I work a second job at a large central Florida theme park. (There are only a few, you can guess which one.) During my last shift there, I was called to evaluate a man who was “having a seizure.” When I arrived, I found a 59 year old man who was sitting upright in a chair and only verbally responsive.  He has a history of cardiac, HTN, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes. A local hospital owned ambulance service was called. While waiting for them to arrive, we got the following vitals: HR 88, BP 92/54, RR 18, Temp 97.8, BGL 140. It was over 100 degrees in the park, and the patient’s skin was flushed. We initiated active cooling, and he was again responsive within ten minutes.

The unit arrived, and in walks the EMT. Alone. Then he began talking the patient into signing a refusal. The medic never even got out of the truck. They took no vitals and did not even put him on the monitor. I pitched a fit and threatened to call their supervisor. The medic came in, ran a strip and they collected their refusal and left. Here are my questions:

How does the medic know that this was not a seizure?
How does the medic know that this was not a cardiac problem?
Why did the medic send his EMT in to get a refusal without even evaluating the patient?
Why do some medics still insist that medics who work for EMS only agencies are automatically better than fire based medics? Is it possible that my position, that it doesn’t matter who signs the paychecks, it is what lies in the heart of the medic that counts, is the correct one?

I think the real problem is that some medics are unable to get a fire medic job for a variety of reasons (too fat, out of shape, can’t pass the test, whatever) and spend their time bashing the fire department. I do everything that an EMS only paramedic does, and I fight fires and perform rescues as well.

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