Originally Posted by Electrikkoolaid
I worked as a paid paramedic for 10 years in upstate NY first at a hybrid volly/paid squad, then on a commercial ambulance.
The unionized firefighters I worked alongside were some of the laziest, unmotivated slack jobs I've ever worked with. They had EMS response thrust on them (Fire Medic program) and were not one bit shy about displaying their displeasure at losing quality TV time.
They eventually were able to staff their own ALS ambulance, and were notorious for **** like showing up at calls with empty oxygen tanks, left their intubation kit at the station, etc.
There were other hybrid ambulance squads in that area as well, and all had significantly higher motivation, standards, and work ethic, than the union members.
The "commercial" service, while running nursing home calls too, provided ALS response to three counties using aggressive system-status management, and had top-notch constantly-maintained equipment. To characterize every commercial service as a "band-aid bus" is wrong.
I now work as an RN in a local trauma center NC. Sad to say, I see much of the same here as well: Union workers are slack and entitled, "paid" non-union EMS staff are usually high quality, and volunteers are (usually) very motivated.
I've experienced the opposite. So, in my experience and travels, it varies from location to location.
Years ago I worked for a private ambulance company and my coworkers were the most unmotivated, obese bunch around. I often wanted an extra LifePack in case one of the medics decided to go into cardiac arrest. And this was before EMT-Basics were trained in AED.
Here in my region, EMS is fire based, and yes unionized. But it's a right to work state. The system here is one of the best in the nation. Departments are well managed, and some have used SAFER grants to hire more people. Being well managed, the localities have kept people on board after grant funding ran out. It's called planning and budgeting. Something the poster's department didn't have.
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