For some reason, some people like to say that police officers and firefighters don’t have very dangerous jobs because the fatality rates aren’t the highest. Compared to the fishing and logging industries, or even the trucking and roofing industries, police officers and firefighters don’t even make the top 10 list according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I don’t think EMS even got its own category in the statistics.
But first of all, why do we even have to be caught up in the whole your-job-is-not-as-dangerous-as-mine argument anyway?
By the way, who is that asshole guest on Stossel?
It’s a little bit too simplistic to use a list like that to suggest that police officers and firefighters don’t work dangerous jobs. Bare numbers don’t reflect many subtle factors, and that is not to say that the list is wrong, but rather it’s encouraging uninformed people to read way more into it than it merits.
- Many of these lists* only consider fatality rates. Not often are injury and accident rates mentioned. And even then, accidents have to be classified as preventable and non-preventable to have some meaning in this context. In any event, our backs are always sore, our joints are always ache. WE SUSTAIN SO MANY INJURIES – BIG AND SMALL, MAJOR AND NIGGLING, ACUTE AND CUMULATIVE. But it’s not visible to laypeople and people outside of emergency services, so as long as we continue to arrive quickly and clean up their stupid messes, who cares, right?
- Of all the jobs listed, only police officers and firefighters go knowingly and willingly into dangerous situations for the sake of other people. Of all the jobs listed, only police officers have a natural enemy: criminals. (As for health care personnel, well, we only knowingly hang out with sick people all day long, cleaning up funny-smelling fluids.)
- The level of training for police officers and firefighters is much more involved than many other jobs. It’s likely that there are fewer fatalities and injuries precisely because of increased safety awareness.
- The cumulative mental stress is likely unrivaled but never taken into consideration.
How does that saying go – something about walking a mile in someone’s shoes…