12.11.2008

Un-Fucking-Believable

Twenty-eight percent of DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services staff have failed the EMT exam.

I'll say that again.

28 percent of DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services staff have failed the EMT exam. For our Spanish speaking readers: El 28 por ciento de los bomberos DC no pasar el examen de EMT. If I could somehow verbalize American Sign Language for the kids at Gallaudet, I would. I want everyone to know about this.

From WJLA (via DCist):

A plan to raise standards in the D.C. fire department is stirring up a controversy. Some firefighters are losing their jobs because they can't pass a tough new exam for emergency medical technicians. The new exam is part of an agreement with the family of murdered New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum.
Oh yes, David Rosenbaum. The famed journalist who died in the "care" of DC's emergency services after he was bludgeoned over the head by a mugger, left for dead in a comatose state, yet was classified as a "low priority/stable patient" by medics. He was transported to the nearest hospital where he died because he didn't get the proper first responder treatment.

Evidently, if you have your skull smashed in, a DC paramedic will look at it and say, "That's only a bee sting. Walk it off." You think I'm kidding? Records obtained by the Washington Post indicate the paramedics on-scene believed Rosenbaum was just drunk and passed out.

Yet in light of this tragedy (and there are more cases just like this except this happened to be high-profile), some DC emergency responders are crying foul over the new test, saying they didn't receive the proper training, a point countered by DC Fire Chiefs.

I have a new found fondness for the DCist, and not just because Sommer and I are bumping uglies (j/k), but because of their take on this story:

I realize that in post-Sept. 11 America, all firefighters are heroes and you're not supposed to say anything bad about them ever, but I'm about to break that rule. If you want to read some seriously whiny, high school-style complaining, read the story. Grown men who fight fires for a living took the time to tell a local TV news station that they feel this nationally accepted test wasn't fair and that the department didn't help them prepare enough. Deputy Fire Chief Kenneth Crosswhite has the most reasonable reaction: "You have to take a look at yourself in the mirror and say did I do everything that I could do to pass this
test? Did I study on my own? Did I ask for help?"


Amen.

This is just common sense. Now I'm not exactly the sharpest knife in the kitchen. Maybe I am if you put me in one of those plastic Fischer Price kitchen playsets. But even I know I'm the last person who should burst into an operating room and start telling surgeons what to do. Why? Because I'm not qualified.

Qualifications are very important when it comes to shit like this. I'm sure the first responders who were fired are good, dedicated people, and I hope they get a second chance. But there's really no excuse for this.

15 comments:

  1. "I'm sure the first responders who were fired are good, dedicated people,"

    Or they could be the guys who classified the most recent double stabbing victims at Love as having "mild indigestion."

    Either way.

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  2. You know they are saying the test wasn't fair because it was "too hard".

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  3. i can't believe this. firefighters are complaining that their pussies hurt.

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  4. I blame the victims.

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  5. Are you implying that deaf people don't read?

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  6. King,

    Deaf persons have special machines that allow them to read. :)

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  7. This is pretty amazing, but just to be clear, David Rosenbaum died at Howard University Hospital. He needed a lot more than "first aid" on scene -- he needed a neurosurgeon -- but Howard let him sit in the ER as a "drunk" as well. Yes, the EMTs should have caught the big ol' head injury, but then again so should the ER.

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  8. Darrin StevensDecember 11, 2008

    Now I why the EMT said the guy who died (a heart attack?)last week only had acid reflux desease. Because he was f...ing incompitant and couldn't pass a test.

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  9. Forgot the EMT's took Rosenbaum to Howard. Why'd they do that, didn't he live in Spring Valley?

    Example #12,098 why it's a good idea to keep a note in your wallet:

    "Take me to Sibley."

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  10. haitian AIDSDecember 12, 2008

    wow, can you all smell that? that's the smell of cold hard cash. lawsuit reprezentzzzzz! blunt force trauma=intoxicated wow
    sue their asses off...amazing, i never ever wanna be taken to howard. ugh. so sad. i wonder if they have the waiting room on video?

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  11. meow meow pussycat meow meow meow
    was meow lost in my tree meow and first responders meow meow came and tried to rescue meow

    meow meow one of them meow meow read the instructions for how to meow use a ladder to climb up there and meow meow pussycat get me down

    meow meow lucky for me he knew how to read

    meow meow pussycat they only took forty five minutes

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  12. Their attitude is much like many teachers here in DC:why should anyone be held to standards on their job? How dare they try to make sure we are qualified to do what we are doing?! Accountability??!?!
    Its ridiculous. These people have a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders. They should carry it with some kind of pride in what they do as opposed to bitching about the difficulties of their lives.

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  13. No, your first mistake was assuming that ANY city employee is worth a shit.

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  14. That's it, Let's just pick a new region for our Capitol and get over the fact that DC is even a real city.

    I pick Manhattan!

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