EMS Week 2010 – All Respect is Earned

Logo for EMS Week 2010 - from ACEP

Logo for EMS Week 2010 - from ACEP

EMS Week 2010 is coming up!  

Really? You’re not all excited? Come now, this is the one week per year that we’re supposed to be out there tooting our own horns, eating free stale cookies, drinking free burnt coffee, and stuff like that. We’ve got to be out there reaping the benefits of all of our good will that we’ve built up from the public and our peers based upon the fact that they treat us so poorly the other 51 weeks out of the year.

No really, I’m trying to get you excited about this. And even though you’re not sitting here in front of me, I can sense your lack of enthusiasm. Well, here’s the deal. I find your lack of faith disturbing. EMS week has to mean something and just like everything I and others like me have been talking about for so long, nobody is going to make it mean something if we don’t.

And that goes along with the title of this post. All Respect is Earned. Self Respect is earned, professional respect is earned, and if we want respect, we have to put in the hard work necessary to earn it.

And that’s why EMS week matters. Don’t wait for someone to come up and respect you just because you do a job or have a volunteer position. Lots of people have hard jobs and lots of people volunteer for things. I have done both all of my life. Just because our profession sometimes “saves lives” doesn’t autmatically entitle us to respect, because as I’ve said, we must truly go out and earn it.

Yes, I’ll reiterate that. If we’re not happy with the respect that we’re getting from the people whom we wish to respect us, perhaps it’s because we haven’t gone out as a collective profession and put in the hard work necessary to earn it. Sure, we bust our butts out there in the blood, mud, and bedpans but if we’re not getting the results we want, then obviously we’re not doing what it takes to get those results. It seems like a simple connection, but the common phrase bears repeating here: “If you always do what you’ve always done; You’ll always get what you’ve always got”.

So this year’s EMS week is different for me. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) plans the week for us, and this year their slogan is “EMS: Anytime. Anywhere. We’ll be there.” It’s a fitting slogan because they’re right. EMS will always be there anytime and anywhere… for everyone else in the world. This week I’m putting forth that we use our own internal slogan, which again is the title of this post. I say that we each keep the phrase “All Respect is Earned” in our heads as we go forth and promote ourselves and our profession for this EMS week. I’m asking each individual EMS person out there to take a few steps to earn that respect. Your individual contribution, no matter how small, will end up affecting each and every one of us in a positive way. If everyone pitches in, there’s no telling what the results will be. If you’ve never done anything positive and you don’t participate, you’re doing what you’ve always done. Please take some time this week to ensure that we start to get away from getting what we’ve always got.

I have some personal plans that I’m going to take to get into the spirit of EMS week and I’m asking you all to help me out. It won’t take all of that much effort on your part, but it will end up as a huge benefit to us all, I hope. Here’s what you can do:

Letters to the Editor:

-          Use My Words – I can write here on this blog all I want to and while I get ten or so thousand people per month here, in a lot of ways I’m preaching to the choir. Tomorrow (or the next day if I get busy) I’m going to have two or three letters up here on the blog that you may copy and paste, print out, and send as a letter to the editor of your local paper using my name. As long as you don’t change the content in any way and send it in my name for journalistic integrity reasons, then you’re free to distribute the letters as you see fit to get the widest audience as you can.

-          Use Your Own Words – If you write a letter to the editor and want me to edit it, you may e-mail me at ProEMS1@yahoo.com and I will edit it for free and send it back to you so that you may use it with my edits and ideas. I’ll also work every letter I receive into a post here and include your words up here on the page

Bring Your Idea to the Table:

-          The Chronicles of EMS – A Seat at the Table allowed me to bring my own ideas to the table and this blog page does that for me as well. I want to know your ideas. If you leave your ideas to improve EMS in your community a comment at the new page at the top of this post just under the header entitled “Ideas from the Field” they’ll be posted up there for everyone to use and appreciate. Whatever it is. Whatever you want to do to BE POSITIVE and IMPROVE EMS, post it up there. Short, long, big or small. Every idea is golden.

Attend one of the Chronicles of EMS/EMS Week Simulcasts

-          Go to this website right here and see where your closest EMS week/Chronicles of EMS meetup is going to be held at. This is a simulcast event from major cities across the US. I will be travelling all the way to Chicago on May 16th to participate in mine. Be there or um, be in Torsades with no Mag available.

The Meetups are going to be held simultaneously in Three cities on Sunday May 16th in honor of EMS week. They’re cosponsored by the Chronicles of EMS and they’re going to be web linked. I’ll be at Fado Irish Pub in Chicago on that day partying my Irish Medic butt off. You should be too.

  • http://twitter.com/rescue_monkey Rescue Monkey

    The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) plans the week for us, and this year their slogan is “EMS: Anytime. Anywhere. We’ll be there.”

    Wait a cotton picking minute, these are the same physicians that suppress our protocols, gawk at our nasal intubation (while performing RSI to orally intubate the patient, because you cannot admit a patient to the ICU thats nasally intubated) and get snarky when we don't have more history on the person we just found unconscious & unresponsive in the middle of the street with no one around. Seriously now they are going to pretend to promote our profession?

    I'm just not feeling the love from doctors. Actually I'm not feeling much love for the job from anyone.

  • http://www.lifeunderthelights.com Ckemtp

    Sounds like you need to come have one or two with me in Chicago.

    Don't worry, as I'm sure you know this job's a roller coaster for your entire career. It is for me anyway.

    Don't worry… When I get discouraged, you can be too. I just got 2hrs of sleep and have a long day ahead of me before going back on shift. Viva EMS

  • http://twitter.com/rescue_monkey Rescue Monkey

    The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) plans the week for us, and this year their slogan is “EMS: Anytime. Anywhere. We’ll be there.”

    Wait a cotton picking minute, these are the same physicians that suppress our protocols, gawk at our nasal intubation (while performing RSI to orally intubate the patient, because you cannot admit a patient to the ICU thats nasally intubated) and get snarky when we don't have more history on the person we just found unconscious & unresponsive in the middle of the street with no one around. Seriously now they are going to pretend to promote our profession?

    I'm just not feeling the love from doctors. Actually I'm not feeling much love for the job from anyone.

  • http://www.lifeunderthelights.com Ckemtp

    Sounds like you need to come have one or two with me in Chicago.

    Don't worry, as I'm sure you know this job's a roller coaster for your entire career. It is for me anyway.

    Don't worry… When I get discouraged, you can be too. I just got 2hrs of sleep and have a long day ahead of me before going back on shift. Viva EMS

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  • 20h10

    Agree with you- You post them- I'll send them on.

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  • http://tooldtowork.blogspot.com/2010/04/when-all-is-said-and-done.html totwtytr

    I agree with Rescue Monkey. What happened to EMS 2.0? We've decided to let a bunch of doctors tell us how EMS Week should run? These are the same folks who a few years ago had as one of their activities “HAVE YOUR paramedics run a blood pressure clinic to get the message out. HAVE YOUR paramedics? On their own time no doubt.

    What a bunch of hooey. Last year the person who is in charge of planning our EMS Week celebration didn't do anything. She claimed that it was due to budget restrictions, but based on her performance the two previous years, she couldn't find someone else to do the work for her. This year, she's mysteriously gone out on a job related injury.

    Oh, and if you don't work the day shift or the early part of the evening shift, forget any of that neat stuff that the hospitals give out. Speaking of which, aren't pizza, donuts, and cookies the kind of stuff doctors tell us NOT to eat a lot of? Thought so.

    I'm like Scrooge when it comes to EMS Week, and the Ghost of EMS Week Future tells me it will be the same long after I'm gone.

  • http://tooldtowork.blogspot.com/2010/04/when-all-is-said-and-done.html totwtytr

    I agree with Rescue Monkey. What happened to EMS 2.0? We've decided to let a bunch of doctors tell us how EMS Week should run? These are the same folks who a few years ago had as one of their activities “HAVE YOUR paramedics run a blood pressure clinic to get the message out. HAVE YOUR paramedics? On their own time no doubt.

    What a bunch of hooey. Last year the person who is in charge of planning our EMS Week celebration didn't do anything. She claimed that it was due to budget restrictions, but based on her performance the two previous years, she couldn't find someone else to do the work for her. This year, she's mysteriously gone out on a job related injury.

    Oh, and if you don't work the day shift or the early part of the evening shift, forget any of that neat stuff that the hospitals give out. Speaking of which, aren't pizza, donuts, and cookies the kind of stuff doctors tell us NOT to eat a lot of? Thought so.

    I'm like Scrooge when it comes to EMS Week, and the Ghost of EMS Week Future tells me it will be the same long after I'm gone.

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Chris Kaiser aka "Ckemtp"

I am a paramedic trying to advance the idea that the Emergency Medical Services can be made into the profession that we all want it, need it, and know it deserves to be.

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  • Comments
    mr618
    Welcome to the Club
    Well said, Chris. We can't save everybody, but the ones we don't save tend to stick around a lot longer than the ones we do save.
    2014-10-18 14:40:00
    Steel City Medic
    Welcome to the Club
    Particularly appropriate for me this week. Thanks.
    2014-09-23 21:46:00
    DiverMedic
    Welcome to the Club
    Very well done, Chris.
    2014-09-17 22:15:00
    DiverMedic
    My Blogroll
    One of these days you'll figure out where my blog is... :)
    2014-09-17 22:11:00
    emtterri123
    Six Tricks You Can Use Today to Improve Your EMS Narrative Report
    The first and best way to get people reading you to think that you are an idiot is to pepper your writing with spelling and grammatical errors. It makes you look dumb. - Me thinks this should have been restructured as it does not flow and caused me to reread it several times. lol :)
    2014-09-17 08:27:00

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