EMS as a field tends to hire young, inexperienced people. It's a fact of life. Many EMT-B's are young people working toward other goals, e.g., paramedic, med school, nursing, PA, full-time firefighter. So it's no surprising that many of the people that I'm surrounded by are eighteen to twenty-five years old, filling their first--or one of their first--real position of responsibility.
The end-result of such youth and inexperience is the inevitable bouts of unprofessional behavior like inappropriate jokes, frequent tardiness and absenteeism, and revolving bedroom doors. The majority of people, of course, are responsible and professional. However, it's unlikely anyone who's been in EMS for more than a few months can't bring to mind the faces and names of people whose behavior fits the above categories.
Another problem that results from relative inexperience in positions of responsibility is the lack of true teamwork. Certainly teamwork is a valuable element in EMS. We're out there on the streets where our safety is on the line, and our patients depend on our ability to work together effectively. But teamwork means something more than each person knowing what their assigned tasks are in an emergency, and each person catching the potential mistakes and oversights that happen during a confusing or stressful situation.
Teamwork also means having the other person's back. Forgiving the mistakes that need to be forgiven. Ignoring the gossip that strikes your ears, and refusing to repeat it. Understanding that dispatchers will send you to the wrong address at times, and will have limited information at their disposal. That other crews will have interactions with patients that the patients may not be honest about, and not to judge the decisions made by those crews until you have accurate and reliable information. It means holding yourselves to the same standards that you hold others, and forgiving them for the failures that you forgive yourselves for. It means that the EMTs with whom you work are on your team, and you devotion and dedication to them is required and expected. This doesn't mean you are required to like them. You are, however, required to have their back.
If someone breaks the law, violates protocol, or fails to follow standards of care, there is an appropriate course of action that must be followed. Teamwork doesn't mean you ignore this, of course. But teamwork does mean your responsibility doesn't end with your obligation to the law and to the patient--you have an obligation to each other.