Lets start out by saying that I am an old hat that never thought I would get to be in charge of anything. My department when I started 20 years ago was totaly volunteer, only 2 engines that were purchaced one was a 1965 Ford/Midwest and the other was a 1988 FMC. The 2 tankers, personnel carrier, and a brush truck, all that we built. We did only Fire on a budjet of $30,000.00. Now we are a combination department with 8 full time personnel, 20 part time and 20 volunteer members. We have 3 engines 2 equiped to do rescue, a 75 foot Tower, 3 ambulances, 1 Brush truck, 2 utility trucks, new gear and an annual budget of about 1.1 million.
The members that join today do not seem to have tha same fire that we did back then, or maybe i'm getting old. Attitude seems to be give me something to be here not what do you need done. The local governments want you to do everything for less and less. And the mandates are getting harder and harder to comply with.
My question is this... Are we as a Service getting out of touch with our Fire personallities due to the fact that now we must do so many other things that sometimed cloud our vision of what is in frount of us. And what do you think we as a service can do about it?
I, also an "old hat" can totally understand what you mean. Things are so very different now when compared to 20 yrs ago..and rightfully so..change is very good..equipment is much better, money (for the most part) is more available, rule changes and safety issues have really improved for the better. All great things! However, most of the new people that have joined the EMS fields, in my opinion, just don't "get it". Their attitudes, and love of what we do are so different than mine. I believe that RESPECT, for what we do, what we now have, and where we came from is what is missing now a days. The ones that I come in contact with, have little respect for authority, rules, and how they take care of the equipment. The abuse that I see, of equipment and property on a daily basis is just appalling to me. With EMS staffing being so scarce now a days, its so hard getting rid of the bad apples, and its those bad apples that make the good ones leave. I pray that things will change, and I personally try my best to teach respect of person, place and things to the new ones..but have found that my efforts usually fall on deaf ears. They have the "you need me attitude", and for the most part they are right..so why would they want to change. Any help to this situation would be greatly appreciated, as I'm so running out of ideas.