirement; so they take every medical as a personal insult to their relaxation. Some guys recognize that if they want to have a job until retirement, they are going to have to do ems(at one level of participation or another).

As usual, you can't paint and entire industry with one brush. There are plenty of fire guys legitimately interested in doing medical calls. Which side of the argument is weighted more heavily is going to be hard to establish nationally, since you usually can't even find a whole crew that completely agrees.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
6,049
1,935
113
A lot of the volunteer firefighters I spoke to say they don't like running EMS calls. Is this true for most?
In general, yes..... most FDs have a ratio of 4 EMS calls to every 1 fire call...... so adding EMS has increased their workload significantly. Plus, if they are out on an EMS run, and a fire comes in, they are unavailable to go on it. and most firefighters would rather respond to a major fire than a major medical emergency.

That all being said, as was mentioned prior, not all firefighters are poor EMS providers. Some (like myself) keep up with EMS training, do the best we can on an EMS call, and are generally competent providers. And unlike some, I don't mind going on EMS calls (except at 3am when I was in the middle of dream time), but I also recognize that it's part of the job, and the more calls we are dispatched to, the easier it is to justify more staff.

Than again, I also know firefighters that don't like going on fire alarms, CO alarms, wires down calls, or citizen assist calls. as well as emts and paramedics that don't like going on EMS calls, even when they are working on the ambulance.....
 

RLineTig

Forum Ride Along
3
0
1
Some people embrace change. Some do not.

Fires are way, way down; even in my lifetime. The tax base is down. The dollar is soft and so on. The new model to keep a career fire department fiscally viable is to run, at least in part, medical calls.

Some fire guys don't see the writing on the wall. They think that if they weren't assigned medical runs, they'd be secure in their recliners until retirement; so they take every medical as a personal insult to their relaxation. Some guys recognize that if they want to have a job until retirement, they are going to have to do ems(at one level of participation or another).

As usual, you can't paint and entire industry with one brush. There are plenty of fire guys legitimately interested in doing medical calls. Which side of the argument is weighted more heavily is going to be hard to establish nationally, since you usually can't even find a whole crew that completely agrees.

Your lifetime 31 yeh you have all the answers.54 year old firefighter here not wanting my lounge chair ! We take care of ageing equipment and train also bet most at my age are in better shape also .we are publicly funded you guys overcharge that's how you stay in business.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

EpiEMS

Forum Deputy Chief
3,768
1,113
113

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
6,049
1,935
113
Now, does the FDNY really care? I would say, nah. Engine companies (i.e. EMRs) respond to about 3 medical calls a day, and you're telling me that it takes extra time to respond to a medical compared to a fire? I don't buy it.
FDNY engine companies do NOT respond to 3 medical calls a day.... not sure where you got that number, but according to the report you posted :" In 2014 three-quarters of the 1.3 million incidents to which FDNY vehicles responded were medical incidents" so if they are going on 10 calls per day, between 7 and 8 are EMS runs per shift.

I will also say that many firefighters will run faster to a structure fire call compared to a medical call. My guess is that's due to structure fires being more fun than medicals.
 

VentMonkey

Family Guy
5,606
4,931
113
Your lifetime 31 yeh you have all the answers.54 year old firefighter here not wanting my lounge chair ! We take care of ageing equipment and train also bet most at my age are in better shape also .we are publicly funded you guys overcharge that's how you stay in business.
Any reason why his answer invoked such a thoughtful, mature, and articulate reply in yourself?
 

GMCmedic

Forum Deputy Chief
1,640
1,056
113
Your lifetime 31 yeh you have all the answers.54 year old firefighter here not wanting my lounge chair ! We take care of ageing equipment and train also bet most at my age are in better shape also .we are publicly funded you guys overcharge that's how you stay in business.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
That brings up a good topic for another discussion, though im sure its been brought up before.

Why is it that Police and Fire have insanely large budgets while turning absolutely zero profit while EMS is expected to profit yearly?

And before you get bitter, I am a Paramedic and a Firefighter.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
 

TransportJockey

Forum Chief
8,623
1,674
113
Your lifetime 31 yeh you have all the answers.54 year old firefighter here not wanting my lounge chair ! We take care of ageing equipment and train also bet most at my age are in better shape also .we are publicly funded you guys overcharge that's how you stay in business.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
You forget that the are a lot of third service, publicly funded EMS agencies, such as the one I work for. If you believe he is painting with too broad a brush, you are too.

Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk
 

medichopeful

Flight RN/Paramedic
1,863
255
83
Your lifetime 31 yeh you have all the answers.54 year old firefighter here not wanting my lounge chair ! We take care of ageing equipment and train also bet most at my age are in better shape also .we are publicly funded you guys overcharge that's how you stay in business.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Is anybody willing to translate this into a coherent sentence?
 

NomadicMedic

EMS Educator
11,945
6,655
113
Is anybody willing to translate this into a coherent sentence?

"Mongo say you too young to know. Mongo old! Mongo not tired! Mongo work hard! Mongo not want sleep. Mongo fit! Mongo not care about money, city pay Mongo! Mongo say ambulance driver dumb! Cost too much for ambulance. Mongo think it should be free because Mongo not understand cost of service and economics surrounding privately funded businesses!"
 

medichopeful

Flight RN/Paramedic
1,863
255
83
"Mongo say you too young to know. Mongo old! Mongo not tired! Mongo work hard! Mongo not want sleep. Mongo fit! Mongo not care about money, city pay Mongo! Mongo say ambulance driver dumb! Cost too much for ambulance. Mongo think it should be free because Mongo not understand cost of service and economics surrounding privately funded businesses!"

Thanks! Now I see what he was trying to say! :p
 

EpiEMS

Forum Deputy Chief
3,768
1,113
113
FDNY engine companies do NOT respond to 3 medical calls a day.... not sure where you got that number, but according to the report you posted :" In 2014 three-quarters of the 1.3 million incidents to which FDNY vehicles responded were medical incidents" so if they are going on 10 calls per day, between 7 and 8 are EMS runs per shift.

I will also say that many firefighters will run faster to a structure fire call compared to a medical call. My guess is that's due to structure fires being more fun than medicals.

You might be right, but it looks like the average is 3 - obviously that doesn't speak to anything distributional (the median, say, may very well be higher):

This is one key reason runs for engine companies exceed those of ladder companies: In calendar year 2014 engine companies responded to more than 231,000 medical incidents, about 633 per day citywide and about 3 per engine company per day.

I would not say that each engine is going on 7-8 medicals just because 3/4 of calls are medical. Rather, I am fairly sure it is less, given that not all medicals (only segments 1-3, also see here from NYSVARA) get an engine dispatched. So the figure is, in all likelihood, materially lower.
 

hometownmedic5

Forum Asst. Chief
806
612
93
Your lifetime 31 yeh you have all the answers.54 year old firefighter here not wanting my lounge chair ! We take care of ageing equipment and train also bet most at my age are in better shape also .we are publicly funded you guys overcharge that's how you stay in business.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


I think you missed the point in regards to my lifetime.

The point there was that I'm not taking the long multigenerational view on something. Just in my lifetime, yes the last 31 years(hell, even the 12 and change I've been on the job) structure fires have decreased dramatically(better prevention, more fire safe materials and so on).

What I'm not saying is that I'm so damn old and experienced that i know everything about everything. I'm merely making a point based in statistics.

I also made it quite clear that I wasn't speaking for every fire fighter on earth, in the country, in my state, in my town, or in my firehouse(oh yeah, guess i forgot to mention that even though I work for a private, we quarter with the fire dept. that of course means we mess together, do jobs together, occupy separate but adjacent recliners, and from time to talk talk about what we think and feel about different issues(like whether fire should go to medicals). So the fact that you want to do medicals doesn't change the fact that many of your compatriots do not because it means they have to do something when otherwise they would not.

By the way, this is how you articulate a point. Your post was poo flinging. There's a difference.
 

EpiEMS

Forum Deputy Chief
3,768
1,113
113
We take care of ageing equipment and train also bet most at my age are in better shape also

Your apparatus cost 2-5x what ambulances cost, and put many miles on without providing value-add.

we are publicly funded you guys overcharge

Fire protection is a "public good" - it would be inefficient to provide it privately. So yes, it is publicly funded. EMS, debatable - it is excludable and rivalrous, thus, it cannot be a pure public good.
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
11,146
3,359
113
Your lifetime 31 yeh you have all the answers.54 year old firefighter here not wanting my lounge chair ! We take care of ageing equipment and train also bet most at my age are in better shape also .we are publicly funded you guys overcharge that's how you stay in business.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
And this is one of the firefighters I mentioned who thinks they are the ****...
 

CALEMT

The Other Guy/ Paramaybe?
4,488
3,327
113
I've worn both hats in regards working for a FD and working for private EMS. I don't mind running medical aids, I figure I'm the 1 in a million that actually likes running med calls. I also like running structure fires, tc's, technical rescues, and wildfires. While I was a firefighter I certainly didn't look down on the ambulance crew when we were on a medical aid. I tend to initially treat everyone with respect until you give me a reason to not to. Now while I'm 22 years old I can't say for certain that I'll have the same mentality when I'm in my 40's or 50's and I've been doing the job for awhile, but I like to think that I will.

Also why do people wether its fire or EMS complain about running calls? Isn't that like your job?
 

hometownmedic5

Forum Asst. Chief
806
612
93
Naturally it depends on the department; but I'd say in most cases, in the absence of calls, you have no more than three hours of mandated activity in an average day. Equipment checks, station chores, training.

Beyond that, there is a lot of time left in your 24 hours shift without much to do. Chances are excellent you're not going to a fire, so if you don't have to do medical calls, you'll have a lot of down time. Sure, mva's, smells and bells etc. There are other calls besides working fires and medical; but if you can eliminate medicals, you can have some pretty easy days.

Pretty much a similar story on the EMS side. So the answer to your question is laziness and apathy. Without calls, you get paid to do nothing. The less you do, the higher your per call pay rate in a given shift; or even better a no hitter where all you did was trade xx hours for xx dollars.

That's why those guys get so bent about having to do calls(EMS or fire). It means work and changes the math on their compensation. Some guys are so bad they take it as a personal insult every time the bells go off.
 
Top