Monday, January 05, 2009

EMS = Monkey

My friends and I have long used the term "monkey" as a catch-all phrase. Someone could be a monkey or an object or an idea could be monkey. Nouns and adverbs. It's interchangeable. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion or anything else for that matter. Everyone and everything is fair game.

For instance, that guy who thinks he's cool but takes himself way too seriously--usually a monkey. Or, the idea of buying souped-up Dodge Chargers, painting yellow and blue squares on them, adding a light bar and stenciling "PARAMEDIC" on the lower doors = MONKEY.

Of course, that didn't stop the folks down in Wake County, North Carolina, from doing just that. Many EMS departments nationwide have adopted the "first-response" type system, where they send a paramedic to the call in a non-ambulance vehicle. It's a good idea that saves time, money, resources and effort all the way around. An ALS-trained provider gets on scene first, begins providing care and can determine the most appropriate next-step for the patient without automatically tying up a transporting ambulance. This works especially well in semi-rural and rural areas where transporting EMS resources can be scarce.

Most departments that have this sort of system use an SUV or some type of truck. There's nothing wrong, of course, with using a car for this sort of response. The LAFD has its EMS supervisors in Ford Crown Victoria's. Police departments often gin up cars like this or this for publicity or other specific purposes. But Wake County's Dodge's are shining example of the high Monkey-factor tha--given the chance--EMS folks will always put on display.

photo: Courtesy of


Anonymous said...

If the Charger were a different police-spec vehicle (Crown vic, say), would the monkey factor still apply?

If the Charger were styled differently, the lettering and decals, would the monkey factor still apply?

If the Charger were a different color... etc.

You get the point. Is it possible for an agency to utilize a police-spec Charger, lettered and with high-visibility marking, and *not* be perceived by you and your buds as having a monkey factor?

Code6Charles said...

Thanks for the comment.

In short, the answer is no, the "monkey-factor" would not apply in this case if the monkeys had not acted in such a predictable way. It's not the fact that Wake County chose Dodge Chargers. They could have chosen a Toyota Prius or a Chevy Camaro or the anything else. It's partly what they did with the cars once delivered and partly the justification they used (big trunk space, etc) once they purchased and dolled up the cars.

My point is, given the chance (and they were), they defaulted to the motorhead's wet dream using money that wasn't theirs (that is, agency money)to satisfy what amounts to a public safety guy's wet dream. It's not confined to EMS, either. Law Enforcement and Fire folks suffer the same syndrome.