Complaint Department

For someone called the Happy Medic I do seem to complain a lot.  A recent discussion with a trusted Fire Service friend who introduces himself as ” A Basic for life” circled back to why EMS folks are always complaining.


We complain about money, hours, crappy bosses, Medical Directors who don’t get it, patients who don’t need it and other agencies who aren’t doing exactly what we want them to be doing.


When he rattled off that list I couldn’t help but stifle a chuckle and agree, “Yup, that’s EMS in a nutshell.”


We in EMS love to be abused and have had plenty of chances to jump off this roller coaster but never do.  We come back over and over again not to complain and bitch and moan about it, which we love to do, but because we love to do this thing called EMS.  For every crappy call I make a difference on 2 others.  For every MD who has no clue what we do another steps forward and smiles when they see the compassion and care we give our patients.


The positives are out there and we see them, we even secretly think back to the times we were instrumental in making someone’s bad day just a hint better even if it was just for bringing them a blanket or putting their little dog in the back room before we left for the hospital.

EMS bloggers are notoriously negative because sharing the good moments isn’t as therapeutic as letting the bad ones out.  Griping about how much I hate little rat dogs (Nothing but love, MsP) relieves far more stress than a post about how nice it is that the elderly can keep pets better these days.  See, rat dog tirade beats observation about Granny any day.


From the outside my blog is a collection of complaints, gripes, wishes and dreams with very few shimmers of hope.  Well, that’s how it is on the inside as well, but if I came to this little wordpress screen and began to tell you all the good things about my chosen profession I would spend 22 hours on it instead of just the 2 I do complaining.


This is still my therapy experiment, shouting into this room of mine that used to be empty, but somewhere you and I connected on something, be it good or bad, inspiring or deplorable and each of you reading this likely has a different reason for stopping by again and again.

The Google tells me most of you like a good misuse of 911 story or a letter in the file of some EMT or Paramedic doing something stupid and I can see that, but keep in mind I have a smile on my face most days because this therapy experiment lets me get those emotions out here and not on scene.

And when we can side step burnout simply by venting, we extend a job into a career, and that’s what I’m here for.

Thanks for reading,




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7 thoughts on “Complaint Department”

  1. its important to remember why it is you keep getting up to do the job. That’s why I wrote a similar post reminding myself why I don’t mind waking up before dawn, going to bed long after the world has, and in general living with 5 o’clock shadow and a limp from the day’s toll.  I look back on it when I’m having a tough day and I can remind myself of all the things I’ve seen, and especially knowing that to someone you were “that paramedic”, at least in a good way.

  2. Every once in a while I look at my blog posts and think that I should post something positive about EMS instead of the constant (well semi-constant) stream of posts about stupid calls, stupid management, stupid patients. Then I realize how boring those would be. The really entertaining posts are the ones where people do silly stuff, even if I’m the one doing them.

  3. I have to disagree slightly, because I don’t think that EMS Bloggers are any more negative than any other type of blogger. For that matter Food Bloggers and Mommy Bloggers are generally considered the most negative of the bunch with Marketing and Business Bloggers considered the most positive. Of course, interestingly enough, Food Bloggers and Mommy Bloggers are considered to be far more genuine than Marketing and Business Bloggers because of the fact that they don’t try to paint everything with a smiley face on it… hence why so many companies and brands seek those two types of bloggers out for their products.

    The sad fact is that everyone likes a trainwreck, as evidenced by the content of the evening news, and that is what we tend to gravitate towards as content creators because ultimately it is something that we ourselves are attracted to. It can be a vicious cycle, and one not as easily broken as it may seem.

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