I’m sure all the EMS folk have heard about this debacle in Massachusetts, where the state suspended 211 EMT’s for falsifying documents. Specifically, they are all charged with pencil pushing training documents for recertification. Now some of the people that have been punished for breaking the law are complaining about the punishment.
Kim is a state emergency technician. She’s been suspended for nine months for allegedly falsifying certification class attendance. She says if she broke the law, she should be punished.
“But a nine-month suspension? I’ve lost my job and my health insurance. I don’t now what I am going to do,” said Kim.
Hey Kim, why didn’t you think about that when you were too lazy to get a few continuing education hours?
Maybe you were not lazy just extremely busy. You were not concerned about your chosen profession enough to make sure you got the proper training, instead you just paid some money and got the paper work forged. Solid work there Kim. If you can not be professional enough to be the best, then maybe we should just pull your certification.
I am hard nosed about this situation. Emergency Medical Services is already struggling as a profession, we need to act like professionals. Doctors, nurses, EMTs and Paramedics all need to do CPR & ACLS annually, why are these people any different?
Terry Urekew is a part-time paramedic who was not on the penalty list, but she believes the state has done an injustice to her colleagues.
“So if it’s fraud, slap them. Give everyone a $100 fine and community service,” said Urekew. “Don’t take someone’s livelihood away from something that has no impact on whether or not we are better EMTs,” she said.
Terry Urekew doesn’t think that the people who willingly broke the law should be punished so harshly. EMTs and Paramedics are supposed to be trusted with caring for the patients and be trustworthy. Private services do not have an oath like Police Officers or Fire fighters, but we still want to be held to the same standards. Professionals act like professionals.
I think about my CEUs at least weekly. I always try to get more hours and more training. I read everything I can get my hands on, I paid for a subscription to Centre Learn, I subscribe to the trade journals (even the Annals of Emergency Medicine). I read the blogs, listen to the podcasts even though I get no credit for all this effort. I want to be the best damn paramedic I can be. I want to know how to help my patients, my service and myself. All of this requires a little more effort on my part than just paying some pencil pusher extra money to forge a document. You don’t have to be like me, but meeting the minimum requirements every two years is not difficult at all and it is expected that professionals can obtain the recertification.
Shame on all the EMTs who knowingly falsify documents (or pay for false documents). You are dragging MY profession into the gutter.