The fire extinguisher is not just for show
You obviously don't get it, because I said no such thing; you are are putting words in my mouth, words that are incorrect.I get it: You don't think EMS providers need degrees.
What I said was EMS providers do not need degrees to obtain entry level positions to work on an ambulance (or fire truck) as a field provider. And there is no evidence to say contrary, and because there is no mandate for current providers to obtain degrees, I question how much the degree is really needed. If an EMS provider wants to do more than be an entry level provider, they absolutely should further their education. Because experience + additional education beyond the entry level standard = person likely to be promoted.
If you want to get your PhD for the gratifying experience, go for it. I'm sure it will be very gratifying.
If you want to get your PhD, and all you do is ride around on the ambulance as a paramedic, than you are one super educated provider, but your going to be treated the same as a paramedic who completed a certificate course. Spending the extra money and time in class that you won't get back because the degree isn't required, and the time you were not working.... sure graduating is gratifying, but was it worth it?