THE FLIP SIDE OF THINGS
By Rex Dulfom
By now you have probably noticed the name of the magazine you are currently reading has changed.If not, close the magazine and look again at the new moniker. Done? Okay.
Canadian Emergency News no longer exists. For 20 odd years, Canadian Emergency News has represented EMS, not always in a good light but always truthfully. Before CEN it was called Canadian Emergency Services News as it tried to represent all three facets of Emergency workers: Fire, Police and EMS. Since EMS was and still is the unwelcomed cousin who comes to visit every summer, our fearless, bearded leader choose to follow the path of the underdog and represent EMS. For this we thank Lyle for 20 years of hard work and making money off the back of advertisers and the paid subscriptions. (Publisher’s Note: Hah!) Those who get or read the magazine for free should have nothing to say about the change.
CEN is now known as Canadian Paramedicine, and with the new name comes a new look and with it, I hope, new growth. When Lyle first told me about the change I thought how change, well changes things. Everything changes! If it doesn’t change it is consumed by the new, grown over by the stronger and replaced with the fresh.
Change is inevitable as it should be with EMS.
Skills change, vehicles change, equipment changes and so should ideas of what makes up EMS.
Anyone who has seen the standard business models of the office structure is used to the pyramid. It shows the workers at the bottom who shoulder the weight, looking upward aspiring to be higher up the food chain. Next are supervisors, middle management and sitting on the peak of the pyramid is the Chief, the Boss, the Commander, the Grand Pubba. Is this model a true representation of the way things should work?
I say NO! Are the workers the foundations on which the service is built? My answer will no doubt shock many. The guy at the top is the foundation of the service. Why? Look at it this way. If 5 to 10 percent of paramedics left the service today, new paramedics would be willing and capable to fill those steeltoed boots tomorrow. No one would notice, no one would care. The public wouldn’t notice, certainly not the patient. So why are the workers at the bottom of the pyramid making up the foundation and supporting the structure above?
Invert the pyramid, the tip is now on the bottom with the manager balancing the entire structure above him/her. A good service manager can balance the people above him/her and make it stronger and make those above work their way to the bottom. If a good manager leaves, it is felt by all above him/her. It may even topple the pyramid until a suitable replacement is found. The most important person in any service is the person at the very bottom who supports those they represent, yet there still seems to be too many who cannot shoulder the people above. If a bad manager leaves and the effect is not felt by the crews, they did not do a good job. Ask yourself if your manager left, would anyone really care?
If the publisher of this magazine left or sold it, the look, feel and direction would change. Writers and advertisers come and go with little affect. Lyle is our balancing act that keep the views of Canadian paramedicine important to those who work it every day.