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Top 10 rejected themes for EMS Week

Amidst all the screeching and hissing and enraged yowling, somehow ACEP manages to come up with a theme everyone can agree with

Updated May 16, 2016

Well, EMS Week is upon us once again.

This list. first written for the 2010 EMS Week theme "Anytime. Anywhere. We'll be there" I think sends the proper message, honoring our implicit compact with the public; call for an ambulance, an ambulance always comes.

Every year, the American College of Emergency Physicians faces the monumental task of uniting the varied factions of EMS and their particular agendas, and projecting a unified theme to the general public for at least one week of the year. It's quite a bit like herding cats, only that with us, the career cats hate the volunteer cats, the fire cats feel superior to all the other cats, and all of them hate the for-profit cats. And amid all the screeching and hissing and enraged yowling, somehow ACEP manages to come up with a theme everyone can agree with. Hats off to them.

In 2016 we are now "EMS Strong" all year long and considering how we are "Called to Care" during EMS Week

Still, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention some of the other themes ACEP has considered, and rejected, for EMS Week:

EMS: It was cheaper and shorter than barber college

This one had potential, particularly among those who think current EMS curricula is too long and arduous, but eventually it was nixed by a faction heretofore unheard from — EMS barbers. Who knew that EMT-B was a prerequisite for admission into barber college?

Sure, $18k a year is a fair salary for EMTs! After all, it's not like we have your lives in our hands or anything!

This one didn't even make it through the first round of voting. "$18k a year!" the volunteer EMTs screeched. "What are we, mercenaries??"

EMS Week 2010: To hell with cakes and balloons, we'd be happy if you just slowed down and pulled to the right.

Become an EMT, because none of the local burger joints give discounts to nurses.

One of the finalists, until the nursing lobby got wind of it. Now, ENA is advocating a boycott of Burger King, Taco Bell and KFC until its half-price demands are met. On the plus side, we finally identified the nursing mole at ACEP.

EMS: Making a living off your stupidity since 1966.

This one made it to the final round of voting, over the strident objections of injury prevention advocates. It was ultimately rejected not because it sounded too cynical, but because it hit too close to home.

We don't much like people, but we had to be EMTs before they'd let us drive the fire trucks.

I can't imagine why, but proponents of third-service EMS didn't much care for this one. IAFF representatives, however, were heard to say, "So what's wrong with that?"

Could you stop calling us ambulance drivers, for just this week? Pretty please?

This started as a little-known provision in the healthcare reform bill, buried in a sub-paragraph at the bottom of page 1,154. The EMS Providers Public Respect Education Initiative proposed an ambitious set of public education programs designed to discourage the use of the term "ambulance driver." It was taken out at the request of the American Ambulance Association, when it was discovered that the programs were to be funded by savings from a 30 percent reduction in Medicare ambulance reimbursement.

EMS Week 2010: A week of barbecues and fish fries would be nice, because our food stamps ran out a week ago.

Nixed because no one wanted to admit that many paid EMTs still qualify for food stamps. Well, that and because they didn't want to encourage politicians who think medical providers should be paid in chickens.

Celebrate your local EMS agency for this week, to assuage your guilt at voting down their funding tax last month!

The local Tea Party movement managed to shout this one down with repeated screams of "Taxation is slavery, you dirty socialist ambulance drivers!"

Anytime. Anywhere. We'll be there. But if it was for hemorrhoids at 3:00 am, we're gonna say nasty things about you afterwards.

They dropped the last part, but you know it's true!

 Happy EMS Week, everyone!

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