Fair warning - this might sting a little. First, here is a short summary.
Say the words complacency in EMS, and most of us will nod in unison and conjure images of the “corner cutters” that work in the profession. These are the providers that know the policies and they know the protocols, but when in action, they deviate from the expected - pretty regularly. Their practice gets sloppy and their patient care delivery becomes a liability. Their attention to crew safety parameters gets lowered, situational awareness becomes hazed with distractions. When they cut enough corners, when they continuously drift from the established protocols and consistently deviate from safety practices someone eventually is going to be hurt or worse. In the end, overtly complacent providers in a profession as complex as first response are dangerous. It is worth repeating here and posting on the walls at our stations - complacency kills.
All of this is pretty well understood and agreed upon. At some point we, the ‘rule followers,’ feel pretty good about ourselves after we have the conversation on complacency. We fist bump and say things like “yeah, I know providers like that,” or “we should weed them out,” or “if they’re not here for the right reason, there’s the door, man.” More fist bumps ensue.
But, what if after all the lectures at the conferences and all the safety notices at the work meetings, and after all the corner-cutting hazards have been discharged from the profession - there is still another level of complacent providers left?
Wait for it - I am talking about us, the rule followers.