Every once and a while this thought creeps into my head because I have witnessed it first hand....

A little background before I begin though! I live in a pretty densely populated area of New Jersey (Bergen County), most of the population is advanced in years. For the most part, all of us are volunteer EMT's with other jobs. We have dispatchers that are "ALS happy" by which I mean they will dispatch an ALS unit for a hangnail.

I enjoy working with most of the paramedics that serve our community, I really do, but there are a few that rub me the wrong way....the nature of any job.

I've been doing EMS for 10 years or so and have seen a few EMT's start off in the academy, follow it through, ride for a while and then want to become Paramedics. Some go on to become some of the best, some not so good.

The reason I bring this up is because of the few EMT's I know that went on to become paramedics, they get a skewed mentality of where they used to come from. I know a person that used to ride as an EMT for my squad turn into a paramedic, and then bash the very organization that put him into the academy in the first place. This person knocked volunteers up and down both sides of the street. I couldn't help but to wonder why.

What makes a person knock where they came from? I wrestle with the theory once and a while and never really get a clear cut answer. I started off as a regular, plain old, basic EMT back in the day. Became a nurse later on in life, and still volunteer. Not so much because my town "needs me" but rather because it keeps my basic skills sharp. Sure I could stop riding, but then what the hell do I do with the free time? :)

This isn't meant to knock one group over another, but just try to get things squared away in my mind. Perhaps someone out there knows the answer, perhaps not, but this is a pretty good start!

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Comment by TacMedic7248 (NJY014) on December 14, 2008 at 8:09pm
That pretty much sums that up, I can't disagree with that at all!
Comment by Tracey Baker on December 14, 2008 at 7:54pm
As a Paramedic I do say this: I am a proponent that every one should be an EMT in the field for a specific period of time PRIOR to becoming a Medic. I think people forget the following:

Only a great EMT-B can be a great EMT-I, EMT-P

Only through teamwork are we really doing the best for a patient

There is NO room for arrogance..

If we always have the patients best interest in mind then we do not have to prove anything to anyone

Forgetting where you come from inhibits the person who wants to learn form YOU!

Comment by Andrew Capone on December 11, 2008 at 1:38pm
I kind of feel where you are coming from, but sometimes its helpful to step into the other person's shoes and see what it is like. Im not saying that this is definatley how it is out there in Jersey, but for many of us volunteers coming back from college in my area, no matter what were studying, we face a lot of negativity from our own from the get go. One of the best examples would be my best friend Corey. Corey grew up down the street from me and both he and I were really good friends. We did everything together, When he joined a fire department in one of the outlying townships, I joined the ambulance club in our town. Corey's older brother was also a member there as well. Both of them devoted thier lives to that station, at every event, went to every call, even if it meant showing up just to clean up equipment. Corey's older bother left for the military and Corey was getting ready to leave for college. Even before he left I would hear about how the other members would make remarks to him like "Oh your gonna go be a live in at X fire station up in the city huh? what is this not good enough for you?" or "Going to college for fire science huh? So i guess you think your gonna take my officers position?" He left for one semester, when he came back he found his gear had been pulled, and non of the officers would return his phone calls. So he showed up at a company meeting and resigned. After that he was teased worse because he became a full fledged member at his college department and he has been pretty pissed at his hometown fire department since then.

I honestly did not believe that this would happen to me when I left for college, but during my senior year of high school I had already noticed something. Since I was 15 and a junior I worked hard, and made a lot of really good friends that I would trust with my life. Those same people helped me every step of the way to become an EMT. I volunteered all the time I had in my high school days and eventually was offered a job. During my senior year a lot of people that were my good friends started mocking me saying things like "ooh your going to be a paragod huh?" or "Were all going to be saluting Mr. Paramagical in 2 years!" I just blew it off because these people were my friends and I thought they were just joking around. Well it happened to me this year too. When I went back to work I found a lot of people that used to be those that I considered good friends bashing me every chance I had. Two of the people that were my good friends and still are, came to me and said that while I was gone some of the people who started in on me in the beginning had bashed me for a year while I was gone. Why I wondered. Was it because I had actually been an a$$hole for not driving 2 hours home every weekend to spend my much needed study time with them, was it because I was an d1ick for deciding to further my education, was it because I brought new ideas from a land far far away, or was it because a bunch of people who are insecure about themselves have nothing better to do but never leave their own little township and shunn anyone who dare leave and make something of themselves. Probably the latter

Once again I say this is not everywhere, but sometimes this is what makes those people bash their own company. It makes people angry to know that the company they devoted their life to until they left for college/military etc. sh1t on them. As for your situation, It seems as though some of these guys may have a superiority complex of some sort, but remember did the company they left from welcome them back, more often than not in my area, the answer is no.
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