On tonights ABC World News Tonight, Charlie Gibson refered to us as AMBULANCE DRIVERS. I really enjoy his broadcast but this really disappointed me. Got so mad that I even sent an email to the news broadcast. If you want to do the same you can send it here...
http://abcnews.go.com/Site/page?id=3271346&cat=World%20News%20w...

It may be nothing to some of you, but it truly is the only time I feel degraded as an EMT/Firefighter when I am called that.
I have been in this line of work 16yrs (feb 22) and to be called that is just down right BS.
I would like to see Mr Gibson get out there and cut someone out of a vehicle, or go to a HA and perform CPR in the back of an AMB for 17mins, or go down a 150' embankment to save a teenager who impaled her thigh into the branch of a tree....Man, this really got me riled up.
Just thought I would share that.

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DUDE: I feel your pain, I was at dinner the other night and a civilian walked up and ask a medical question. This I do not mind and in our conversation she stated that the ambulance drivers came and picked her up a week or so ago. I bit my tounge and politically correctlly explain the training levels of the crews on the medic units and what they where titled as. It did up set me and as a FF/ basic it rattles me sometimes when we are refered to as all paramedics. I know that there is a place in our circle for each of us and we need to educate the general public on the protocals and title that we have so honorably earned.
I think this issue stems from people who really just don't know any better and "lump" us all together. On the one hand, we are all Paramedics, and on the other hand we are all "ambulance drivers". We have all heard both of these terms as we walk in the door on a call: "Hey, the _________(fill in the blank) are here". I do agree with you that a professional news reporter should do their homework. Mr Gibson wouldn't want us saying "Hey, there is that national enquirer guy".
Before everyone gets too fired up, remember when NIMS came out it got Firefighters on the same page with clear language that all departments could understand. The general public, (even media) don't have a page of terms and definitions to be politically correct. As I agree they don't get to see what is done on a daily basis in the fire/ems world, we are in no position to be judgemental on a small error. They take the news that they have to report and make it people friendly (so the lowest common denominator can understand) ensuring that all who view can see whats going on. If referring to them as Ambulance drivers got the story across America in a manner in which was understandable (yet infuriated you) than they did their job.
If you read a lot of my posts you will see I play the devils advocate a lot, don't take offense, just offering a differant view. I wish everyone could use terminology which gave credit where it was due.
There was an article by Gary Ludwing in Firehouse Magazine a few years ago, and he was referring to ambulance drivers in a kind of derogatory way. At the time I was so pissed that I sent him an email, and I was surprised that he replied. He was just trying to make a point and I really don't remember what it was now. We wound up agreeing to disagree on a friendly basis.

How do you begin to explain what we do to those who do not understand? I can think of a few times when I tried, and the response is a blank stare, shrug of the shoulders and a "yeah, whatever". Now I just smile and nod knowingly, and say to myself "yeah whatever".
Actually, I am not fired up, I think you and I are on the same page. The general public just doesn't know any better. Hmm, now if we could only convince them we don't play pool and sleep all day :)
Just one more good reason to make Emergency! the movie! It worked the first time around...

:-)
Would you expect Charlie to know that we are no longer just firefighters either?
Cut the guy some slack.
Or email him and tell him that we want to be referred to as firerescueemshazmatfighters.
No one outside of our business truly knows what we do, unless they have sat down with us and talked about it.
Charlie doesn't write his own stuff. Blame his staff for being too shallow.
We got more important things to get worked up about.
I have heard this term used in the past as well and I am always quick to correct. I know that the paramedics who arrive on scene with us are not simply driving there and then driving to the hospital, they are taking over the medical care of the patient we are with, much to our relief.. .lol I do agree though that the general public is not aware of specific terms and if they call you an ambulance driver or ambulance attendant, I believe that they still picture the job that you actually perform. Know what I mean? As much as I would hate to be called a truck driver, or hose carrier (I was going to say hosemonkey, but I used that in another thread saying, go ahead and call me that... lol... oops), because we do more than just drive to the scene and put out fires... But at the same time, the job is mine, I love it and the best you can do is educate! :)

PS - congrats on your upcoming anniversary!!
Thank you for the Congrats Spanner....Truly appreciated :-)
All I have to say to that is, "He is a reporter. Reporters investigate & research their stories."
Good Idea Greenman! :-)
"Ambulance driver" probably goes back to the days when the ambulance was owned and operated by funeral directors - they were essentially hearses. The driver and a passenger ("attendant") would go out to the scene, place the victim on a stretcher, load him/her into the back, then get back in and drive to the hospital. The attendant rode up front with the driver.

This is probably where the phrase "dead on arrival" came from.

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