You might call them Whacker, some call them dingers, other say Ricky Rescue. No matter the term we all likely know the type. Someone with a massive collection of Fire/EMS shirts, and belt covered in electronics and tools.
Researchers from the Washington University of Social Sciences have found a direct linkage between being a wacker and low emergency call volumes. The study found persons getting hours of training and many more hours of drills have a compulsion to show off their skills. If they can’t show off skills on real emergencies they will undergo skills transference.
Professor Firenze explains the transference. “You see these young men and also young women. They have invested hours of their life to learn about saving life. But then they don’t get to save any lives. So they need some public recognition of this learned skill set. Thus they dress all in 5.11 gear and shirts with catchy slogans like “I fight what you fear”. They want the public to see them as a hero even if they never get called that word directly.”
The research did not find that being a wacker had any negative psychological effects on individuals. It did how ever offer a glimpse into new marketing ideas for the makers of silly fire and EMS slogan t-shirts.