At one end of the EMS spectrum we have Community Paramedicine.
Not a bad idea, probably a great idea for areas that are underserved by our present health care system and have underutilized resourses, ie. medics hanging around waiting for calls.
At the other end we have Tactical EMS.
During active shooter incidents where innocent people are in harms way, trained medics will be available to assist and treat, and save the lives of the wounded. Great idea.
In the middle, we have people like me. EMT's who are over whelmed with calls, do their best to stay out of harms way while responding to shootings perpetrated by drug and gang wars, have no desire to enter active shooting scenes, and while not content with the status quo simple cannot imagine an expanded role in EMS, not from lack of vision, motivation or desire; rather from first hand knowledge that trying to do more will ultimately lead to having to do more with less.
Perhaps our EMS leadership can develop a nationwide strategy that dissects our current EMS force into groups with detailed responsibilities.
We need "boots on the ground" to continue providing emergency medical services to those who need it. Rather than a tactically trained medic assigned to some SWAT teams, ALL SWAT teams should have medics trained in tactical operations. Medic first, soldier later I say, wisdom gained from a friend; an accountant/FBI agent who told me it is eaisier to train an accountant to be an agent than to train an agent to be an accountant. The same holds true in EMS, I believe.
Expanding our role where it is needed as Community Paramedics will work only if those Community Paramedics are not the same medics who are "waiting" for emergencies. The job growth potential is enormous if done properly, without jeapordizing the integrity of the current EMS system. When given the opportunity to exploit resourses, our political leaders will take every opportunity presented to them.
At present, it appears that EMS has lots of leaders swinging for home runs. We need a team approach here, before these good ideas are implemented without proper planning, and become drains on a system that is already in crisis due to lack of direction, cohesion and definable leadership.
So, exactly who is in charge of EMS? I've been doing this for two-plus decades and have no idea.
That needs to change.