I’ve missed the last 3 weeks and I apologize the preparation for the Baltimore Grand Prix are in full swing and SEMSNation is in the thick of it. As I sit in meeting after meeting I am reminded of something my grand mother told me and our profession has forgotten. She would say” Rikki, she use to call me Rikki and my brother Rocky, remember you are a guest in their home so act like it.

The Emergency services have a job to do and an important one, no one denies that, but at times we get caught up in the perception of our own importance and for get that we are simply part of the larger machine . I have heard too many time this month the statement “we are the most important part of this event” and witnessed  the sentiment through inconsiderate actions . We forget that we are only invited guest and need to act like it. I think a good gauge of how to behave in someone else’s house is the kindergarten “Please & Thank you “ song


Please And Thank You lyrics

There are lots of things
We can do to be nice,
Sometimes they’re hard to remember.
But there are two little things
You should never forget,
From January through December.

He’s talking ’bout please and thank you,
They’re called the magic words,
If you want nice things to happen,
They’re the words that should be heard,
Remember please and thank you,
‘Cause they’re the magic words.


The world has changed and peoples options are no longer limited. Social media has expanded individuals political reach and economic impact.  If the Emergency Services want to remain relevant in the future then we must remember at all times, whether it is 911 or special events we are guest in someone’s home and must conduct ourselves as such. Often in our well meaning haste to get the job done we forget the “Please and Thank You” song.

When I was in paramedic school so many years ago fresh out of college I remember my instructor explaining why his department was moving away from high school graduates to college degree candidates. The department believed they would bring a degree of maturity and enlightenment to the job. “You don’t have to explain to a college graduate why people get upset that we drive an engine down a residential streets at top speed while their kids are playing”, he said. I didn’t pay much attention to his comments at the time. The precocious nature of youth I just assumed everyone was as mature and took the job as seriously as I did. Today 23 years later I am reminded of those words and I understand the point he was trying to make. We are guest in there homes so act like it.