After my buddy essentially told the 20-something EMS generation to get the hell off his lawn, one of its newest members launched an impassioned defense of her peers:
Frankly, I am sick of hearing about what a shallow, vapid, vain, inconsiderate person I am—especially from people who do not yet know me. And I can be certain that the vast majority of my generation feels the same.
That being said, I can certainly appreciate the kids who serve as living proof for your judgment. Just look at the TV show “Jersey Shore.” I’d go in depth about this, but—and let’s be honest with each other for a minute—I really don’t have to. It’s self-explanatory.
MK, about fifteen years ago, as a fairly new medic with only a couple of years under my belt, I butted heads with an older, more experienced medic on the various EMS internet forums we both frequented. I was naive and idealistic, and I saw him as bitter, burned out and cynical because he kept raining on all my astute observations about what was wrong with EMS, and my grand ideas on how to fix it.
That medic was TOTWTYTR.
It took me a few years to realize he wasn't burned out at all. In fact, he was every bit as passionate about the profession as I was, and all those grand new ideas I'd been espousing weren't new at all; he'd heard them all before, from plenty of idealistic EMTs who came before me and burned out in a few years. The problem he has with your generation isn't their age, its the fact that they're newbies, and 75% of them will be gone in five years or less, replaced with a crop only slightly less fuzzy-cheeked and equally unsuited for this profession.
Now, I find myself being the same wet blanket to a younger generation of EMTs, slightly bemused by their fervor toward EMS 2.0 because all their radical, outside-the-box ideas to transform EMS, I was fervent about 16 years ago.
Still am, when it comes down to it, and so is TOTWTYTR. We just have the perspective to realize they aren't new ideas.
Passion is what fuels rookies, and that's a good thing. But what's going to earn the respect of the people who came before you is whether you can sustain that passion. As Robert Duvall told Sean Penn in Colors:
"There's two bulls standing on top of a mountain. The younger one says to the older one, 'Hey Pop, let's say we run down there and fuck one of them cows'. The older one says, 'No, Son. Lets walk down and fuck 'em all'."
Wise man, that Robert Duvall.
Anyhoo, y'all bookmark Probie to Practitioner as one of your daily reads, and head on over to welcome MK to the EMS blogosphere. The kid's got talent, and passion aplenty. The former can make her a good EMT, and the latter can make her a great one.
If she can sustain it.
* MK, if you don't recognize the line on the post title, ask your mom to explain The Who to you. They were, like, this huge rock band, like, before you were born.