When can you tell a company is bad/when to GTFO?

Zen Paladin

Forum Probie
TL;DR at bottom, full read/skim recommended:

So been working at this event EMT operation since May(used to have IFT, that's gone and ambulances were never used for events at all. After a rough patch in this career path and some heavy personal stuff I applied, was interviewed and offered a job on the spot. Owner was nice enough, and at the time the main operation was IFT along with doing special events. Recently, I interviewed with another event place and also was offered on the spot. I accepted initially to have a second job since events are sometimes feast or feminine. But emailed my notice/resignation(next scheduled shift is over two weeks away, so today was my last). This place seems to embody some issues common in event medicine and other parts of EMS(although events more prominent):

-Lack of gear: Or it is inadequate. Jump bags are black backpacks with O2 tanks, gauze rollers, a SAM Splint, cravats, vomit bags, vital tools minus SPO2, ABD dressing, airways, CPR mask and emergency blanket. Also is a little first aid kit with gauze sponges, band aids, saline droppers and oral glucose. What we don't have are BVMs, glucometers, burn sheets or dressings, larger saline bottles and CAT tourniquets. We have either a SWAT tourniquet wrap(which can work but cannot self apply if needed hence why I still carry mine from EMT school) or [this thing which I would not trust my life on let alone a patient](https://store.cevimed.com/adc-adloop-tourniquet/). I actually tried one of these on my leg and it snapped. Noted it in my timecard(just a regular email typing out hours and supplies used) yet when checking bags the other day that broken tourniquet was still there and wasn't replaced.

-Cutting corners for financial reasons: We had our first OD (not just mine but the company's) during a rave a week ago. We handled it ok however not having a BVM wasn't helpful. Two girls driven to venue by Uber, not pulled out right away because owner didn't want them on sidewalk, says we should have gotten the gurneys in hindsight and applied NRB O2 after giving Narcan, ALS showed up quickly thankfully. The dedicated first aid rooms lack supplies(minimal gloves/cleanser wipes. Everything we use comes from the bags(dirty and worn), including vitals(gloves and wipes are often out or not enough/my size). Owner resupplies directly from/to storage but a couple employees still carry their own stuff since things still can be lacking(one fills their's with Dollar Tree band aids, iodine, etc).

Owner's reasoning, it basically comes down to a cost-vs-likelyhood of using. Like I suggested a couple of chest seals in each backpack since we live in the US and I(23) grew up with semi regular active shooter drills like most of my generation but said the same thing to that, and that if first on scene to use direct pressure with a gloved hand since 911 often is fast(so far that's true but one point of event EMTs is to not tie down county ambulances, which often are at level zero in our area).

-No protocols: In writing(they are being "worked on"). For the IFT side there was *some* things in writing, not so much the case. Generally we upgrade to ALS if the pt continues to deteriorate or stays with sustained AMS/unstable vitals. Alot of our ETOH patients fall into this. We have a medical director that I looked up and verify but despite having our state card and CPR at minimum it's strange we don't carry the full bare minimum BLS equipment(uniform says EMT). We don't have the EMT card required for one county with a major venue client, though maybe it technically is only ambulance providers which we may bypass(still shady AF imo).

I guess switching events full time since hardly anyone wanted to do transports maybe they will go better overtime but honestly the prospects with the new company are better. Another IFT/special events service per diem but much more professional. Higher pay, protocols in place, thorough onboarding, more available hours(minimum pay amount even for shorter events) and sponsorship for further career training/education(paramedic, nursing, etc). Plus I would have a rig(non transport) for the event fully stocked with BLS gear, along with a paramedic partner and their equipment.

I feel a bit bad leaving since the owner may not be straight up greedy or corrupt(has a family) but professionally it does leave much to be desired even if relationships with other agencies/venue staff is decent(everyone said we did good during the OD, but the BVM thing is inexcusable). It will be hard since he gave me a shot during a time where I doubted continuing this path. But I do want to be comfortable legally and ethically doing this job knowing I have what I need to help patients, peers and even myself.


TL;DR Event ''company'' is subpar at best, lacking tools needed for worst case scenarios(trauma, mass shootings, general medical stuff), manager isn't mean/uncaring but still wants to save a buck. Having Stockholm Syndrome(?) about leaving though no blackmail involved. Forgot to mention one county where one of main clients are, requires you have their own county badge in addition to your state license. Next to none of us had them and the ad when I applied said special event EMTs didn't need them(even if technically legal still ethically ****ed up plus the equipment stuff).


Forum Troll
You listed out many red flags with the company. Enough that I think many people would have bailed out. Sure the owner could be a nice guy but that doesn’t mean much. Just because he has a family doesn’t mean anything.

It sounds like you already have a more legitimate job lined up