Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whose misadventur’d piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, naught could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Prologue
I do believe an ancient grudge is boiling to a head.
A grudge born from a time when what we do was still a mystery, a trade, an idea whose time was overdue. The fact that this new idea took root in a large municipal agency has led to many today misunderstanding why it was put there. Some have seen the big red machine have little effect on their company’s ability to provide excellent service to their community over decades.
There is a battle raging in some systems between these two houses that has no winner, no finish line and no perfect solution.
We are the children of a time of confusion and reaction. The machine struggled to defend their size and mission. In no way am I suggesting that the children of the two systems will unite and die to finally get the parents to stop quarreling, as Shakespeare tells, but I now believe that my current role may in fact be that relationship. A combination of the two houses that was not properly vetted or thought through and was doomed from the beginning.
The meeting of fire and EMS for me is a natural fit. I don’t see things in the contrast of Montague and Capulet but shades of Verona Citizenry. Fire based EMS makes sense to a point, but I’ve seen it taken so far past that point in some places, we’re starting to finally turn on one another.
To quote James Andrews from PCU – “It used to be the Administration’s job to make the rules. It used to be us against them, now its us against us.”
The cousins of both families are at war because we take the least of each and apply it as the rule.
We’re better than that. Those we make example of may not be “us”, but the folks that take the time to even type EMS in the google search bar are miles ahead of those bringing the meaning of what we do into the gutter.
Fire engine, ambulance, squad, pick-up truck, volunteer, whatever capacity you provide you service, we should all be striving towards the same goal of providing the best possible service to our clients and patients, leaving all the political BS, name calling and ancient grudges outside. It doesn’t belong at the scene, it belongs here, in the channels of communication we have opened when others failed.
It is here, in this new medium, we can have an International discussion about what to do next, instead of raising our voices in front of the people who call for help, not caring what color uniform walks in the door, or who pays the salary, just that help comes.
So vent my friends, get it out. Write a post out of frustration, erase it and start over again. Each version calming your anger and settling your frustrations.
Share your experiences so that those new in the business can learn what a true caregiver looks like and those who may be slipping can catch themselves before they fall.