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Everyday EMS
by Greg Friese

New Police Officer Ambulance Tour

Recently a law enforcement FTO and a new officer came to the station. The FTO asked me for a "show and tell" of the ambulance should the ambulance crew ask the new officer for help at an incident. We spent the next few minutes on a 10-cent tour of the ambulance.

After having a bit more time to think about the task, this is what I would want a new police officer to know about the ambulance and how they can help us during an emergency, and generally what we can tell them.

1. Thanks. Most importantly, thanks for doing what you do. I really admire the work of law enforcement. Any help provided is appreciated.

2. Just ask. We probably won’t need your help often and it is okay if you forget some of the things I am about to explain. If you forget the location of the suction, don’t know what an Ambu bag is, or how to turn on the lights in the patient care compartment, just ask.

3. Stay safe. After my own safety, all of my partner's safety is really important to me. We have lots of safety equipment in the ambulance – gloves, goggles, and gowns – please use it.

4. Look out for me. You are well trained to recognize danger. If you see something hazardous — like a knife, gun, or needle — or a worrisome patient behavior, don't assume I see it. You can always give me a heads-up.

5. All the backboard stuff. If I ask for a backboard, I really mean the backboard, straps, head blocks, and a blanket.

6. Helping with the cot. If you help a first responder bring the cot, don’t lower it all the way to the lowest setting. A loaded cot in the lowest setting is hard to lift.

7. Do important things while you are waiting for us to arrive. If the patient has ABC life threats, focus on assessing and treating those with the tools and training you have.

What else would you add to an ambulance "show and tell" for a new officer?

About the author

Greg Friese is Editor-in-Chief of He is an educator, author, paramedic, and marathon runner. Ask questions or submit tip ideas to Greg by e-mailing him at

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Amber Newman Amber Newman Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:29:49 PM At the service I work for full time all the new city cops have to do 40 hours on a truck with us and 40 hours with fire.