Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Evil is as Evil Does

I was at the drill tower today, stopping by as I had business with the training division. Engine ?? was there, putting the final touches on a boot who takes his six month practical test next shift. As always, I asked the Captain (in private) if the boot was ready. The captain assured me that the boot was indeed ready, and that they were just hitting a few points that could use a tiny bit of polishing.

The conversation moved to some recent vacancies that had been created, both of which I had not heard of. The first was a guy who I had only met once or twice, one that had come to us from a large department on the east coast. Apparently, after a short time here, he decided west coast all risk firefighting was not what he looking to do. The absurd number of EMS calls we run and the very likely possibility of responding to wildland conflagrations that last for weeks was not something that he cared to deal with. I think that the thought of going through a year of probation probably didn't appeal to him either. This guy's wife is very well employed so he just resigned. Good on him. If you don't like what you are doing, GTFO.

This gig isn't for everyone. I have more respect for someone who makes the change, than for someone who is miserable and stays. Good luck to him, I hope he does well at whatever he is doing now.

It was the second departure that I found shocking. The Evil Medic, a guy who had been on my crew for a while, was terminated after a second (or more?) DWI arrest.

The Evil Medic (rear) during better times.

 The first arrest had occurred while I was still on the job. The department knew and had taken the appropriate action, but he had done a real good job keeping it from the troops and I never knew.

His most recent arrest in itself was good cause for termination, but what really got him was the policy of the agency that regulates paramedic licensing. They don't mess around. I don't know what their policy actually is, but apparently,  two deuces will cause them to revoke your paramedic license. Done, game over. They don't care what the department does, what their policy is or whether an employee deserves another chance.  The license is revoked and the person in question can look forward to a career in used car sales.

In our agency, a person who does not have a medic or emt license is of no value, much as a person who does not have a drivers license. Adios, thanks for coming.

While I support the hard-line policy, it kinda hurts when it hits this close to home. The evil medic was a solid firefighter, medic and pulled his weight around the station. I liked him. I know he worked hard to get on  the job, but now that is irrelevant as it is very doubtful that he will be able to recover from this.  As my wife put it "he should have learned from the first incident and changed his ways."

Obviously his drinking is a problem, I just don't know to what extent. He will need to get that issue squared away before he can begin to recover from losing his career.

Good luck Evil Medic.

Thanks for reading,


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