I recently participated in a project to describe the daily routine of an EMT to help people considering a career in EMS.  The final product was published this week on the website below.


Here is an excerpt:

5:30 AM:

I punch in and checkout my equipment, my house bag which contains my medications, IV and airway supplies, my heart monitor, and then the equipment on the ambulance shelves, while my partner checks the ambulance to see that the siren and emergency lights are working and that we have plenty oxygen to make it through the shift. He also checks the oil and engine fluids.

Then, we sign on with our dispatcher and already there is a 911 call for us. No time for coffee. A 68-year-old woman has been vomiting all night. I feel her forehead she is burning up. Her tongue is also dry and cratered. I give her Zofran for her nausea and IV fluid for her dehydration. We transport her to the hospital.

6:23 AM:

I am writing my PCR (Patient Care Report) on my laptop computer in the hospital EMS room when my pager goes off “Can you clear for a Priority One?” We head out lights and sirens for the report of a person unresponsive in a car. Before we can get there, we are cancelled. It turns out the person was merely sleeping. Dispatch has another call for us. A motor vehicle crash by the highway entrance ramp. Both drivers are out of the car inspecting the damage, which is minor. One driver has arm pain, but refuses to go by ambulance to the hospital. We have him sign a refusal of care, and then clear the scene.

7:04 AM:

Report of another person not responsive. A woman stands by the front door and we can see she is crying as she flags us down….

To read the rest, Click here


  • Ashley says:

    I’ve read a couple of your books Peter Canning. I’ve been an EMT for 10 years in a rural setting. I found the fact that you barely talked about your EMT partner contributing at all to your calls or even doing anything of note very upsetting. My partners and I are a team, we do all patient care together and rely on each other for everything. We debrief and discuss calls and how we can improve. Because we work in a rural setting we have limited resources on critical calls or MCI. I am often taking care of my own level 1 trauma patient or doing much of the workload on codes or critical medical patients. I start IVs, put in advanced airways and anything else my partner needs me to do. I most you said of your EMT partner is that they check and make sure the lights and sirens work on the ambulance every morning. Wow, how incredibly demeaning. Please be more appreciative that you do not do your job alone, nor can you.

    • medicscribe says:

      Hi Ashley-

      I am sorry you feel the way you do. I read your comments and thought, oh my goodness, did I really ignore my partner and our teamwork. Then I went back and read it and I have to tell you, I don’t see how you get the impression you do. Every other word is “we” or “us.” My partners don’t need me to tell them how much I appreciate them after every call. They are secure in the knowledge that we are a team.


      • Mike says:

        Hey Peter,

        I just wanted to say I agree with you. I’m a rural EMT as well and I’ve read Paramedic and Resc. 471, as well as a lot of this blog, and I’ve never felt that you ignore or put down BLS providers. I guess different people read things in different ways. Either way, thanks for all the educational info you put on this blog. Keep up the goodwork.

  • Patricia says:

    Great post, I’m waiting for more such, I was very interested 🙂

  • Ashley W says:

    Hey Peter!

    I’ve been following your blog for a college class this year, and I’m a huge fan. Coming from a family of EMT’s, Medics, and PHRN’s, you write like they are telling me about their day. My dad, especially. Many of the things that you have written about we experience on the daily here in PA. I mean, even some of your more educative entries make me think back to when I was a kid helping him study for his national registry exam. I plan on ordering your books soon and hope to gain more knowledge from them as I now begin my career in EMS.
    Thanks, and keep up the great work~~

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