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EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

"More than a job. A calling": An accurate slogan?

Take the quick survey and tell us what you think

By Arthur Hsieh

Editor's note: The theme of EMS Week this year is "More than a job. A calling." Don't forget to vote for our finalists in our contest!

Welcome to National EMS Week 2012. The theme this year is "EMS: More than a Job. A Calling." 


Some in the blogosphere have questioned the assumption of the tagline. I wonder aloud if it's really the case. For the folks who were around at the beginning of the industry, EMS did probably feel like a noble profession, providing a sense of purpose and unique satisfaction during the stage of massive development and change.

Does that continue today?

Here's an example: I have not referred to Johnny and Roy in my classroom for several years now. As a representation of the profession, the characters no longer have relevance to newer generations of EMS providers. But I am hard-pressed to find newer, more modern depictions of EMS that can ignite the imagination of my students. Somehow, Bringing Out the Dead doesn't quite make it.

Despite that, I personally do believe in the mission of EMS. I also am excited in the possibilities of its future. Yet my enthusiasm is tainted by the chronic issues that plague us.

Will we lift a finger to help ourselves? Surely we can't expect for others to do that for us. 

I'm interested to know what you think about EMS as more than a job. Take the quick survey and tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

About the author

EMS1 Editorial Advisor Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P currently teaches at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. Since 1982, Art has worked as a line medic and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook author, has presented at conferences nationwide, and continues to provide patient care at an EMS service in Northern California. Contact Art at
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