Many years ago, I was a taxi cab driver. Us cabbies used to talk about cab towns. What was a good cab town and a bad cab town? A good cab town was busy. People used cabs instead of cars. There was not too much traffic. The rides were of good distances. You wanted at least a $7 dollar fare. You hated the take me three blocks calls. In a good cab town, cops that couldnâ€™t be bothered to hassle cabbies. And in a good town, people were good tippers. You could make a living in a good town without having to hustle all the time, and if you did hustle all the time, which is what we did, you could make a good living. A bad cab town had short rides, dime tips, nightmare traffic, cops who like to bust on cabbies and a good bus system.
Having worked in more than a few towns in EMS, I can tell you there are good EMS towns and bad EMS towns. A good EMS town has single floor homes, not too many nursing homes, a populace educated enough not to call 911 for a genital wart, and enough highways, industrial buildings and athletic fields to ensure that when EMS is called, the people likely really do need a paramedic. A bad EMS town has three floor walkups, apartment buildings with broken elevators, tons of nursing homes, a populace without cars and a bad transportation system. A bad EMS town isnâ€™t necessarily a poor city. Sometimes architecture alone can be a drawback. Some of these nice two story homes in upper middle class towns are such that the patient is always bedbound up on the second floor and there is little room to maneuver at the top of the stairs, and the staircases are narrow and steep. I will take a town of single story homes any day over most anything.
It is hard to find a town with all the elements of a good EMS town. And of course, it varies with what you like to respond to. Donâ€™t like trauma? You donâ€™t want an interstate or windy back roads in your town. Donâ€™t like sick old vomiting people? You donâ€™t want an elderly population. If you like crazy people, the city is for you. If you don’t like crazy people, I have news for you, crazy people are in every town. Tired of taking people two blocks to the hospital for a finger lac? Find a town without a hospital in it.
Me, I like variety, which I get now. I responding in several different towns during the day depending where system status management has me posted. Variety is good, but I also like decent calls. Decent meaning, if someone is going to call 911; I like them to really need us. I like to have my skills challenged. Although sometimes, I am content to not have to do more than be a taxi driver again. I donâ€™t get tips anymore, but my paycheck has always been good at the bank.
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