Hate is a strong word.
I HATE hearing about medics getting injured, disabled, killed in the line of duty.
Since I play the bagpipes and I'm a public safety guy, I go to more than my fair share of public safety funerals. It is distressing to see the impact of these mostly-unnecessary, mostly-preventable deaths on friends, families, agencies, and communities. It's hardened me a good bit over the years - to the point where I don't feel at all bad about dropping the disciplinary hammer on a medic that I catch in an unsafe act.
But....there will never be enough supervisors to "catch" all the unsafe behavior - nor should there be. There has to be a better way.
A great lecturer from California, Gordon Graham, teaches about risk management and public safety. He knows - he was a captain in the CHP, a lawyer, and a risk manager. He says, many times, "If it's predictable, its preventable."
Ok - so I can predict that within the next year, several of my medics will injure their backs. Several others, knees, shoulders, etc. Several will tip over the stretcher with the patient on it. Several more will crash trucks. Others will drive down the street, talking on the cell phone, texting on their blackberries, etc. Many will remain physically un-fit - overweight, inflexible, without the strength to carry their gear and their patients.
How do we change this? How do we prevent the waste, pain, suffering? How do we create a culture where partners and co-workers educate, and use peer pressure, to eliminate unsafe behavior? How do we get medics to care enough about themselves to be smart about their actions? It's not hard to don a reflective vest when you get out of an ambulance.
My worst professional nightmare - a line of duty death of one of my own. I want badly to prevent ever having to deal with that, having seen how hard it is on other heads of departments when it happens to them.
Give me some ideas, ladies and gentlemen. Please.