The fire extinguisher is not just for show
You keep saying We have to wake up do what's good for us.....We have to wake up and do whats good for us. What is the worst that can happen - we get better educated and qualified individuals (who know what the lymphatic system is) working on the ground and in the air as prehospital clinicians? No, the worst that can happen is we continue the status quo, and we continue our ubiquitous griping and grabassing while we sit on our phones and computers typing here on EMTlife in our downtime instead of plugging away at some college classes.
Your mileage may vary, as always. (Also, there's nothing wrong with grabassing on EMTlife on occasion)
But the costs are burdened on the next generation, not the current one. We (the existing generation) are telling the new guys they need to get educated, but we don't need to get educated. So which is it? do educational standards need to be raised, because if that's the case, than everyone should need an AAS in EMS, and I would support that 100%, especially if everyone in the industry wanted it (and even if the FD didn't, well, if it gets them out of the ALS first response and that funding gets reallocated to put more paramedics on the ambulance even better), or are we good with just our NRP cert, but those new guys are too dumb and need to get more educated?
The are some much needed benefits to the degree (well, the education obtained during the degree process anyway), but it's naive to say there are no drawbacks, especially to the individual who has a family, or is the breadwinner, and now needs to take off 2 years of their life to go to school, and have 0 income, vs taking a certificate program while working FT, getting a job in EMS as a medic, and continuing to support their family while they completed the EMS bridge program. Also, that degree is great, but experience + degree is even better.
I'll go one step further: how many EMS agencies are pushing for their personnel to obtain EMS degrees? how many are paying for their staff to attend those classes? is every EMS agency reimbursing the cost for all the fees and textbooks at the local CC? How many EMS agencies have hired a person who is an NRP and told them they have 5 years to get their AAS in EMS, and if they don't, they are terminated? So while many individuals are advocating for it, are their agencies actually investing in the push, or just taking advantage of it if it happens?
If we need a degree, why stop at a AAS? why not require a BS? or an MS? heck, we could make it a PhD, so we could really get some EMS research done!!! ok, hyperbole aside, the level of education should correlate to the job. And yes, there should be different educational requirements for ambulance paramedics, ambulance supervisors, flight paramedics, EMS educators, EMS director, FTOs, EMS administrative officers, etc, all of which should have increasing level of educational requirements before you are even considered for the position.
Remember, I am only talking about the requirements for the entry level ambulance position; everything else should require progressively more formal education, and more experience.