Homepage / EMS 2.0 / Why vs How and Book vs Street
FDIC 2017 – Structural Response to Aviation Incidents: Engine Company Operations I Got Lost Going to a Call – So I made sure everyone knew about it Crossover Podcast Ep 102 Mrs Happy Medic and Mike the Cop Arby’s Roast Beef Ad angers EMTs, not sure why Strippers and Cocaine watch – 2017 Seizures! Seizures Everywhere! Nothing is certain except death and taxes. I can help you with both What to do when the powers that be – just can’t. Episode 99 the Crossover Ep 98 – Off Duty and Fancy Free NO is Never Easy to Hear Ohio Cop vs Ambulance Crew Member on Video – Crossover Show Investigates! An MCI With Wings: Aviation Incidents EMS Today 2017 First in Ambulance MCI at EMS Today 2017 Crossover Show Learns How to Take a Joke To Haul or Not to Haul – Should the Complexity of a Refusal Influence Transport? Crossover Show – Ep 91 – ACLU cameras Tip of the Helmet – Bj’s Brewhouse the Crossover Show – Episode Eighty Eight Eminence Based Medicine If You Don’t Give Him Insulin He’s Going to Die Lost Cause Strikes Again the Crossover Podcast – Ep 85 – Florida Cry Baby “I Can’t Breathe!” you keep using those words… the Crossover Show – 84 – TN Bus Crash Happy 150th Anniversary San Francisco Fire Department! Thank You For Your Service? A Complete Secondary Assessment the Crossover Episode 81 – Let’s Talk Politics! Aircraft skids off runway, rescue task force ill equipped Crossover Show – Ep 79 – Do we need so much active shooter training? How to Ignore Everyone in the Room: Be an Intern Your Meme is Bad and You’re Not One of Us Anymore Goodbye tarps, I never loved you The Crossover Episode 76 – Flashback to the Beginning You found me how? Less CSI, More Columbo EMS Festival Standby – You can’t just park a car there the Crossover Show Ep 72 – Florida EMT photo game A&O vs able to make decisions Kilted to Kick Cancer Cops vs Firemen Writer calls for Medics to risk more in shootings, misses the target What’s with the French? the Crossover – Ep 69 – Twelve Ninety Désolé the Crossover Show – Ep 67 – Traffic Stops and Profiling Actually, Officer, No. It Really isn’t that hard to try When Patients Don’t Play by the Old Rules Letters in the File – Oklaloosa Selfies the Crossover Podcast – Ep 64 – Turning Passion into Retirement Why Pokemon GO is so much like EMS Us Against Us Apathy is worse than absence So Now I’m Back! Changes are a-comin’ The Sounds of Silence I know that feel, Bro TCS – Ep 59 – SHOOT HIM! CISD with OK GO part VI the Crossover – Ep 56 – Rooms for Shooting the Ballad of Big Dave the Crossover Episode 55 – Text me Bro Why vs How and Book vs Street A Mother’s Day Crossover Show Dear Valencia County Fire Chiefs Dear Random Township Fire Department at FDIC the Crossover Show – ep 50 – Revenge of the Vine Stars Strippers and Cocaine need your help Educational Standards in EMS Engine Company First Strike MCI – FDIC 2016 the Crossover Show – Ep 48 – What’s in your feed? Washing the Chief’s Car What Should I Do With This Knife? – The Crossover Ep 46 Firefighter Jokes Medical/Legal Advice, Google Style the Crossover Show – Episode 45 – Cop Vines and the Cajun John Wayne You Make the Call ebook Now Available To the Intern Who Froze the Crossover Show – Episode 44 – Day of Remembrance New at Uniform Stories – Raising Revenue BLS Fire Officer or Paramedic – Who Makes Scene Decisions? the Crossover Show – Episode 43 – Viewer Questions Why Budgeting Matters – Our Plumbing Nightmare the Crossover Show – Episode 42 – Protesting a Rally with a March DC FEMS MD Quits, calls FD Leadership “Toxic” the Crossover Show – Episode 41 – America Ball The more things change… Hey Board of Supervisors, You’re Remembering the Wrong People the Crossover Show – Episode 38 – How not to Get Tazered the Crossover Show – Episode 37 – What Makes a Good Chief? Johnny and Roy lied to me – I write receipts Defining System Abuse – A Response to Ambulance Chaser the Crossover Show – Episode 36 – Perception vs Reality Good Morning America skims over Fatigue in EMS Police-24,336,756 EMS-4 EMS Bike Program from the ground up Become a Patron of the Arts – Support the Crossover Show! Engine Company First Strike MCI in San Bernardino Video Shows Woman Banging on Ambulance Accusing Them of Organ Harvesting

EMS 2.0

Why vs How and Book vs Street

As of today the argument that street smarts outweighs learning from a book will be officially retired.  At the same time, the demand for an Associates degree before hitting the streets will also be retired.


Because one can not succeed without the other.  We all agree this is true and for years have been attributing a common phrase to one another:

“Do you have 10 years of experience or 1 year of experience repeated 10 times?”

Experience is respected in EMS, mainly because we eat our young and slowly replace the limbs and joints of our elders until they literally fall apart in their 40s.  If you’ve been here the longest, regardless of your skill level, you must know something.

EMS succeeds in keeping standards low to keep a fresh crop of adrenaline seeking folks in the seats to move Mr Jones back from dialysis at $42.50 and 50 cents a mile.

Too many EMTs and Paramedics I meet demand higher wages yet don’t think they need additional education to justify it. Most often their rationale is linked to their experience doing the job, not in learning how.

Ambulance Chaser recently re-opened the Crimson Tide Ramsay vs Hunter discussion of “Why.”  We are reminded that simply performing a task is not the goal, but understanding why we are performing the task, as well as the intended outcome and consequences is the benchmark of success.

“I can teach this cat to intubate, but I can’t teach him when not to,” is quite possibly my favorite EMS quote of all time and puts this topic into terms we can understand: cats.  We refer to supervising EMS as herding cats, denoting a variety of influences and intended outcomes rapidly applied in random fashion with the same outcome expected.  Put 10 Medics in a room and you’ll get 10 different impressions from an assessment.  Mostly because they all had different training, different education and different experiences.

How much weight do we give to these three separate forms of learning in EMS?

Can I interpret a 12 lead because of the class, the internship or the field time?  I’ve been devoting a good deal of time researching this idea and am hitting on some good points.  For example:

“Truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.” – Malcolm Gladwell

In one of his bestselling books, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell examines how we attribute success.  Most notably he points out that Bill Gates is described as brilliant and tenacious by those that know him and that his success comes directly from these traits.  “But I know brilliant and tenacious people who aren’t worth 60 billion, so what is the secret?” asks Gladwell.

I won’t spoil the book, but it turns out Gates was also a brilliant programmer with thousands of hours of tinkering and designing to go with his other skills.  Had he been around 10 years earlier or later, would those skills he enjoyed, was good at and did often combine with the same tenacity and brilliance to achieve the same level of success?

Not likely.


Where am I going with all this?

Our argument is not a new one.  Other professionals had these discussions decades or centuries ago and have been tweaking the qualifications ever since.  We are on the verge of an awakening of sorts, where EMS will not splinter into sub specialties but come together to recognize the need for a base of knowledge crucial to provide the services our communities expect and deserve.  From that foundation we can begin to build our profession to address the special needs and services so many communities already offer.  We won’t do this with a certificate and a patch, but with curriculum designed with purpose as part of a larger program.

Chris Montera and others have been doing just that and are seeing success with their pilot programs that are not only spurring others to follow, but allowing their service to prove value and earn respect to begin moving into other niches left open.  When you can prove you were right people are more likely to give you another shot at success.  Take it.


Don’t just want change in EMS, understand WHY we need that change.


Related posts:

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *