Sunday, May 18, 2008

More Comments

From Gary's comments on a previous post:

"If you want equality in the fire station, put everybody on the same team and then they are equal."

Horse crap. That's the way it was supposed to be in San Francisco and New York City. How's that working out?

Gary, I can’t comment on how it is anywhere but where I work. If it was supposed to be that way, but it isn’t, then it’s wrong.

Unless the top levels of management believe that the services should be equal and act accordingly

Where I am, I dare say that that is the case.

When a FDNY EMT is told that becoming a suppression only fire fighter is a "promotion" then it reveals the true character of the service. When suppression only fire fighters in SFFD get promotional preference over cross trained fire fighters it tells the tale of the culture.

Again Gary, I don’t disagree with you at all. And again I will say that what you mention does not happen where I am. What you mention is wrong, and I agree with you 100%. Promotional preference is an insult to everybody.

When the suppression union leaders of both services continually denigrate the work of the EMS providers, it tells the tale of the culture.

Again, in my area and department we do not have this. In fact, paramedics get more pay, because everybody realizes they are doing more work. In my department being paramedic certified means you get $125 per month extra. That is for all the paramedic certified people in operations. On the days they are riding the ambulance they receive $20 for the shift. If they ride every shift that month, that’s $200 extra on the paycheck, plus the $125 certification pay so they see a possible $325 more than a firefighter of the same rank that is not a paramedic.*

*We do have just a few (less than 10 I think) firemen or drivers who are not paramedics. Mostly because they had been paramedics for years and transferred to stations without an ambulance. Once there they voluntarily dropped the paramedic certs. We also have rookies that work as firefighters without being paramedics at the time. This is due to the different lengths of the Fire Academy and Paramedic School. Sometimes they spend a few months on duty as firefighters/EMT's before going to Paramedic School.

I hope I have started to clear up some confusion on this issue about what I think. I truly hope no one thinks that I am in anyway putting down paramedics, EMS, or "non-fire" personnel.

Remember, I started as an EMT-Basic and then Paramedic on a private ambulance before becoming a firefighter.

Keep the comments and E-mails coming.

Mr Fixit


Billy Sparks said...

I think the problem in combined service's is where the FD acquired the EMS service as opposed to morphed into it. FDNY and SFFD both gobbled up EMS as a political move (in my opinion) as opposed to wanting to do it. Therefore you have people that on one day they were non-firefighter EMS professionals and the next they were non-firefighter members of a fire department. In this case I don't think you will ever see equality.

All of this is said with the following cavet. In my county EMS transportation and ALS is provided by a third service, first response is provided by the fire service (either muncipal fully paid departments or county based combination departments). In this situation I have not seen (after 27 years in the system) seen very much disrespect.

Mr. Fixit said...

Billy you are spot on!

That's what I've been trying to say, thanks for helping me out!


Gary said...

I agree with Billy in his assessment. I've actually seen EMS/Fire systems that work well and in which everyone does get along. All of them are pretty small, though. I've not seen it in a big city system anywhere.

Obviously you and I are seeing the issue from two completely different angles. Which means that we are both right and both wrong at the same time.