A very interesting article with reader comments has been posted at jems.com
This is part of a discussion that has been buzzing around EMS stations and conferences for some time: Is EMS part of public safety or health care/emergency medicine?
In short, we provide care which is definitely in a health care realm. We bring patients to hospitals. Yet we provide this care in the field dressed like and alongside public safety personnel (police, fire).
The fact that is apparent to most of us is that we don't seem to fit squarely in either place--nor do we feel we get the respect (or pay) that our public safety counterparts do.
This affects all of us in EMS. I strongly encourage you to read the JEMS article and comments. While I am not sure the "Where does EMS fit?" issue is singularly tied to EMS thriving as a profession, it is a key issue today.
Where do you think EMS belongs?