Saturday, March 13, 2010

- Horizon

I'm having a conversation with the Office Czar.

"No, I didn't check."

"No. I just said I didn't check."

"Because I was off duty."

"Well, I work 60 miles away from where I live."





I hang up. Ink raises his eyebrows. As I finish my run report the pagers go off again.

"Another fucking BLS transfer. You've got to be KIDDING me. I swear to God, Ink, I'm going to kill someone."

My unit, a 24 hour truck, is running BLS transfers while one unit sits in our base town. Now, from our base town, we cover a large rural area. One ambulance is not enough to cover it - if they get a call, the next closest unit is at the least 15 minutes away, and more likely 20-25 minutes away. And if they're responding to the eastern part of our area, which is bordered by the America's largest swamp, it's a 45 minute response time. That's a long time to wait when you're seriously sick.

To add to this, XXXX EMS has also been becoming more corpratized. When I started 5 years ago, the company was very employee oriented, really taking care of us. Since then the benefits have started to fade, and the company has in my opinion put profits ahead of patient care. Moral has dipped severely and not a lot of the EMTs and paramedics are very motivated. The call load has increased because they've cut units to save money. It's not unusual to run 10 or 12 calls in a 12 hour shift. The pay for a paramedic in my area is laughable - one parish over, they pay 7 dollars more an hour for the same job.

My personal job satisfaction has plummeted.

So when a friend mentioned that a state prison was hiring paramedics for its fledgling EMS program, I took them up on their offer.

Stay tuned...

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