A state realizes it is in trouble so they call in a group to do a comprehensive study of their EMS system. After a year long study complete with focus groups lasting 8 hours a piece and evaluations of systems, what kind of group would turn up their noses at the results of the study? One that is blinded by their own ignorance, of course.
I am once again firing a shot across the bow of the New Jersey First Aid Council. I took some time over the last couple of days to reread the EMS study done in New Jersey and am once again left shaking my head at what I see. It is no surprise to me that when asked for data about member squads of the NJFAC, they refused to provide any information. When the consulting firm asked the NJSFAC to help facilitate meetings with member sfqeuads to ask their opinions of the direction of EMS in New Jersey, they once again refused to provide any assistance.
The goal of the study was to improve EMS in New jersey and an organization that claims to be dedicated to that exact mission refused to participate. So the study went forward, and sound recommendations were made to help improve the system state wide based on established proven best practices and what do they do? They throw a tantrum declaring that the changes could hurt the volunteer EMS system in the state which for the most part is on life support already. .
News flash: It’s not 1966 anymore and we are not just talking about turning herses into ambulances and driving them as fast as possible to the closest hospital. Emts and paramedics are now clinicians with decision making ability and interventions potentially at their finger tips that could save lives.
None of that matters to the New Jersey State First Aid Council though. Expanding the scope of practice would require more training and training takes time. That is something the NJSFAC doesn’t seem to think it’s members have. They are content with the job they are able to do now and think the general public should be as well because they do it for free.
We are not talking about ground breaking treatments and training here either. We are talking about simple additions to an EMTs tool belts. All off this would be easier to understand for the NJSFAC foe they took an interest in their future.
Now, something must be said: not all EMTs fall under the poor portrait that their association with the NJSFAC paints for them. Many of them got into it for the right reason: to help people and they stand by that value to this day. While the NJSFAC represents many squads I would venture a guess that their views do not match up with all of the EMTs they claim to represent.
To the State First Aid Council: stop being so selfish. You’re holding back progress for the sake of self preservation.
To the dedicated volunteer EMTs of New Jersey I ask you, As a former New Jersey EMT and former 19 year New Jersey resident: let the NJSFAC know what you think. Let them know that they are wrong. Tell your squad and district representativews that it’s time to stop this nonsense and get with the program.
New Jersey needs to change. For the patients sake.
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