Should the work that we do in Fire and EMS be portrayed in reality television?

  • YES, it finally shows people what we do

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • NO, it misrepresents what we do

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • I don't care one way or the other

    Votes: 6 50.0%
  • I care, I just want it to be an accurate representation. It needs work

    Votes: 3 25.0%

  • Total voters
    12
  • Poll closed .

FirstResponder

Forum Probie
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You had to see this one coming...
What are your thoughts on these two new TV shows that have come out recently? It was a matter of time before the Fire & EMS side of things showed their faces in the day-to-day operations of the pre-hospital/ 911 system life. "Cops" has been on TV forever now. More than three decades to be exact. "Live PD" started in 2016 and it's become quite popular, to say the least. It seemed only right that Fire and EMS would have their version of a reality-based "action" TV program. It was only a matter of time. Patient confidentiality seemed to be a tough road to navigate though...nevertheless they figured it out.

For those of you who call Fire or EMS your career, what are your thoughts on these shows so far? Even if you don't call this line of work your "career", and just view it as a temporary job, a 'stepping stone,' while you continue to hit the books and pursue a career elsewhere in the medical field- how do you feel about these shows?
Is it shedding a positive light on the world of Fire and EMS? Is it portrayed in a way that you feel is accurate? Does it represent what the life of an EMT is like? EMT's, Paramedics, Firefighters alike?

Those in favor of these types of programs making their debut this year have a lot of subject matter to support the positive outlook they have. After all, it appears that these shows are as close to showing the public what it would be like to go for a ride-along on an ambulance as realistically possible-without actually putting somebody in the third rider seat. At the same token, it shows what it's like to "ride along" on the engine for the day too. Honestly, at this point it's even reasonable to make the case that these programs effectively show how the different agencies involved with pre-hospital care interact with one another. It shows how they communicate with each other, helps to explain why they respond to many medical/trauma calls together, and how the law enforcement aspect of the 911 world factors into all this stuff. It shows Police/Fire/EMS working together on emergency calls. There are a lot of points one could make in an argument that views these programs favorably. However, plenty of criticism can be made for the way that the word "heroic," gets tossed around. That appears to be a constant theme so far. There are lots of minor emergencies that are depicted on these shows and it's not exactly a "reach" to deduce from such depictions that there is a hint of, dare I say, exaggeration at play here. The glorification of a firefighter or EMT for the "strong work" that they just exhibited on camera, even if we're talking about something as simple as loading a patient into the ambulance and having a conversation with them while en route to the hospital (particularly on calls where the patient is completely stable and their partners are driving with traffic to the hospital) can arguably be a setback to the public's perception of what this job is like. The case can be made for both sides here. It shows some of the many different realities that we may face on a day-to-day basis. It also shows a side of Fire & EMS that can come off as patting oneself on the back. The "look what I did," kind of attitude.

I'm curious to know what others think of this. Maybe you haven't given it any thought at all. Who the hell knows? Hopefully there are enough talking points to choose from but if not...Start you own!!!
 

OceanBossMan263

Forum Crew Member
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I do enjoy Live Rescue, because unlike Cops or even NightWatch, it doesn't aim to ride for a month and only air the exciting movie-type calls. It shows a much more realistic ratio of trauma to medical and lower-acuity patients, and is able to showcase more of the contact and assessment role vs ridiculous hero stuff
 

medichopeful

Flight RN/Paramedic
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Kinda neat, an RSI without Medical Control?

There are many places that allow their medics to RSI on standing order. We can do it on standing order as long as there are 2 credentialed medics on scene, and we can also provide post-intubation sedation and analgesia by protocol. The only communication we do with the hospital is an entry note en route.
 

rescue1

Forum Asst. Chief
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One of my friends showed me the clip of the RSI on First Responders Live (I think), and while it was a very smooth RSI, I still can't figure out what the indication was to intubate what appeared to be a relatively stable patient. I don't think I have access to watch the show itself, but does anyone who actually watched have any opinions?
 

Jim37F

Forum Deputy Chief
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I still can't figure out what the indication was to intubate

Is this the lady in Seattle area? Episode 2? (Episode with the train vs car in another story?) If so, I just watched it, and she had taken an unknown drug, was Altered, the medics were saying she had periods of apnea, and we could hear obvious gasping and whatnot. They were commenting about being worried about maintaining a patent airway.
 

rescue1

Forum Asst. Chief
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Is this the lady in Seattle area? Episode 2? (Episode with the train vs car in another story?) If so, I just watched it, and she had taken an unknown drug, was Altered, the medics were saying she had periods of apnea, and we could hear obvious gasping and whatnot. They were commenting about being worried about maintaining a patent airway.

Ah gotcha--yeah that's the one. I only saw like a 2 minute clip that didn't show the initial assessment of the patient, just her on the gurney and then the intubation itself.
 

johnrsemt

Forum Deputy Chief
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Shouldn't it be like IV's; if you can start an IV, every patient gets one? So if you can RSI and intubate, then do it to everyone to keep your skills sharp.
 

VFlutter

Flight Nurse
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I cringe when they show St. Louis City FD
 

SandpitMedic

Crowd pleaser
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Yeah, I’m watching it now also... I was like, why not try some anti-emetic and try to calm her down before jumping straight to RSI? I didn’t see the apnea, but maybe they edited that out.

I’ve taken hundreds patients like that to the ER off the Vegas strip and rarely had to intubate. Not saying he made a bad call, just that I may have tried something else first. I wasn’t there and TV doesn’t tell the whole story. Also the end with the “BB gun” to the genitals, and the chick paramedic who said “ballsack” to the patient gave me a good chuckle. That’s authenticity, and EMS gal who doesn’t know how to use the medical term for the jewel bag. Maybe she was just dumbing it down.

Also, who is the lady commenting on what they’re doing? She’s kind of a clown.
Can we all get on the same page of what RSI stands for or what? It’s rapid sequence induction... not rapid sequence intubation.

I’m on the fence about this show but overall I think it’s good to show how EMS works and why we should be held in the same esteem and paid similarly as other first responders. I’m still not sure how they got around HIPPA and patient privacy. I think they do an okay job at representing what we do, but there is just that “I’m on TV factor” that I struggle to get over. I think that will fade over time, but I can just feel the hero complex emanating off some of these guys.

Then of course, there are captains and supervisors running patient care on TV which is not the norm across most places I’ve worked. We had field supervisors in Vegas running calls as a norm, but rarely was a fire captain in our rig running patient care.
 
OP
FirstResponder

FirstResponder

Forum Probie
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I'm very curious how they manage the HIPAA side of things as well. Also, couldn't agree more with the "I'm on tv" factor. It's cringeworthy in some of these scenes.
 

exodus

Forum Deputy Chief
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I'm very curious how they manage the HIPAA side of things as well. Also, couldn't agree more with the "I'm on tv" factor. It's cringeworthy in some of these scenes.

They ask the patient to sign a release form. Source: I transported one of the LR patients the day after his episode aired. Stupid transients.
 

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