Writing about emergency medical services, most specifically the events that can shape a career, is a mine field.  That mine field has claimed a good friend and colleague today.

Due to pressures from people who do not understand what we do Mark Glencorse is making the decision to discontinue his world famous and award winning website 999medic.com.

In a release today Mark cites perfectly understandable reasons for stepping away and I still support him 100%.

It was reading his posts about how EMS was so different outside the US that got me inspired to change my own system.  Forget that he was the one who dreamed up what would become the Chronicles of EMS when he reached out to an anonymous blogger in the states who hid behind a cartoon character.  Mark is a trusted voice in the pre-hospital field and for reasons they can not explain, people around him want him shut down.

Patient privacy is a serious concern.  So serious agencies the world over are willing to take the risk of having uninformed rescuers so that a little old (he was really only 25) woman (no it was a guy) I ran last shift (it was 3 years ago) on that dark night (it was a rainy morning) with the unique EKG can be protected.

Medic999 was the voice of a nation, a system, a different way of doing things that made me a better Paramedic and hopefully, because of his inspiration, a good supervisor as well.

There is no bad guy here.  Please don’t blame Mark or his service, I’ve been there, they are good people looking out for their population.

No, the enemy here is fear.  Fear of the ability to share information in real time without a 3 month vetting process.  Social media, whether the establishment likes it or not, is here to stay.

We are not the ones they need to be worried about.  The ones who are irresponsible online are policed by us, the community, and when something seems too close to the truth we call them on it and we get results.

Gone are the days of posting pictures of patients, gone are the days of making inappropriate comments while on duty.  Use this event as a lesson that we are having an impact and as such share a responsibility to use it properly.

Mark will still be around on twitter and facebook, but his daily sharing of life saving tips and tricks will have to wait until this kind of forum is better understood.

I feel like a piece of the future of EMS has died today and that makes me sad.  It also makes me want to prove that people like Mark, the Ambulance Drivers, the Michael Morses, the countless authors of EMS books and articles who draw on experiences to teach us all are doing the right thing, not endangering the privacy of someone who screamed for an ambulance for a broken finger at the top of their lungs in a busy subway station.

Since I have no blogger flag to lower on this day, I will place a black band on the banner for a bit in memory of Mark’s contributions to making EMS blogging a legitimate way to gain information and insight for both new and old providers alike.

Be well, Mark.

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