While I was at the hospital on my earlier call, the assistant chief who was there was talking with me about their number of calls and coverage problems. I seem to think that my unit runs a lot of calls in their area because they either don't have enough people to staff their ambulance or they go out "driver only" and need us to come along to provide the transport care.
The assistant chief was telling me that the single biggest thing they need are ambulance officers (obviously). As I had just come from my station where, even after a year, I'm still treated like an outsider and a weirdo for not wanting to ride the fire trucks, I listened with a different ear. I'm sort of a homebody when it comes to my town. The community I live in is great and we have a great town. It is a planned community built during the depression as a government experiment and then later sold to the citizens after they formed a cooperative to keep their housing. In fact, the house I'm going to be moving into is one of the originals built in 1937.
I was thinking that it's odd that I'm volunteering in the next town over when my home station needs people bad. I could walk to the fire station if I volunteered at home. hmm....
I was thinking about this some more when I got back to my firehouse. I was thinking about this a LOT when the senior officer at the firehouse tasked me with sweeping and vacuuming while 15 other people watched TV or played video games. Right in front of them too. I said nothing, I cleaned the floor. All the while, I'm thinking......
I get home. I have dinner with Herself (poached Tilapia, rice pilaf and cucumber salad, in case you're interested). I discuss my thoughts with Herself. She tells me I need to mosey on over to my home firestation and have a talk with that assistant chief. I do that.
The station is clean. Really clean. Everyone's friendly. They play ping-pong. The place doesn't smell like cigarettes. The assistant chief tells me that they always have a senior officer on duty, they really need EMS coverage and, since the new chief came in a couple months ago, they've been super supportive to their EMS only people.
It seems that previously the fire fighting members would bump the EMS only people off the ambulance whenever they wanted to boost their call numbers or just felt like going. This happens to me sometimes at my current station and, let me tell ya, it's quite annoying to have a 20 y/o punk tell you that you have to "ride in the back or fuck off because I'm senior." Assistant chief has put an end to that at his station because he lost a member for that very reason. We have a chat for a while and I get to thinking. I ask him how many EMS calls they ran last year and the answer comes back as about 50 more than my firehouse did.
Here's what I'm thinking. If I go to this new station and they treat my like crap, how worse off am I from the station I'm at now? I get treated like crap and I have to drive there, and I don't get on as many calls as I'd like. At the firestation in my hometown, I could be treated like crap, run the same amount of calls and work in the town I love. The other thing is, I don't think they'll treat me like crap at my home station. I've seen a much older crowd there and they seem to be a more friendly sort. The assistant chief also talked a bit about how the whole command there is very supportive of their EMS program and their EMS-only personnel are much loved by the fire crews as they take the "annoying" ambulance calls. When we were talking about it over dinner, Herself said that my current firehouse seems like a frathouse and she's always liked how trim and orderly the home firestation looks.
Looks like I need to go talk to my chief in the next day or so about a transfer. I hope this doesn't make any drama. I have neither the time or patience for drama.