Many things I have notice with the Way the Volunteer Fire and EMS system is run in this country, is that it’s dying and disappearing. There are many causes to this problem and that many people are burned out from volunteering. I have countless times seen many news articles on TV or in print about how some volunteer fire dept or EMS squad. from anytown USA is in need of members. They always try to paint a SOB story about how they have low members and how they are desperate for volunteers. The problem with that is, there is a hidden issue with many of these volunteer fire depts and EMS squads that many in society are not privy to. What many people don’t know is that the politics within the Volunteer Fire and EMS squads is why many good people are driven out and the mentality of the good ole boys club or the elks club mentality.
It’s why as an EMT myself, I wanted to get back into the EMS game to keep my Patient care skills sharp. What I am finding is resistance or many volunteer EMS squads that are dwindling or disappearing all together. I firmly believe that the root cause of why so many Volunteer fire and EMS squads whine and complain why they don’t have members is because their internal house politics make the place a hostile work environment. The problem with many of the Volunteer Fire and EMS houses I have seen is that they treat the place as an Elks or Freemason lodge instead of a Volunteer Fire dept or Vol EMS squad. As a result of that, many members are burned out and quit over the fact that internal politics get in the way of getting things done. It’s why the public doesn’t see the ugly truth in that because many of the Volunteer Fire and EMS houses don’t want to admit that internal politics is driving people away instead of in.
What I think it needs to happen is that the citizens of any town that has a volunteer Fire dept or Volunteer EMS squad, should seriously question how the dept is being managed and why there are so few members. They should question everything and leave no stone unturned. I will bet you, that you will find that, the ones who whine and complain to the media about the lack of volunteers, are the ones who ran people out because of internal politics. It’s why many of the Volunteer Fire and EMS houses are gona continue to disappear until they change course.
It’s why as an EMT myself, I have found it very hard to volunteer with a Volunteer EMS squad in Connecticut. Many volunteer squads in Connecticut don’t treat you like a Valuable person and instead treat you like you’re a pile of shit. They often complain about needing more people but are not willing to take people in and give people a chance. That’s why I wonder why so many volunteer fire and EMS houses whine and complain about the lack of members. But then you have people like me who are willing to volunteer at a EMS squad but no one is willing to take me in.
The reality here is that the Volunteer Fire and EMS system is a JOKE in this country. Mainly because it’s not diverse as the community is works for. It’s not inclusive and it doesn’t give people 2nd chances. That’s why I think your gona keep hearing stories of Volunteer Fire and EMS houses whining and complaining about the lack of new members until the wake up and realize what they are doing isn’t working and they are losing people.
As for myself, I still keep my EMT card and still cling to the hope that there is some Volunteer EMS house that can take me in. I am still looking because I want a Vol EMS squad that I can go to keep my medical skills sharp for Nursing or PA school. As of now, it’s getting tougher and rougher to find a Vol EMS squad to work with in Connecticut. As of now, mainly use my EMT card and skills, when I am out hiking or backcountry camping.