Struggling with King County Medic One

EpiEMS

Forum Deputy Chief
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Is there no process by which ALS-to-BLS handovers by policy require medical direction consult if you disagree? Seems odd. Most of the protocols I have seen require or encourage this...
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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...You might just be a lowly ambulance driver, and your company wants to kiss the a** of medic one, but what about the ER? and the attendings?...

In a lot of urban areas there are several competing systems that are trying to pull volume from EMS, and are not willing or are hesitant to fight them. Emergency department volume from EMS has a higher rate of admission and therefor positive cash flow (compared to walk ins), so there is a incentive to schmooze EMS rather than provide real feedback, even amongst programs that provide medical direction.
 

NomadicMedic

Pot or Kettle? Unsure.
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Respectfully, if you don't have experience in King County Washington, you're not in a position to pass judgment on how interaction with ALS, the fire department, and private ambulance service occurs. It's simply not like any place you've ever been, and really trying to explain it is usually met with, "Noooo... that can't be the way it is".

Trust me. That's the way it is.

They have built a culture where the medics are able to belittle and run roughshod over the BLS providers with no interference or repercussions, based on the tenuous relationship that BLS agencies have with the municipalities and the fact that the EMT who's working for TriMed or AMR while testing for that golden ticket fire department job won't dare risk being blackballed for complaining about a medic.
 

EpiEMS

Forum Deputy Chief
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@NomadicMedic It's quite the shock that a system that is reputed as being a strong one has these foundational problems, despite the issues mentioned here. When you explain the incentive structure...it does make sense, though. I will say I am pretty taken with the funding model.
 

FLMedic311

Forum Lieutenant
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As I read the comments here it hard to just remain silent. I think I try to remain objective, while also understanding that as long as I am employed here it will never be viewed as such. With that said I agree with @NomadicMedic and that unless you have worked here you should not be passing judgement. With all do respect (Not the Ricky Bobby Kind) that said I will add that I feel the same applies for @NomadicMedic as well. I am sure it has been in the upwards of a decade since he has been in the system and I feel confident that it is not nearly as precarious or foul as it may have once been or is currently being made out to be. I also do not say this with any intentions of dismissing @knightfire8 experiences either, as I am sure they are being candid. I only ask that this forum remain objective and practice scrutiny when forming opinions. There are not many places in the world you can work where you will not find a few people that are unlikeable. I feel confident in saying that we are a dept that has and is growing for the better. Since getting here we have not hired a single person who regrets their decision to come work here. We have in place and continue to increase a number of programs to help improve our interactions/relationships with local ambulance companies as well as actively supporting their unionizing efforts. When COVID season ends if you are interested please feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to get you a ride along and you can come see for yourself what KCM1 is about and post about your experiences. Seattle and PNW is a beautiful place that will make for an amazing vacation as well so you can't really go wrong.
 

ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
Community Leader
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We have in place and continue to increase a number of programs to help improve our interactions/relationships with local ambulance companies as well as actively supporting their unionizing efforts. When COVID season ends if you are interested please feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to get you a ride along and you can come see for yourself what KCM1 is about and post about your experiences. Seattle and PNW is a beautiful place that will make for an amazing vacation as well so you can't really go wrong.
You ever wonder why those programs to "improve relations" came about? They weren't created out of thin air...they came about because of past issues.

A ride along would be nothing more than a dog and pony show because everyone is on their best behavior for them. There would be no way to know if the behavior observed during them is representative or just an act.

Full disclosure: had my own run in with KCM1 as an EMT-ILS where my patient deteriorated during an IFT. My experience that time was similar to the OP, but since that was my only interaction with them I don't base my opinion on it. It could have been a bad crew, a bad day, or a bad culture.
 

NomadicMedic

Pot or Kettle? Unsure.
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In the interest of full disclosure it’s been over a decade since I’ve worked in King County, but from the folks I talk to there, things haven't changed all that much. I keep hoping though.

I agree that the PNW is a beautiful place and if you’ve been a medic in other places, you probably won’t EVER find a better place to work. The training is amazing, the pay is great, being a member of the IAFF and not having to roll hose is an unbelievable perk. Of course nobody that works there is unhappy. Why would they be?

The only downside is drinking all that Kool-Aid.
 

KingCountyMedic

Forum Lieutenant
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As I read the comments here it hard to just remain silent. I think I try to remain objective, while also understanding that as long as I am employed here it will never be viewed as such. With that said I agree with @NomadicMedic and that unless you have worked here you should not be passing judgement. With all do respect (Not the Ricky Bobby Kind) that said I will add that I feel the same applies for @NomadicMedic as well. I am sure it has been in the upwards of a decade since he has been in the system and I feel confident that it is not nearly as precarious or foul as it may have once been or is currently being made out to be. I also do not say this with any intentions of dismissing @knightfire8 experiences either, as I am sure they are being candid. I only ask that this forum remain objective and practice scrutiny when forming opinions. There are not many places in the world you can work where you will not find a few people that are unlikeable. I feel confident in saying that we are a dept that has and is growing for the better. Since getting here we have not hired a single person who regrets their decision to come work here. We have in place and continue to increase a number of programs to help improve our interactions/relationships with local ambulance companies as well as actively supporting their unionizing efforts. When COVID season ends if you are interested please feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to get you a ride along and you can come see for yourself what KCM1 is about and post about your experiences. Seattle and PNW is a beautiful place that will make for an amazing vacation as well so you can't really go wrong.
Test, don’t test. FLMedic you will never convince some of these internet responders. They don’t like our program or the fire service in general. I like my job, I like my money and my retirement. I take good care of everyone I’ve ever seen including the ambulance folks (where I started) have a good night or piss off. This place sucks.
 
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ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
Community Leader
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Test, don’t test. FLMedic you will never convince some of these internet responders. They don’t like our program or the fire service in general. I like my job, I like my money and my retirement. I take good care of everyone I’ve ever seen including the ambulance folks (where I started) have a good night or piss off. This place sucks.
So rather than offer any type of argument or proof the OP was wrong, you choose to bash the forum in a way that confirms the OP's comments?
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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With that said I agree with @NomadicMedic and that unless you have worked here you should not be passing judgement.
Wait minute... what makes KCM1 so special that unless you have worked in the system you have no right to pass judgment? It sounds like a dumpster fire, based on what is reported here. Great if you get the golden ticket and get hired as a Paramedic, horrible if you are anyone else (including BLS, the patients they treat, the ER staff, etc).

I remember when people were constantly bashing NJ's EMS system, with few people actually having worked in there; why is it ok for people to pass judgement on an entire state (that likely has systems than run more calls with fewer resources than many on here), when they have never worked there, but if you haven't worked in a single county's EMS system, you have no right to make comments based on what those who have worked in there say?
They don’t like our program or the fire service in general. I like my job, I like my money and my retirement. I take good care of everyone I’ve ever seen including the ambulance folks (where I started) have a good night or piss off. This place sucks.
Well, I'm fairly fond of the fire service.... been climbing in and out of engines and ladders for the better part of 20 years... still would prefer it to stay out of EMS, and allow EMS to stand on its own two feet. And I have consistently said that KCM1 sounds like a great place to work as a paramedic. And I would still say that KCM1 would be on the shortlist of places I would move to if I wanted a full-time paramedic job; but if I didn't get the job, then there is no way I would move there because it seems like a horrible place to be for anyone who isn't a paramedic working for KCM1, but works with them on a regular basis.
 

NomadicMedic

Pot or Kettle? Unsure.
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Test, don’t test. FLMedic you will never convince some of these internet responders. They don’t like our program or the fire service in general. I like my job, I like my money and my retirement. I take good care of everyone I’ve ever seen including the ambulance folks (where I started) have a good night or piss off. This place sucks.

This is priceless.
 

VentMonkey

Family Guy
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The @KingCountyMedic unedited post was much more telling. Class act, all the way. Great KCM1 representative.

@FLMedic311 good job articulating in a much less abrasive manner.

I’m not going into anything specific about KCM1 as a service because I have no clue what it’s like to work there. The only (similar-sounding) experience I have is working with them LA County Fire boys.

Granted, their “medicine” was hardly that, but you’d swear they were God’s great gift to paramedics thanks to John Gage and Roy DeSoto.

I don’t know if it’s changed much since, but they were a bunch of *******s back then. Either way it made me become the paramedic I am, and not the one’s I’d seen—thankfully.

Yay silver lining.

I still have no clue what privatized EMS has to do with anything BTW. That’s just an ignorant statement from someone whose feels got hurt way too easily.
 

FLMedic311

Forum Lieutenant
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So it is clear that the gangs all here! We have had this back and forth many of times, so I don't have much more to say. This is not me trying to get in a last word but I would like to respond to a couple of things, so I am sorry if it comes off that way.

You ever wonder why those programs to "improve relations" came about? They weren't created out of thin air...they came about because of past issues.
When did I ever imply that things came out of thin air? I am not sure how this part of your reply actually is a response to my last post. Frankly you disregarded the first half of that post and responded to a part that allowed you to make a critical response to and disregard what was said before that..
Test, don’t test. FLMedic you will never convince some of these internet responders. They don’t like our program or the fire service in general. I like my job, I like my money and my retirement. I take good care of everyone I’ve ever seen including the ambulance folks (where I started) have a good night or piss off. This place sucks.
At first I felt the same way as most others have commented and even thought I was being trolled. But I also understand his/her frustration.
Quick side story for any who care to hear it. I first found this forum while trying to learn more about KCM1. I had a steady Fire/Medic job, just got my FP-C and got a Rotary Wing Flight Job and was very happy with how my career was progressing in FL. Like others, KCM1 was something that always intrigued me and I had wanted to do. So I went looking for information and found this forum. It had pretty much convinced me to not test. If it weren't for a meeting with my medical director who highly recommended I try it out I would not be here. I feel thankful for the meeting we had that day. And this is part of the reason I continue to post on this forum. I understand that people have had bad experiences. I am not trying to discredit their experiences or their negative feelings cause I understand how those things can stay with you. But that was then this is now. I work for a dept with mostly happy, caring, and wonderful people. I have never heard of a dept with zero disgruntled employees. Like all other depts the future of this one is based on who we hire, not who is already here. I am happy to be here and wake up every morning thankful to have this job and help the people I work with. I think most others that come here would feel the same way and all without a glass of Kool-aid!

Wait minute... what makes KCM1 so special that unless you have worked in the system you have no right to pass judgment? It sounds like a dumpster fire, based on what is reported here. Great if you get the golden ticket and get hired as a Paramedic, horrible if you are anyone else (including BLS, the patients they treat, the ER staff, etc).

I remember when people were constantly bashing NJ's EMS system, with few people actually having worked in there; why is it ok for people to pass judgement on an entire state (that likely has systems than run more calls with fewer resources than many on here), when they have never worked there, but if you haven't worked in a single county's EMS system, you have no right to make comments based on what those who have worked in there say?
It is not so special that it is above anything. What I said could have been worded better but what I said was running off a prior thought that was based on the concept that this system is uniquely different then 95% (guessing) of other depts. So if you are trying to compare it to something you know, it is likely nothing like it. I know nothing about the NJ thread you are talking about, but I agree that like medicine opinions should be more objectively based. Because people tend to be bias to the subjective things they want to believe..
 

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