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There's no escape chutes in ambulances

There's no escape chutes in ambulances...and even if there was, EMS providers wouldn't use 'em.

Mainstream media and the web are abuzz with the story or JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater. By now you've heard about his exchange with passengers, grabbing a beer or two, and jumping ship via the aircraft escape chute. Who many of us in EMS have wanted to escape our ambulance from time to time?

I read a recent article that expounded how unhappy people were when the board aircraft; becoming rude and obnoxious. The passengers "expected" to be treated better (by what standard, I don't know) and the flight attendants were there to serve every need. On the other hand, the article tells us about how hard and stressful the job is and that flight attendants take the brunt of these difficult passengers and it is they who deserve to be treated better.

Lets compare this situation to emergency medical service. I've dealt with difficult patients, family members, and bystanders (like every other EMS provider). Not unlike an aircraft, the back of an ambulance strips people of their feeling of self-control and sprinkles in a bit of helplessness. Add to that the stress of a major (or minor) illness/trauma and you've got all the makings of a quite stressful environment. How many times have I wanted to pull the ambulance to the side of the road and get out...simply get out and walk away...to another line of work? How many times have you felt this way? The numbers might be hard to count and in hindsight, maybe it wasn't all that bad. But at the end of the day what counts is that you (and I) didn't pull over and get out.

Ambulances don't have escape chutes...

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