cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The following Blog is a copy of a comment posted to the earlier discussion of whether or not the fire chief should be required to be EMT-certified. It seems to have, as its objective, the creation of lemonade from lemons, and strikes me as worthy of consideration.
Should we require the Fire Chief to be EMT certified? Perhaps. What we should REALLY do is make EVERYONE on the fire department be cross trained as BOTH fire fighters AND EMTs. In an era when cost-effectiveness seems to hold precedence over life-safety, how can we justify having so many people on the fire department NOT cross-trained?
Trustee Langer brought this up during another one of his personal vendetta-driven rampages against Chief Pollpeter, but I'd like to try and find some validity in his statements. Let's say you have a fire at 5:00 PM on a Sunday. You will have, on average, 4 EMT only's and 8 firefighter only's. So there are 12 people doing the job of 8 already. Has cost-effectiveness gone up or down? Let's continue... Now let's say that one of those EMTs has an asthma attack (because he or she is NOT a superman... Remember THAT argument?) while watching overhaul of the fire, and needs to be transported to the hospital. All four EMT only's are now taken out of the picture (one as patient, two to administer care, one to drive). That leaves 8 firefighter only's doing overhaul at the fire scene, correct? And then another EMS call goes out for an attempted suicide by overdose in the Village of Germantown. Best case scenario, the call is toned out, and 14 minutes later, 2-3 more EMT only's arrive on scene (Concerned Citizen, please don't try to play your ESR card here, as it's occupant is in the first ambulance, hopefully administering care). So now our totals are 14-15 people, doing the work of 8. How can you justify these people NOT being cross trained? The village is paying twice as many people to do the same job! How can this be allowed to continue?!?!? And this is only if these people are around to respond! Otherwise, mutual aid from Richfield, Jackson or Mequon would have to be called, thus delaying care even LONGER!
In case any Concerned Citizens have a problem with my numbers or times, I will show an example of what would happen if this call came in during the day-shift, when there are 5 FF/EMTs on duty at all times. (Before any Concerned Citizens challenge this as an attack on the night time staff, please bear in mind that this is a cross-training discussion, and the facts are that, during the day, EVERYONE is cross-trained, some to a MUCH HIGHER DEGREE than others at night).
Let's say there's a call for a fire next to a restaurant at 2 PM on a Wednesday. 2 FF/EMTs are IMMEDIATELY responding in an ambulance with FIRE/RESCUE EQUIPMENT on board. A firefighter only responds from work to join a FF/EMT (who is on duty) to pull an engine to compliment the ambulance's crew. 2 fire fighter only's respond from home to pull an engine by themselves, so the other 2 FF/EMTs who are on duty inspecting in another ambulance respond directly to the scene. An off-duty FF/EMT responds by himself in a tanker. So far our totals are 6 FF/EMTs and 3 firefighter only's. So 9 people instead of 12... Everyone keeping up? Let's continue...
The fire has extended into the restaurant, so everyone is needed. Now let's say one of the FF/EMTs goes down with an asthma attack (Again, they are NOT all supermen). So 3 FF/EMTs are utilized for this call (One as patient, one administering care, and one driving). Leaving 3 FF/EMTs and 3 firefighter only's at the scene when the attempted suicide call comes in. 2-3 FF/EMTs can drop their overhaul efforts and respond IMMEDIATELY to save that girl's life, not delaying care by a minimum of 14 minutes. We now have 9 people doing the work of 14-15. DO THE MATH!!!!! If you want the Chief to be cross-trained as an EMT, fine! But then EVERYONE on the entire fire department should be, from a cost effective point of view. And money is more important to these people, right? By the way, this situation really did happen, and really was handled by the 6 FF/EMTs and 3 Firefighter only's, and it's documented. I know because I wrote TWO of the reports. The fire report AND the suicide EMS report. The girl survived, by the way, thanks to our immediate intervention and rapid transport.
I won't go into any scenario where there is a collapse of the building, and 4 EMT only's (again, on average) are sitting with their thumbs up their asses while 6-8 firefighter only's are trapped waiting to be rescued IN FOURTEEN MINUTES. Concerned Citizens, for your information, their air tanks only hold 20 minutes worth of air... Cost-effective or life safety... anyway you look at it, the Village and the Fire Department is SUFFERING from not DEMANDING all of their members be cross-trained! I would like to thank Trustee Langer for bringing this problem to the public's attention!