As an EMT and a retired Special Forces soldier I have seen my share of douche bags. You know who I am talking about, the guys from suburbia who have there pants so low on their hips they walk like a frickin penguin or the hipster at Starbucks drinking their Latte while talking on their iphone and wearing their sunglasses indoors. My douche bag of the week is not any of those however; my douche bag is emergency medical personnel who think they are too cool for school (pardon the use of the way back machine for that expression.)
Don’t get me wrong I have always said that if it is black and has Velcro then it by default must be cool. However gear alone doesn’t make you cool it is what you do with your gear that makes you and the gear cool. Emergency medical personnel who show up at the scene with their 511 tactical pants, titanium trauma shears, and sunglasses and then can’t do a basic assessment just look like the ring leader of the ass clown circus. We used to call people like this a walking clusterfuck.
EMT-B Smith pulls up to the Ambulance garage in his Ford Ranger pickup with the EMS license plates and flashing white light, the white light denotes he is
EMS but doesn’t allow him to drive any faster or ignore any traffic laws. Hey, having a light is cool. On his back windows are the Star of Life and the slogan “ EMS saves Lives”. He hops out of the truck ready to spring into action. In the cargo pocket of his pants are his trauma shears in tactical black, 15 ink pens in case he runs out on scene or has to do an emergency tracheotomy and his ipod with a copy of the EMS field guide. His coat is a personally obtained Level 3 reflective coat that says EMT in big reflective letters on the back. That’s in case anyone forgot when he gets on scene. He has tactical communications in the form of his pager and handheld “walkie” so he can talk the lifeguard helicopter in or coordinate with medical control should he be the incident commander. He is wearing GSG9 Addidas tactical boots in the hopes that SWAT is in need of a helping hand.
When EMT-B Smith arrives on the scene he dons his medical gloves and heads straight for the patient, damn scene safety!!! The patient has an altered mental status, is lethargic and diaphoretic. The patient is showing obvious signs of a diabetic issue so naturally EMT-B Smith slaps a cervical collar on, backboards the patient and declares a trauma alert. Hey trauma is cool, medical issues take a backseat. PUHA or Pick Up and Haul Ass are the watchwords of the
EMS douche bag. Lights and sirens are also cool. When EMT-B Smith gets to the Emergency Department he is much more interested in talking to the charge nurse about his exploits than giving a thorough report and handover. Did I also mention that patient blood pressure is always 120/80 for this douche?
When I was in Special Forces we called ourselves “quiet professionals.” It is not the loudest or the flashiest operator that you want on the objective but that quiet professional that is tactically and technically proficient and can get the job done. This can also apply to many other professions such as
EMS. Be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished as an EMT. However let your actions speak for you not your attitude or the gear you wear. The world needs Emergency Medical Personnel we have plenty of douchebags.