In the USA the role of paramedic is undertaken by professionals, not by volunteers, which means that the job of the emergency worker is strictly regulated by specific norms and precise rules.
One of the many Chicago Fire Departments has recently hit the headlines, not because of the admirable exploits of its paramedics, but because of a rather thorny case involving the bureaucratic side of the many professional paramedic organisations in the States: a paramedic was discovered practising the profession unlawfully and had been doing so for 14 months! He explained that he had not renewed his licence as he had not received the reminder that his old licence was due to expire. The spokesperson for the Fire Departments of Chicago, Larry Langford, reassured the public that the negligent paramedic would no longer be in direct contact with service users, even though he will still be allowed to carry out certain duties within the organisation.
Larry Langford also explained that a database of all Chicago paramedics is being set up which will send out automatic notification emails when their licence is coming up for renewal. The spokesperson went on to say that no excuses are acceptable in cases of such serious negligence as this, which only came to light a few days ago. Apparently, seeing as so much time has passed since the licence expired, the paramedic will now have to take his re-licensing exams again in order to qualify for the professional emergency worker’s licence.
Here below you can see some images of paramedics from several Chicago Fire Departments, well-known throughout the States for their valiant work, quite the opposite of thenegligence reported of the exception that confirms the rule.