Re: [MV] Ambulance Drivers or Medics...

From: Jon Shoop (
Date: Wed Feb 12 2003 - 07:15:58 PST

Hey............I resemble that me whatever ya like....I
pay no mind to it......


aka Ambulance Driving Paramedic

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Seidts" <>
To: "Military Vehicles Mailing List" <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 9:58 AM
Subject: [MV] Ambulance Drivers or Medics...

> Jay,
> Flame off. Thanks for the support. Problem is, as you know, when
> people think about common phrases in our lexicon, like ambulance driver,
> MBA, certain assumptions are made which really discredit the effort and
> substance behind such titles. Those who pay for such important services
> EMS and financial planning should know what they are getting. Most
> paramedics have come to really resent the title "ambulance driver" because
> it connotates somebody like Bill Cosby showing up with beer on his breath
> drag you down the stairs and to the hospital and denigrates the profession
> because of the negative images. Same as the jokes in my fraternity, which
> was primarily made up of Chemical Engineering types, about MBA's. I've
> helped a friend's wife work on papers she wrote when she was doing her
> and her work was interesting and challenging- glad I'm not doing it. The
> Russian and Physics are hard enough.
> Since we occupy a more conspicuous role in daily life, and come
> under more pressure, the little things bother us more than before. We
> really don't have an effective means to change public use of the term
> "ambulance driver," and have many more important public health issues
> are much more crucial to deal with, like smoking, low fat diets, and
> encouraging exercise; even here, we don't have much success in changing
> public opinion, let alone habits.
> So once in a while, our opinion of the world we work in festers
> comes out like my diatribe and Hank's response. It is not because we are
> high strung, burn outs who deal with death and critical issues every day.
> In fact, many of our transports are really just drives to the hospital.
> characterizing our profession with a small portion of our work is pretty
> demeaning. It's like calling an astronaut a "space ship driver", or a
> firefighter a "fire truck driver." Most of us prefer to be called
> or "Paramedics."
> Another little story, from when I was working with a commercial
> transport service, moving people in ambulances between hospitals and
> homes. My partner and I were loading an 80 year old guy on the ambulance
> when one of us slipped on the ice, banging the stretcher on the ambulance.
> This old guy looked up, with a foggy expression, straight at me, and said,
> "Ya wasn't in the Medics, was ya." He then laid his head down, and said
> almost embarassed and offered, "You's guys are probably just Ambulance
> Drivers anyway."
> I didn't really understand what that meant until I met one of the
> WC54 drivers later, and he explained to me how the ambulance systems
> in WWII. So in WWII, veterans knew how to distinguish between those who
> cared for them, the medics, and those who transported them, the ambulance
> drivers. All Paramedics and EMT's want is the distinction of our true
> from the truck we ride on. I think the title Medic is well earned.
> In lots of municipal fire services which run paramedic staffed
> ambulances, paramedics are hired and must go through fire training to work
> on the ambulance. Lots of law suits, pay differences, and federal
> regulations later, most of these services persist in titling their
> "paramedics" as "firefighter/paramedics" even though we spend 99.9% of our
> time working as "medics," not firefighters and several court cases have
> established that legally. More of the same stuff.
> This information here is not to flame Jay; his support is
> appreciated and his comments about humor right on. But hopefully, those
> educated here on the list by us will kindly refer to us as "Paramedics,"
> "Medics," and have some idea of why you might get a cold stare and a
> suddenly less than 100% cheerful paramedic when you call him or her an
> "ambulance driver."
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "J Travis" <>
> To: "Military Vehicles Mailing List" <>
> Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 10:17 AM
> Subject: Re: [MV] M728 question - mechanical (Flame)
> > Henry,
> >
> > It seems I owe you an apology, and fair enough, but I'm somewhat
> > surprised. Probably a little over half my friends off-list are either
> > Paramedics, EMTs, or RNs, and to a one of them, you're the first
> > Paramedic I've ever seen that can't seem to tell the difference between
> > a JOKE and being serious. As for the comment itself, it was a line from
> > one of Bill Cosby's comedy routines back in the 1960s, off a record
> > called "200 M.P.H". And considering it was made following a comment
> > about the idea of someone on the list being crazy enough to attempt
> > riding a creeper underneath a moving truck until said truck stops short,
> > sending them careening into the shop wall ala something out of a Wile E
> > Coyote/Roadrunner cartoon (which I presume no one on this list is crazy
> > enough to actually attempt in the first place; I give you guys more
> > credit than that), I would have thought it obvious that my reply was
> > intended in a joking manner; NOT as serious commentary about either the
> > profession or safety gear in general. And knowing how most of my
> > friends in that profession find that humor is sometimes the best release
> > for the stress of having to deal with the carnage left over every time
> > Joe Q. Public finds some new and novel method of testing Darwinism in
> > practice, I have picked up their habits of dealing with the matter with
> > the same dark sense of humor when discussing it with them. So THAT'S
> > what reminded me of the remark in the first place.
> >
> > And with all that said and explained, if I offended you and anyone else
> > on the list, I DO apologize. That was NOT my intention, as it wasn't
> > meant to be taken as anything but a humorous response. And I am quite
> > aware of the depth of study that goes into that profession, as I helped
> > one of my closest friends from High School who had dropped out to first
> > study for his GED and pass it, then also to go on to the UAB program for
> > his EMT and eventually his Paramedic ratings. I even volunteered to use
> > my own field of expertise (an MBA in finance) to help a local county
> > rescue squad with some of their budget issues, because I wanted to show
> > a little appreciation for what they do for their community.
> >
> > So if you want to get into a SERIOUS discussion about my views of
> > Paramedics, fine. I think they are underpaid as a rule for the risks
> > they take, I think they are finding the job even tougher as many of in
> > mangement seek to cut costs by running two EMT-IVs (at lower pay rates)
> > and auto-difibulators, and I think that this is going to hurt the rest
> > of us in the long run, as it limits the options of treatments on-scene
> > if transport is delayed. I also think that anybody who can deal with
> > bouncing between the highs of saving a patient to the lows of watching
> > others die in front of them every day, and not let it get to them,
> > deserves both my respect, and an escape valve to deal with the stress-
> > like the aforementioned dark sense of humor. Personally, I doubt I
> > could ever do that job without one myself.
> >
> > So anyway, as I said, I do apologize for offending you and anyone else.
> >
> > Jay Travis
> > -Who still has his Class "F" endorsement on his TDL from 1994, aquired
> > for a job as none other than as- you guessed it- an Ambulance Driver,
> > until the job (a private service) chose to hire only EMTs. Go figure,
> huh?
> >
> > Henry J. Fackovec wrote:
> >
> > >Dear "Jay"
> > >
> > >That's it, I am sick of the garbage that is spread here.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
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> >
> >
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