Those involved in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) know it's a crazy world of twisted humor and quirky behaviors. This includes paramedics, EMTs, first responders, and emergency medical dispatchers. Much of the twisted humor and odd behaviors is a result of the coping mechanisms of dealing with the stress of bad calls and the aggravation of the abused 911 system. Because of this, paramedics develop peculiar behaviors that may seem odd to outsiders, but are completely normal and expected from those involved in EMS, including their spouses and significant others.
14 Quirky Behaviors of Paramedics
- Even while in a personal vehicle, the words, "Clear Right" are uttered out loud at every intersection.
- After someone tells a paramedic something, they follow up with a "10-4."
- Paramedics are constantly thinking of how to one-up their partners and shift mates with a practical joke. (Putting a piece of Limberger cheese under their ambulance seat, etc.)
- Their home first aid kit looks more like a bag packed for an overseas trip.
- Even during off-time, they are always inspecting the size of everyone's veins.
- They have acronyms for everything. DFO (Done Fell Out), LOL (Little Old Lady), PBS (Pretty Bad Shape), etc.
- Dinner table conversations always go from nasty to nastier.
- Removing your gloves after a call becomes a contest with your partner to see who can shoot the gloves farther and more accurately.
- Dinner plans for that night are often planned while working over a body at a traumatic call. The gorier the call, the hungrier everyone is.
- Paramedics constantly critique TV shows and movies with EMS scenes.
- They snap at people who ask them why they are at a restaurant while on duty. Paramedics have to eat too!
- Even while not working, they eat their meal within 60 seconds flat.
- They can sleep in any environment under virtually any conditions. They catch sleep whenever they can.
- They refuse to "officially" go to the doctor or the hospital for themselves. They either "fix it" themselves or talk to an ER doc "off the record."
Patrick Black is a former, full-time paramedic and current CEO/President of Perfect Imprints. While he keeps his paramedic license current, he has been away from active duty since 2006. Despite being out of EMS for this long, he still displays many of these "quirky" behaviors mentioned above. Once EMS gets into your blood, it's there forever. He now enjoys helping the EMS community promote their ambulance services with promotional items, especially during National EMS Week.