Fire department participates in paramedic exchange program

The San Francisco Fire Department will be hosting a paramedic from England starting Monday as part of an exchange program organized by one of the department's own paramedics.

The program was organized by Justin Schorr, a firefighter paramedic with the San Francisco Fire Department, who suffered an injury caused by a ceiling collapse while responding to an emergency in late 2007.

While recovering from his injury, Schorr went on the Internet and discovered Web sites where hundreds of fellow paramedics were posting stories about their jobs.

Schorr started a blog, www.happymedic.com, and struck up a friendship with Mark Glencorse, a paramedic from Newcastle upon Tyne in England who was also blogging about his experiences at his own site, www.999medic.com.

The two paramedics “have been in close contact as this project blossomed from a simple meeting of friends into a possibility to share our experiences with the rest of the world,” Schorr said in a statement.

Schorr and Glencorse will be working side-by-side so they can comprehensively compare each other's system. They will be working three ambulance shifts and two engine shifts, along with other activities with the department.

San Francisco San Francisco Fire Department uses the private transport EMS model, while Glencorse's agency uses the North East Ambulance Service Pathways system.

San Francisco fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said an interesting part of the program will be learning more about the English system, where ambulances are not necessarily sent out to every call.

“They're sort of pioneers of this system, so we're looking forward to learning more about it and seeing how that works,” Talmadge said.
 
Glencorse will arrive in San Francisco on Monday, and then on Nov. 18, Schorr will travel to England for the second part of the exchange, which will last about a week.

Both men will be writing about their adventures on their respective blogs, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and will also do daily video logs to chronicle what they are learning while visiting each other.
 

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