I believe you both have valid points. Regarding the uniforms, its true that at 2 in the morning its a little harder to look perfect than it is if you only work twelve hour shifts. As for getting respect, that comes from all the poorly trained, horribly dressed, downright stupid people that slip through the cracks in our profession. Lets face it, its very very easy to become an EMT and in some places not really that hard to become a paramedic. Until that changes we will not get much respect. It makes me soo mad when someone wearing the same uniform (EMS) shows they are incompetent because they do not simply reflect on themselves but also on all the rest of us wearing that same uniform. I feel the root of the problem lies in not acting professional and not performing professionally. Lets face it, all it takes to become an EMT in most places is a GED and a year or less of free time. I strongly support adding additional general education classes and making EMT an AS. Make Paramedic a BS with classes like chemistry, A and P, Microbiology ect. Until we make it, (in the eyes of the general public) respectable, we will not gain respect. I know that's probably going to irritate a lot of people on here but Im all for making it harder to get that patch than it is. Im tired of stupid, or ignorant, or simply unprofessional colleagues giving the rest of us a bad name.
I disagree. I believe the reason Police officers are more respected than paramedics across the board is because they all work for a municipality. EMS has a huge variety of models and no government representation like police and fire. Working for a private company often offers low pay and no public service type pension. Private EMS doesn't really seem to be a public service as much as it is a customer service provided by whichever company bids the lowest amount to that city/county/state. In private EMS the customer is always right, where as I believe you are given more benefit of the doubt with things like complaints if you work for a municipality. Furthermore, it appears private companies will hire anyone with a license and throw them out on the street to make money. This is not the same in any police or fire job where the jobs are very competitive. So pretty much what I'm trying to say is working for a private ems company shares more in common with working for McDonald's than it does with other public safety jobs. If you look at private security guards, how well are they respected? They are the closest thing to a private company police officer. Truthfully from what I've seen they aren't really that respected regardless how professional they look.
Plus if you think about it the lack of respect isn't usually from the public but from the government. Most of the public appeared to be outraged by the police officer attack on the paramedic. However, the laws nor the government officials are willing to stand up for a paramedic because it isn't a government position. If he would have been a firefighter/paramedic this would be a completely different story. The Fire Chief would have backed him and it would be a completely different situation. Look at the outcome from the police officer arresting the fire officer for not moving his fire truck. He lost his job and the fire fighter won a huge amount of money for wrongful arrest.
As far as the titles, police is much more paramilitary than EMS, especially private EMS. I'd prefer my partner not call me Paramedic Justin all the time lol. Even if you make up paramilitary titles(Sergeant, Lt. etc) for a private company it is kind of corny.
And for uniforms, you have to remember that many of us are in the uniform for 24 hours straight. If my uniform looks a little wrinkled at 2 in the morning it is most likely because I had to sleep in it. Uniforms should look professional but not to the point that they impair functionality. It is much easier to keep a uniform looking nice for an 8 hour shift than it is for a 24 hour shift.
Certainly I understand what you are saying and I somewhat agree. However I still believe the analogy stands.
Just like there is a vast difference between a security guard who checks for I.D. tags at a gate and a security firm who provides security escort services in Iraq. There certainly is a vast difference between a private Ambulance service who only provides dialysis transports and a private provider who provides 911 services to municipalities.
Both are private Ambulance services yet each is very different from one another.
But the point of the entire discussion, as I understood it, was respect for E.M.S. providers as a whole. To which Justin expressed his thoughts that private Ambulances were, in large part anyway, responsible for this. He listed reasons as to why.
I am not disagreeing with him at all I am just asking him (or again anyone for that matter) why? Why are most private Ambulances the way they are?