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Is the "Medic Mentality" what's actually killing the Fire Service?

I slammed out a pretty decent post last week. I say I “slammed” it out because I was frustrated as hell when I wrote it. I also say it was “pretty decent” because of the number of “Hits”, “Shares” and “Comments” it received… and they’re still coming in! If you haven’t already, please take the time to read it before going further in this post (just click the title below)

read  “How to kill a Fire Department

Ok, so I’m guessing that the title of this post  captured the attention of many.  It may have even upset a few of ya. Now, before you start gathering a posse, or tone out the lynch mob; give me the chance to explain my thought process here. Also try to keep in mind that this is a question. I’m asking because I want your opinion. It may or may not be mine … these are just some observations I’ve made.

In the previous post (How to kill a Fire Department) I threw a lot of the “blame” on low morale. In turn, I equated low morale to poor leadership. It must have “hit home” for a lot of Brothers and Sisters out there. The majority of those leaving comments and e-mails not only agreed, but also felt as if I was writing about their very own Department. It was almost like I could have put one of those boxes in the post … you know … something like  “Insert your Department name HERE”.

I’d like to say that I was shocked at some of the responses I received but I can’t. We are all facing the same challenges and fighting the same battles. It’s the same story town after town, city after city. The same ol story, a Nation wide problem with different names and faces.

I found several other similarities in the stories and responses I received as well. To me, it all makes sense and is actually something I’ve felt for some time. You see, most of the Brothers and Sisters complaining of poor leadership and / or low morale are from Fire Departments  who have either merged with an EMS department or hired a Chief from the “EMS side” of things (again …HOLD ON and allow me to explain).

First, I know there shouldn’t be “sides” when speaking about  Fire and EMS. We’re all on the job for the same reason right? We’re supposed to be Brothers and Sisters, watching each others back. We’re on the same streets, running the same calls, seeing the same heartaches day after day…. right? Right.

I think that many of the newer / younger members of today’s Fire Service may not even realize it but, as early as just 15 years ago; there were definite lines drawn between Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Mergers were happening all across the Country. “Medics” were walking through doors of fire houses making more money than members who had time on the job. That’s understandable until they say that the firefighter has to ride the ambulance for a tour so the medic can get some “Engine time”.

You can guess what the feelings were and what was said in that house can’t ya? … Engine time? I though they were making more money because they rode the ambulance? Now, with less seniority and experience; he ( or she) wants to do my job, to make me do his (or hers) and all because he or she needs a break or wants to play fireman!?!

Many across the Country even received “rank” in these mergers.  The “magic wand” was waved and they entered the door as Lieutenants, Captains, Battalions and even Deputies. In many’s eyes, it HAD to be that way. How could a “Fire Department” Officer supervise a Paramedic? How many “Fire Department” Officers understood the functions and needs of Emergency Medical Services or how their system works? The reality was that some Medical personnel would HAVE to be placed in those positions and many went straight to administrative Chief positions.

Maybe not a bad idea at first, BUT what happens when original or “Fire Department” administration begins to retire? After the Department begins to “settle in” to the new organization? Will these folks remain in their positions or be allowed to advance up the promotional ladder?

I received several comments and e-mails explaining (and complaining) how many current Chief of Departments came from “EMS”….. that they were never a firefighter nor did they have to climb through the ranks. It was also said that they didn’t understand “the job” or it’s members (“paper” education vs. street experience was also frequently mentioned ).

It was obvious to me that there is not a lot of respect for these Chiefs. How could there be?

In that previous post (How to kill a Fire Department), I mentioned a story that a previous Chief once told me. He attempted to explain that the pilot of a 747 never had to work in the position of  loading the baggage. He (tried to ) explain that the pilot didn’t need to know and understand that job to do his ( this is the same Chief that told me that I couldn’t be a Boss and friend to the members ).

Now this may be true of a Pilot , but I don’t think it applies to the Fire Department. How can you lead men and women you don’t relate to? How can you understand their thinking? Their methodology? How good of a leader can you be without knowing and understanding their history and traditions? How can a person who has never sat on the tailboard for a bullshit session, ate at a firehouse table or slept in the bunk room understand firefighters?

So that brings me to my point. Many of the Chiefs leading these “troubled Departments” are Medics ( or at least previous medics). I guess this is a good spot to tell you that I was once a medic. YEA … a National Registered “glitter patch” Paramedic. That said, I was and always have been a firefighter first. I am NOT anti-Medic or EMS and I don’t think the problems I’m referring to is simply because these Chiefs are / were “Medics”, I believe it’s deeper than that .

I think it may be due to what I call the “Medic mentality”. It’s something that has been en-grained in them … from their first day of training. They think nothing at all like a Firefighter and now,  somehow they’ve found themselves managing an entire Fire Department.

Many of them either have,  or will fail ….. and it’s NOT THEIR FAULT.

They were taught (trained) to do everything by themselves (much like Police Officers). They spent a large portion of their career ALONE in the back of that ambulance. Nobody there to make decisions for them. Nobody to give direction, to assist with drug calculations, administration etc. It was a TON of responsibility on their shoulders. Theirs and theirs alone.

Sure, they had a partner but his/her job was to drive and clean up after the Medic. They even put a wall between the front and rear of the ambulance (hows that for separation and the reality of being on your own?)

They stayed on the street …. they didn’t have a “house” and if they did, it wasn’t the same as a firehouse. Often times, their partners changed with each shift. There was nothing “grounded” or regular for them. A “house” with a different partner every shift was just a place to hang out and watch TV with someone they really didn’t know … there was no sense of “ownership”.

In a lot of these cases, the medic had to out perform  his co-workers to have even a remote chance of promotion or transfer. It was a dog eat dog world and they did whatever necessary to make themselves look better than the next guy. It was easy to screw the other guy over because there were no ties to each other. In that type of work environment  there was no Brotherhood, there couldn’t be. Without a doubt, these Brothers and Sisters were on their own…they were alone. Alone in the ambulance, alone in quarters, maybe even alone at home because of it all.

For the good ones, it became 2nd nature. It HAD to. They couldn’t be taught to depend on anyone else because there was nobody else. They were on their own, they knew it and if they were to survive, they had better be good at it!

Then, when someone decided to throw them into a firehouse, they didn’t fit in. Some adapted, for others it took longer and many never did.

They couldn’t understand things as simple as meals. Cooking? Why don’t we just jump on the rig and run down to Burger King for a biscuit? Wendy’s for lunch and maybe a pizza or something when we get hungry later tonight …say around 2 am. Nobody has to cook OR do the dishes! Cleaning? Toilets? “But I don’t use that one”.  Station dues / taxes? “I don’t drink coffee or read the paper”. When you told em to find a rack and make it they looked at you like they were lost. A bed? They wanted to just sleep on the couch … after all, that’s where they were used to eating and sleeping.

It went right over their heads … all of it. A firehouse is just that…. a home. It’s our home, albeit our 2nd home; and the members inside are FAMILY.

How can they respect something they’ve never had? Something they don’t understand or have any ties to? When they became Chief, closing that station was an easy decision … station life meant nothing to them. They’d never worked at that old house. They never knew now deceased or retired  “Captain so and so” who did ‘this and that” and taught your recruit class.

I also think that back when “the lines were drawn” there was some animosity between us (Fire and EMS). I think they seen what we had over in the firehouses and wanted to be part of it… they were envious  The bad part again is that they didn’t truly understand what we had and how to get it. They figured that by just backing into the firehouse, they would  automatically  join our ranks.

That is the type of “mentality” most of us faced back then. Now, many of these members are in Chief positions all across the Country. Judging from the comments / e-mails I’ve received, several (not all)  have maintained that mentality throughout their career.  If true, then THIS is the mentality of our leaders. Agian I’ll say that it’s not their fault … it’s simply ALL THEY KNOW.

I should also add that I think (and hope) this type of mentality will phase out (hopefully sooner than later). Today’s Medics are coming onto the job and reporting straight into the firehouse. They are introduced to “firehouse life” from the beginning and I don’t think that is a bad thing.

Let me know your thoughts BUT keep em civil .

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Stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines

 

Comments - Add Yours

  • http://www.medicthree.com medicthree

    Maybe what is killing the fire service is the entitled mentality that they deserve all of these things.

    They deserve nice stations with communal meals and newspapers and coffee on fresh.

    They deserve to be managed by a tried and true fireman, not some lowly medic.

    They deserve to have new trucks. They deserve to have 50% days off. They deserve.

    The fire service mentality that they deserve all of this crap is a load. Fire services spend so much time making sure everyone knows how important they are. That they need more trucks. More stations. More leather chairs to sit on. They DESERVE to run on a system that loses money as fast as possible.

    Yet even EMS departments combined with fire services are expected to MAKE money. Run on trucks from 1980, and go non stop. If fire services ran back to back calls every day all day they’d flip out and cut it from 33% on to 20% on.

    EMS divisions PAY for fire services. Maybe EMS chiefs are running fire departments because fire chiefs are so full of this brotherhood and old boys mentality that they couldn’t adapt to the times.

    No more should fire departments have this entitled crap that makes them think they deserve all of this shit and that medics are coming in and ruining it all. Perhaps we should realize that medics might be coming in and making fire services have to face the times. It is no longer a time in this country where we can afford to pour money down the throat of fire services so they can have a station of friggin corner.

    Get over yourself. Spend a little less time thinking that the people at the parade came to see YOU. This is obviously more about what is making you butthurt than what is hurting the fire service.

    Obviously YOU are what is destroying the fire service. You can’t get over what WAS 20 years ago and face what IS today.

    • Pedro

      eIt was my impression that the taxpayers pay for the fire services, not the EMS division. We all serve at the pleasure of the public, and their needs. A well educated customer(taxpayer) has a better chance of making a good decision than the uninformed customer(taxpayer). The fire service does a terrible job of advertising itself because it has never had the need to justify its existence before; just ask Wisconsin. Just ask Scranton. I’m pretty sure the EMS division didn’t destroy the fire services in those places…but I digress.

      Nice stations replace old stations that have been occupied far beyond their original intended life span. Lots of 100 year old station houses are renovated on top of refurbished, awaiting another renovation.

      Subordinates relate better to supervisors that have stood in their shoes. Supervisors can be more effective if they are familiar with the demands of the subordinate. How would a paramedic deal with a supervisor who doesn’t have any EMS experience or certification? How is that supervisor supposed to have any credibility with that subordinate without ever riding a BLS or ALS unit?

      Fire Apparatus service life…”According to the U.S. Fire Administration’s Fire Service Needs Assessment, researched by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and published in December 2002, 16 percent of all fire engines (pumpers) are 15–19 years old; 21 percent are 20–29 years old; 13 percent (more than 10,000) are more than 30 years old. The report concludes that more than half of all fire engines are more than 15 years old.” It would be unfair to ask a paramedic to use 15-30 year old vehicles. The mileage a fire apparatus sees cannot compare to the mileage a transport EMS unit sees, apples and oranges. But the reasonable service life of fire apparatus is not an entitlement issue.

      The fire service has never been profitable. Fire caused $6.9 Billion dollars in direct property damage in 2011. If adjusted for inflation, the rate of direct property damage caused by fire has stayed relatively stable (around 7 billion per year) for the last 30 years. In the same time period, the US GDP per capita has grown by a factor of 5x. As a terribly unscientific and gross calculation, the fire service has existed during a 30 year span that has seen a reduction in the amount of direct property loss per capita GDP by a factor of 5. You are safer and likely to lose 5x less property damage from the threat of fire than at any other time in since they started keeping track of the data. It would seem that the fire service is running on a system that has been statistically SAVING money in the form of reduced property damage for the last 30 years.

      I would wager that if there was a fire service than ran back to back calls every day all day, they would not flip out. Let’s look at the worst possibly case scenario. Detroit. The rate of attrition in the Detroit Fire Department is…well…not documented to a reliable standard I can dig up right now. But nuff said, they are NOT leaving there in droves and cutting it by 33% to 20% a so on.

      Again, I thought taxpayers paid for fire services. I would imagine that an EMS chief would be no stranger to certifications and higher education, BA, MA, etc. It would not surprise anyone if two equally qualified candidates who would otherwise be indistinguishable other than one having superior certifications and degrees, that the latter would win a fair and unbiased promotional process. In fact, if two unequally qualified and dissimilarly certified candidates were to compete, I would imagine that despite years on the department and coming up through the ranks, that certification would trump superior qualifications…so goes the way of the dinosaur I suppose.

      It’s true that EMS calls account for the lion’s share of the call tally percentage, but dont’ forget your normal “EMS” run lasts much longer than a “fire” run. 10 fire runs does not come close to equalling 10 ems runs. 10 fire runs might equal an hour or two on the road; 10 EMS runs is quadruple that, easily, not including paperwork. EMS work is not easy. Oftentimes thanksless, pointless, and can leave the participant feeling like they’ve contributed to the problem, instead of being a solution. I read somewhere that if everyone in a room took their worst problems and threw them in a pile, were told they could pickup and take someone else’s problem and deal with it, that upon further inspection, everyone would pick their own problem back up and be on their way. I feel EMS is the exception. I would leave it in the pile…but this is the life I chose, and I understand that it comes with the modern american fire service. I feel that the decision making skills and abilities I learned in the EMS field have helped me make better decision on the fire ground. I feel that the fire service and ems service are as different as any two professions could possibly be, but I believe they are both professions, and that they should both be treated as such. Its obvious that the fire service has changed because of / in spite of EMS, and that there is no better feeling than removing a victim from a burning structure, but no worse feeling than not knowing what the hell to do with them once you’re on the front lawn. We might not like it very much, but we’re on the same boat, wether we chose to be here together or not. We might as well all start rowing for land, instead of trying to place blame upon who made the hole in the bottom.

      And I can’t imagine a fire department ever attended a parade it wasn’t invitd to…so maybe we’re not all THAT vain and entitled.

  • Lukas Anthony

    Wow. What a deeply offensive and incredibly stereotypical rant aimed at an allied profession. The fire service is purported to be a paramilitary service which draws many of its traditions and institutions from the military, clearly this is not so when you consider that the officers who reach manager level have done so through a process of being selected and trained to leadership and most importantly educated to it. Paramedics are no more trained to management and leadership than are firefighters; however, paramedics as you put it have to compete and learn to advance as compared to simply showing up for a given number of years in order to be eligible for promotion. Rare is the army officer who started as a private and ‘did his/her time’ so that they could understand their troops. What you have essentially done is demonstrate the appalling ignorance, intractable inflexibility and resistance to change which is really to blame for the death of fire departments. The firehall is your home and the crew is your family you tell us, but the problem is that the taxpayers are the individuals who pay for the home and put food on the table of the family, and for that they expect value for money. For good or bad the amount of available tax dollars is drying up and decisions have to be made…the way to keep your job and your morale is to adapt and thrive in the new environment and make the profession indispensable as it once was. Shamelessly attacking the interlopers in ‘your’ halls who’s principal crime is daring to be different and worse yet take advantage of the opportunities which have presented themselves only makes firefighters look like whining bullies. Your characterization of paramedics who became chiefs is one dimensional when considering their true impact on an entrenched culture which is too brittle to bend. Granted a bad chief is bad news to a department and a paramedic can be a bad chief just as easily as a firefighter; but, that is what the senior men, lieutenants, captains, and battalion chiefs are supposed to mitigate through good day-to-day leadership and being self directed professionals who don’t bad mouth their boss to their subordinates and who don’t merely dismiss a person or idea simply for being different.

    Just my view point having experienced life as a wildland firefighter, skipatroller, paramedic, career firefighter, rescue technician, and world traveller.

  • Adam A

    Bravo, Sir! What an eye opener! I started out in the fire service then made the jump to paramedic and ambulance. You hit the nail on the head about Medic Mentality, that is completely accurate. It doesn’t matter if an FD is paid or vol, there is always a team dynamic, no matter how dysfunctional the group is. On most ambulances, there isn’t a team,just a chauffeur and one secretly terrified individual trying to keep a runaway train from jumping the tracks. I’m fortunate that I have regular partners at my agency for the most part, so we have developed the team dynamic to a degree but nothing like a tight fire crew. I miss the FD brotherhood but I love the challenges found in the back of an ambulance. I hate the divide and the stigmas between fire and EMS but in reality it’s like living in Buffalo; you can root for the Bills and the Sabres because they’re both home teams, but people are always gonna argue about which sport is better.

    • Skip Kirkwood

      “Secretly terrified”? Wow…sounds like another victim of an inadequate training program. Where to begin??????

  • Grant Kaeting

    I want to say that the term “medic mentality” is poorly named and makes all those who have dedicated their lives to EMS sound like a bunch of anti-social, solitary slums who only eat fast food and don’t know how to clean or appreciate what they have been given!! It’s not “medic mentality” its the mentality of that medic! Being that I work for 3rd service EMS system that sits down and eats together for every meal, cleans the station every morning (because we appreciate what we have in our station) and sit and talk to my coworkers on a regular basis, I’m a little upset that I am being grouped into a stereotype of people who are being accused of having a mentality that is “running rampant” through the fire service. Going back to last week’s article… I’ve noticed that if there is an issue, it is an issue not with that person, but with the leadership. My first day as a paramedic in a po-dunk station in the middle of BFE that averaged 0.8 runs/day, It was made very clear that whether we are slow, busy, big or small, we are still a family, we work cook and eat for and with each other. I have seen others come in with the mentality you have described and the leaders of our department (myself included) have demonstrated to those people that we WILL NOT operate in that fashion and to take pride in who you work for, where you work and who you work with. And one of the best ways we did this was through our own example and explaining how much pride we have for our department. In addition we never found it acceptable to hear excuses, regardless of what they were! We don’t blame others for our mistakes and we definitely won’t stab anyone else in the back in an attempt to get ahead in life. “True leaders do not want followers, they want others to lead with them!” I am a Medic, I have had OUTSTANDING leadership and I love what I do. And I hope that I will some day lead with my own “Medic Mentality” that will exceed the goals and expectations my brethren and superiors have placed before me!

  • Skip Kirkwood

    A couple of thoughts.

    In many cases, the fire service undertook a “hostile takeover” of an EMS agency that was doing just fine. “Be careful what you ask for – you might just get it” is a thought to keep in mind.

    Since in most communities, EMS is 60-80% of the work of the fire service, it is likely that more medics will be required. How about basing promotions 80% on EMS competence and 20% on firefighting competence?

    The author’s entire thesis is based on the notion that “the old fire service” is “good” and the culture of the EMS community is “not good.” There are those who disagree with this fundamental concept. Good luck.

  • BH

    Don’t look now, Captain, but you’ve laid out a pretty good argument- better than many, in fact- for why your agency (I assume that’s what you’re really talking about) should not have been combined with an EMS agency in the first place.

    Seems that like most firefighters, you’re fine with the aspects of EMS that benefit your side of the house, but wish they left the actual medics behind!

    Overall, pretty condescending.

  • Doc1490

    Hate to pour on from the EMS side of the house, but I have to fundamentally disagree with the path you’re describing. It may be a regional occurrence, but where I’m from (in the Midwest) and where I work now (Mid-Atlantic), paramedics are largely second class citizens. We are not faced with the same level of scorn as generations past but in combination departments, we’re generally paid less (doubly so if we’re brought in as “contract medics”…who run 70% of the department’s volume). Promotional opportunities are more limited and career life is dramatically shorter. The chiefs of the major services in my areas are still universally firefighters first, and paramedics second. I feel like your post painted us in negative, rather condescending light. Much as many of us in EMS look to be equal partners, we’re still generally handle in similar fashion by most. Despite the fact we handle 2/3rds of the call volume or more in most areas. It is a genuinely defeating experience to get it from both the public and our brethren in public safety.

  • SSM to FD

    By their nature, Fire Trucks should not be busy. There should be a fire truck, staffed and available, within 4 minutes of every American living in a city. Not a fire truck staffed and sitting on an EMS run waiting for a bus.

    Every bit of data out there shows that Paramedic response time does not matter. Ambulance response time does not matter. The only thing that matters is how fast BLS gets there with an AED, and that only matters on a minuscule fraction of calls. Everything else can take time to arrive – within reason, of course. Not 8 minutes, perhaps 16 minutes.

    80% of ‘work’ load is BS. Everywhere. Sturgeon’s Law. Wave a wand and separate the services, and bam, 0% of the FD’s services are EMS related. Stupid move, but a point to be made.

    You need a firetruck with 4 people in 4 minutes, you need an ambulance with 2 people in, say 12 minutes. This math leads to the problem. You can’t have a group on 4 minute notice and expect them to be busy. Simply put, not enough happens in that little square of a map that they can cover in 4 minutes to keep them busy doing ‘fire stuff’. If you make them do too much EMS stuff too, you’ll need another expensive 4 man engine. Conversely, a medic unit can cover 9x the map in 12 minutes, more than enough area to stay busy.

    So – in urban areas, at least, it makes a lot of sense to have busy Medic units and not-so-busy fire trucks. If they are separate services, no problem. Medics burn out and get replaced, firefighters work 25 years and retire. If they are forced into the same house….you get what we have here. Instead of burning out and becoming an ER tech, an RN, or a Paramedic someplace else, now they want to receive that 25 year retirement but not work as a Medic anymore.

    In urban areas I see two ways to divide the workload:
    1st) Fire department handles all ‘Emergencies’ and staffs both fire trucks and ambulances. The ambulances can be used to ‘protect’ the fire trucks from EMS runs so that they are available on that 4 minute response. Personnel rotate between firetrucks and ambulances for sanity. A relatively expensive dual-role person is used to staff ambulances, and the bean-counters wonder why it’s more expensive that the private ambulance with two single-role EMTs who handle inter-facility transports. Dual-Role Medics complain about transporting not-so-sick people to the hospital.

    2nd) Fire department handles first response, 3rd service handles all transports. In slow districts a single fire truck, in busier districts two or more fire trucks, Perhaps 2 man squads. FD is responsible for the 4 minute fast responses. 3rd Service Prehospital Medical Service (PMS) handles all medical calls: from medical transport to out-of-hospital care. Single-role Medics complain about transporting not-so-sick people to the hospital, unless some sort of expanded care PMs or out of hospital PAs can satisfy patient demands in the field. EMS people are still busy as heck, but may avoid burnout by career development into more capable practitioners.

    In no case is there room for not-busy single role paramedics in an urban environment. Firefighters don’t get to sit around and cook dinner because they’ve asked for it; it really does just make sense when you try and figure out how to maintain a force-in-readiness on a 4 minute response.

    • Lungs

      Who says 4min is the window for a fire response? 4min to do what? Save part of a structure that will get bulldozed in a couple months? I know occasionally there will be someone who needs pulled out of a burning building but lets face it, thats rare.

      • SSM to FD

        While it may not be entirely evidence-based, the 4 minute response time is a standard, as a 1.5 mile response distance, and it’s readily understood by the public.

        On a similar note, it’s pretty rare for a code-save as well, and that’s the only evidence-based response time standard we have for EMS.

        My point stands – there’s no compelling reason to have single-role EMTs or EMT-Ps be idle. There’s no need to have them on standby, their response time is not terribly important. This is especially true when the FD provides EMT/AED first response.

  • Dan Greenhaus

    You know what? I think every EMT and Paramedic wishes they were stationed in a house, not a corner. Every EMT would LOVE to be able to cook a meal from them and 2 other crews (which were stationed together), sit down and eat together, and when the sun went down, sleep in a bed when no calls were assigned to them. I think every EMT and Paramedic would love to only have to work 1 job, have 3 people on a truck, and when someone filed a complaint, the supervisor would back their subordinate, instead of looking to hang them under the guise of “customer service”, regardless of if the complaint was valid or not.

    That being said, the line is drawn on both sides. a fire officer does maybe 10 calls in 24 hours. an urban EMT can do 15 calls in 12 hours. a fire officer sleeps in a bed, while an EMT sleeps on a cot. when a fire officer is not on a call, he goes back to the firehouse, where he has heat and AC. an EMT is on a street corner hoping the heat and A/C works in his or her truck.

    A lot of firefighters think they know what EMS is because they are an EMT, or have that shiny NREMT patch. Sorry, you don’t know anything about EMS until you have worked on an ambulance, been assigned to a street corner for 12 hours, and transported people to the hospital, both the sick and the not sick.

    While the EMT doesn’t know what’s it’s like to be raised in the firefighter culture, the firefighter doesn’t know what it’s like to be an EMT, despite having the training. And yet, more often than not, you find fire line officers and fire chief officers being given supervisory roles over EMS personnel. Do you see the problem here? the problems goes both way.

  • Mark Akins

    Captain Wines,
    I usually don’t comment but on this post I must.
    Interestingly the majority of comments are from the EMS side.
    Ihave worked both side, I have been an currently am a career firefighter. I worked on a private provider EMS system for 15 years my days off.
    Your question is aood question and I firmly believe that the “Medic Mentality” has and is damaging the fire service.
    As you wrote the “I” or “ME” is the way of thinking currently at least in the majority of departments around Metro Atlanta.
    I would like to make a couple of points on one comment about “without EMS saving us we would be much smaller” and that EMS is revenue producing.
    The truth is is the fire service did not exist there would be no cities as we know them because insurance rates would prohibit any substantial building in any area. Both services are here to stay, I do firmly believe that if a member of the fire service is willing to lay his/her life on the line they absolutely deserve a comfortable cahir to sit in, a living wage, and the understanding that their families will be atken care of.
    I took an oath as a firefighter, and with the completion of that oath,essentially writing a blank check to the citizens of the community I serve, payable up to and including my life.
    That is what the fire service is. EMS is essential, it is an important part of any community however, the mentality of a purely EMS background does not make for an effective ire chief.

    • Chris

      So you don’t think EMS workers lay down there lives for there patients? Or give up time with there families to run calls? Or deserve to get a decent wage?

      I fail to see your point here.

      • http://www.Ironfiremen.com Iron Firemen

        Apparently as much as I fail to see where you read the post

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  • Legeros

    Such interesting reading!

    My only comment is this: if you started from scratch and designed services to save lives and protect property, how closely would they look or not look to the current systems?

    • Legeros

      ….and an all-new system would probably have a lot more prevention and a lot less suppression on the property side.

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