More marginalized medics...
This article comes my way via Nancy's Blog. It's covers San Francisco's struggle to figure out where to put their medics. Once again, EMS is being treated as the redheaded stepchild by the fire department.
I have great respect for the fire department and their need in our communities is both dramatic and clear. Unfortunately the need for EMS doesn't seem so clear to everyone. I've ranted about this in a previous entry and I'll be sure to rant about it again.
San Francisco fire department has been unsuccessful in its attempt to absorb all of EMS into itself. For example:
"Under the merger, paramedics said they endured a heavy workload and hostility from their firefighter colleagues at the firehouses where they both worked 24-hour shifts."
Of corse the firefighters would be hostile! These Medics were bad for their health or something!
"Firefighters, among other things, claimed they could not sleep because of the sound of sirens from the responding ambulances housed at stations"
Can't sleep?? CAN'T SLEEP??!!!!!
Oh my!! Boo-f***ing-Hoo! I'm crying for ya!
Well, at least the medics will be fairly compensated right?
"At the entry level will be 200 lower-paid civilian paramedics and emergency medical technicians to staff the city's ambulances. They will be hired at $65,000 or more a year, $20,000 less than fully trained firefighter paramedics. ... The next rung will be firefighters, followed by the highest paid group, the firefighter paramedics created in the merger, who earn a starting wage of $85,000."
To those of you who don't live in SF, $65K can sound like a lot but, just ask Nancy how expensive that city can be, especially since the Dot Com boom. I lived there from 91 to 94 and then went back to visit in 2001. Wow!
Not to dump on the firefighters out there but I'd rather have a well equipped, well funded and well trained paramedic come to my mom's house when she falls down the stairs than a hundred well financed, well equipped, well trained firefighters. Hell! She's not on fire!!!