05/17/12 460 W - + 3 - 3 Evening Reading - May 17, 2012

Good evening Raleigh. Great time today at the second annual Wake County EMS System reunion. There's such a rich vein of history in our area, with decades of service by volunteer rescue squads and career EMS agencies (and variations in-between). See photos by Legeros, including a couple sweet rides shown outside the Wake County Commons Building, where the luncheon was held. Enjoy some reading and these stories that caught my eye this week:

Regarding the WTVD story, here’s a meta-question about my calling attention to same: Is it better to whisper and try to forget that such a story was broadcast? Or just the opposite, in talk openly and let everyone look at the thing and form their own opinions and, hopefully, expose the flaws therein? Obviously I’m doing the latter. Am I wrong in doing same?
Legeros - 05/18/12 - 08:00

Nobody’s suggesting that we whisper about nonsense like this. Mom always told me to ignore things that don’t amount to a hill of beans, and this story surely did not. But ranting about it on world-wide media makes it seem far more significant or important than it is. Remember, the news guys don’t care if you LIKE it or DISLIKE it – they just care that you watched it. Many also think that the number “hits” on a web site or “comments” on a news story are a measure of success. Do we really want to help them inflate their numbers?

Not me!
Skip K - 05/18/12 - 09:31

Thanks for your perspective, Skip. That’s a good point about the motivators behind ratings-based journalism. Conceptually, news exists (or was created) to add social value. But to sustain the mechanisms required to find and report news, money/ratings/likes are required. And invariably, the tail ends up wagging the dog at times.

But there’s also the meta-issue. If this story is nonsense and isn’t worth anyone’s attention, then why are so many EMS people reacting so strongly, and talking so passionately about it? Does that in turn transform a non-story (miniscule percentages in employment data) in a real story (reactions of employees to [something])?

Not sure what the “something” is. The story doesn’t even target any Triangle-based EMS providers. But it’s making medics (and others) hot. As someone wise once said, when something makes us mad, it’s also telling us something about ourselves.

One more thought about press and emergency services. It would take a seriously scandalous scandal to stop people from 911 when they have an emergency. No one’s call volume dropped after that story aired, that’s for sure!
Legeros - 05/19/12 - 09:18

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