What I wish the public knew about EMS

Here's a roundup of what EMS providers wish the public knew in order to separate fact from fiction

By EMS1 Staff

Why did you become an EMS provider? Chances are you wanted to help people.

And along the way, you've probably run your fair share of calls. Some may end in a good outcome, while others can linger and haunt you.

Be sure to add your thoughts in the comments below. (Photo/City of Boston)
Be sure to add your thoughts in the comments below. (Photo/City of Boston)

We asked our Facebook fans what they wish the general public knew about EMS. Some said they wish the public knew the difference between an EMT and a paramedic, while others pointed out that there are many calls that they will never forget.

Check out some of the responses below. And if you missed adding your wish on the list, sound off in the comments.

1. "The difference between an EMT and a paramedic. Also, why inter-facility transfers happen and why ambulances are needed to do them. Seems a lot of people are shocked that patients get sent from one hospital to another." – Heidi Edwards

2. "We are human, we have feelings and we have families. We train hard, work hard and deal with a lot of things that most can't imagine. We miss a lot of things with our families because of our job. We do this job because it's our choice to be there and help people, but sometimes a simple 'thank you' goes a lot further than you would expect." – Lisa Balch La Russo

3. "I fix sick people. It's what I'm trained to do. If your loved one's heart stops, I will do everything I know how to get it going again – without hesitation or getting overwhelmed. But if I can't get it going again, I don't know how to fix your broken heart. And that's the hardest part of my job." – Dennis Martin

4. "People should know that I hurt when you hurt. I may not show it right there and then, but I do hurt. When your child is dying in my hands, I try to save him/her as if they are my own. When I have to tell your wife or husband that I can't save them, I hurt. People think we're robots with no feelings. I have feelings." – Eric Kieser

5. "That driving lights and sirens is actually dangerous and doesn't save as much time as you think in the long-run. Just because we don't code with your family member doesn't mean we don't care about getting to the hospital. It means your family member is fine in our care until we get there – and we all want to get there safe." – Hannah Abraham

6. "That just because you think seeing the awful things I see are a part of my job doesn't mean it doesn't affect me as a human being. Also, I don't deserve to be assaulted at work. Don't put your hands on the medics." – Amanda Butt

7. "Thank you for the privilege to help you in your time of need. Please don't hesitate to call us, consider us the safety net when no one is willing to help you." – William F. Toon

8. "Our primary function is to render emergency medical treatment in a prehospital setting. Our secondary function is transport to an appropriate facility." – Trey Spooner

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