While The Happy Medic is arriving at the UK, found another exchange.
The Baltimore Sun is running Crime: A Tale of Two Cities:
When “The Wire” gained popularity in Great Britain, we were contacted by a London-based journalist who proposed a job swap. Mark Hughes, a crime reporter with The Independent, a national newspaper in the United Kingdom, wanted to come to Baltimore to see if the city’s police officers, drug dealers, prosecutors and politicians bore any resemblance to those on show. We agreed to complete the exchange by sending our police reporter, Justin Fenton, to London to compare crime trends. We’ll publish some of their work in the print edition of The Sun, and more observations will be available here.
IMPLICATIONS OF “THE PROJECT”
North East Ambulance Service Paramedic Mark “999 Medic” Glencorse spent a week riding with San Francisco Paramedic/Firefighter Justin “The Happy Medic” Schorr. Now Justin will be spending a week with Mark in the United Kingdom. Using social media, blogs and videos, we are vicariously following their adventure.
Chris “Life Under The Lights” Kaiser, co-creator of the EMS 2.0 concept with Schorr, flew out to the Saturday Tweet-up. He may have lost the arm wrestling contest with Mark, but he is still energized by the weekend.
It’s hard to say that someone like me can become cynical to something that I love so much. I don’t know if you can tell it in my writing, but I really do love EMS as much as I say that I do here on the blog. It’s just that someone like me who really and truly wants the profession to change for the best can become disillusioned when it feels like they’re constantly and consistently hitting their head against brick walls.
I had recently asked one of my coworkers if anyone actually cared about EMS anymore. Sure, I get a decent bit of traffic here from people who obviously are caring and concerned about the profession and their patients, but sometimes a guy just needs a face-to-face meeting with people who are just as committed and share the same goals.
Today’s headline on the blog could read: “Ckemtp heads off to San Francisco for Chronicles of EMS: Becomes reenergized. Finds no Rice-a-Roni and no limits either. Thinks he can change the world and knows we can do it.”
I haven’t felt this energized, this positive, or this good about EMS since I was a brand new paramedic with a brand new paramedic card. I tweeted that if I could make every paramedic, EMT, and other EMS person feel the way I feel about EMS after the Tweetup, that our profession and whole society would change for the better overnight. (read entire post HERE)
THE WIRE vs THE PROJECT
The HBO crime drama “The Wire“ was a compelling Baltimore-based show from 2002 to 2008. David Simon, the author and former Baltimore Sun police reporter, posted a Finale Letter to the fans. Some of his comments remind me of the hopes and aspirations that the San Francisco/North East exchange is generating for EMS 2.0:
We are a culture without the will to seriously examine our own problems. We eschew that which is complex, contradictory or confusing. As a culture, we seek simple solutions. We enjoy being provoked and titillated, but resist the rigorous, painstaking examination of issues that might, in the end, bring us to the point of recognizing our problems, which is the essential first step to solving any of them. (…)
(The Wire is fiction) But it is also fair to note that the problems themselves — politicians cooking crime stats for higher office, school administrators teaching test questions to vindicate No Child Left Behind, sensitive prosecutions and investigations being undercut for political motives, brutal drug wars fought amid a police department’s ignorance of and indifference to the forces involved — were indeed problems in the recent history of the actual Baltimore, Maryland. (…)
If you followed us for sixty hours, and you find yourself caring about these issues more than you thought you would, then perhaps the next step is to engage and to demand, where possible, a more sophisticated and meaningful response from authority when it comes to such things as the drug war, educational reform or responsible political leadership. The Wire is about the America we pay for and tolerate. Perhaps it is possible to pay for, and demand, something more.
So how does EMS 2.0 pay for and demand more?
Mike “FossilMedic” Ward
Also on FireGeezer…
- Fire Mangled Ambulance Deployment – October 19, 2012
- Investing in your profession and yourself: 10,000 hours to greatness – January 31, 2013
- The myth that longer classes are better: EMT Boot camp backlash – June 20, 2012