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  1st Responder Network >>  Paramedic's and EMT's Forum >>  when good volunteers go bad..
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  Subject: when good volunteers go bad..
Post By: Redhed8

On: 1/8/2006
I've been an emt for years and have been in the "service" for many more. I have never earned a dollar for my dedication but there has never been a rift between my paid buddies and the vollies. YEt this isnt about the eternal struggle of morals that the two seem to envoke in each other. This is about those who lead both brotherhoods and what happens when people just stop caring and start hurting; perhaps not patients but each other.
Currently there is a volunteer ambulance company that has taken the preverbial "dark path" toward destruction. They Envy those who only worry about paid vs volunteer because there other EMTS and their families are scared of the lack of care they might recieve simply for associating with eachother. It began with a leadership decline, when greed and political power took control of the minds of some men and women who thought that perhaps they knew better than the majority. So bait in tow they effectively flooded the corp with "green" members. Those where were just barely 18 out of high school, and gave to them tales of grandeur and herocism. They took them to bars and bought them gifts, creating a sub-class of inexperienced, children who joined for themselves and not for the community. Then the older members began to get worried as clicks began to form between the new members and old untill one day a member of a family that has 5 members who began the ambulance corp and nursed it into being, decided that things had gone to far and that these issues needed to be addressed properly. People were showing up unlicensed, drunk and stoned to emergency calls. Fights were breaking out on-scene infront of patients regarding care procedures, members were harassed by other members, car windows broken at hq, and even assaults carried out by members on other members. The individual that spoke out was 2nd chief, he is no longer a member of that organization because his ideals didnt match those in control. He resigned not wanting his name on anything that came out of there. The situation continued to grow when a civilian contacted the state in regards to "unethical practices of medical care by a paramedic." Investigations ensued and found multiple cases of protocal breach by this and other individuals that "may have resulted in the death or mishandling of a patient". This "alleged targeting" of an ALS provider sparked a strike where no ALS care-giver would answer a call for a period of 4 weeks. Egged on by their own ignorance and fear they would also be prosecuted, many other EMT's refused to run causeing a town wide assistance problem. So remediation was given, departmentally to every member to explain what has hapened and what should be happening. The outcome? Members telling other members that "if their family was on fire or dying , then they'd just sit back and laugh." Take a moment here to let that truly sink in, the weight of that statement given by an EMT to another EMT. How did they get that far? To let tyrants who threaten and push members to keep quiet about problems and erraticate those who do speak their mind, gain control of a community volunteer ambulance. Go to paid is the answer some are thinking, but would it help to know that the ALS provider previously mentioned is paid or that those causeing the trouble have jobs at local hospitals and other agencies doing the exact same thing just somewhere quieter where no one will see? How does an agency where "good" members are no longer riding because of fear or embarassment and dangerous people hold the safety of the community in their inept hands, rise from the ashes of their failure as a team and seek out better alternatives? For the sake of the innocent people I hope somthing will happen to spark that
humility and heartfeltness that being a care-giver is supposed to envoke.
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