Sunday, August 12, 2007

My service....

I said in one of my last posts that I would get back to the topic of to go or stay with an EMS service. I got several great comments and I thank all those who did. I am gonna take a minute to talk about my service and you can tell me if you would leave...

We are a smaller, rural service. About 60 total employees. We run 5 trucks at 4 different stations. The shortest transport time to the Big City is about 20 minutes, the longest is 1 1/2 hours, and that is going emergency traffic.

We do have a small in-county hospital, but they only have about 130 beds and the ER has 5, only one of which is behind actual walls and not a curtain. We also have an urgent care/emergency room/ lab/CT scanner facility. Not much goes there except a cardiac arrest and very minor stuff. It's most beneficial to the local doctors office's for the use of the lab facilities, X-Ray and CT scanner. Neither of the in-county facilities have an actual MD on scene 24 hours a day. Most times you get a PA or NP with a doc on call. Sometimes you only get a nurse if the doc-in-the-box was out of rolling MD's when they needed one. Not sure how they get away with this, but it happens.

We work a 24-on, 48-off schedule like most other services in the area. There are a couple that work 24-on and 72-off, but only one is within driving distance. The pay here is on par with the area as well. Of course the Big City service pays a little more, but we are at the top of the average for the state. Benefits are decent. For employee's the insurance is free, and that includes medical, dental and vision. There is a few other plans for employee and spouse, employee and dependant (for a child), and a family plan. They are all decently priced. We also have the option of secondary insurance if the employee chooses. The only thing that is not covered under the county policy is life insurance, but you can get that through the secondary company or own your own. We also have one million in malpractice insurance provided by the county for each employee.

Con-Ed is also provided for all the employees and is of course mandatory for all the full time people. The training officer is very good about sending out emails for upcoming classes and conferences in the area. He usually finds a way to get you off work to go if you want to and he's always, so far, found a way for the county to pay for those classes/conferences. Not many people go to the specialty ones like Advanced Burn Life Support, Rope-Rescue, Dive-Rescue and the like. The reason is that they don't get any extra money for it. To me that's just a bad attitude, but in a way I can understand.

The call volume is fairly low in my opinion. At the busiest station you could run between 6-10 calls per 24 hour shift. The slowest has gone 2-3 weeks without running anything, but that rarely happens. Most of the time they run 2-3 calls, but they are also the farthest out from anything resembling society, much less paved roads. Up there you hear banjo music every night. Its where the men are men and the sheep are nervous if you get my meaning.

Now for the bad stuff.... There is no room for advancement. We have a director, assistant director, training officer and 3 supervisors. That is all the management that we have. With the turnover, anyone who has at least about 3 years in as a full-time Medic is considered a senior medic and those are who the students and trainees are put with. None of the management is going anywhere anytime soon, in so far as retirement goes.

There are also no raises. Well, you get one at 6, 12 and 18 months after you get hired, but they are so small I never even noticed them on my check. After that, nothing. It's been 6 1/2 years since the last cost-of-living raise came down the pipes and it ain't looking good for this year either.

So that's pretty much my service. I know this sounds like a recruitment speech, trust me it's not. I'd just like to hear what other people think the service that I work for and whether or not they would leave or stay. I am happy with it for now. I don't see myself going anywhere anytime soon, if ever. But you never know what the future may bring.



WesternNewYorker said...

Top O' the morning to ya.
From the point of view of a corporate raider follow the money.
Here in fortune 500 land the ol "It's nothing personal, it's only business." allows us to shed the constricting embrace of morality. Honesty, integrity, and loyalty are just buzz words, and ken lay is lamented only because he got caught.
There's nothing wrong with jumping the fence to greener pastures, but sometimes the drop is to far to make the jump back.

Detail Medic said...

Wow. This post makes me realize how very lucky I am in the system I'm in. Our union just negotiated a contract that gives us COLA every year and a raise on your anniversary. Not to mention an annual paramedic retention bonus. We're still one of the lowest paid paramedics in the area, but they're moving in the right direction.

I guess your decision to stay where you are or go depends on how much you like it there. The grass isn't always greener when you move!

NYC EMS said...
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NYC EMS said...
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NYC EMS said...

Do you like the people you work with?If you do stay!
We get paid $$$$.....but.....the city it a revolving door of strangers for partners .I never know if I'm getting a psycho partner or not.So if you like going to work but it doesn't pay so well I would stay.I love your blog by the way and I am a big fan.I have a link to your blog on my page.