Who is the most famous EMT or paramedic?

In your opinion, who do you think fits the bill?


A user on Quora recently asked, "Who are the most famous EMTs and paramedics?" A few answers stood out to us, especially one by Jonas Mikka Luster, who is working toward a master's in emergency medicine and disaster medicine. You can read his reply below: 

I’d like to introduce you to the paramedic, someone who should be famous outside of the profession and, sadly, isn’t. Even others, medics, list long screeds of loud and somewhat self-promoting men, but forget the paramedic that started it all.

Her name is Nancy Lee Caroline. She wrote the book on pre-hospital care, co-founded the Freedom House, so there were people trained to do pre-hospital emergency medicine and perform it in underserved areas. In those days, a physician would come and maybe an ambulance with untrained drivers and bring you into a hospital, if you were white and could pay. These people stabilized patients and entered parts of towns in the U.S. that no physician would go into. She also co-founded the modern Magen David Adam in Israel, and is generally considered the mother of modern pre-hospital care and emergency services.

Nancy Lee Caroline. (Photo/Wikimedia)
Nancy Lee Caroline. (Photo/Wikimedia)

Sure, she was a trained physician. But her training didn’t prevent her from calling herself a paramedic, and training others to do what she could do. It’s thanks to her, that we have the U.S. and European paramedic services the way they are.

She worked with Dr. Safar in Baltimore, perfected CPR and worked with a Swedish doll maker named Asmund Laerdal to create training dolls for CPR, intubation and other things that are best not trained on living subjects.

She suggested the first “Stiffneck” type collar, and she is credited with co-inventing the scoop and the spine board.

All in all, she did this quietly. Served in Africa, Israel and in the United States. But even today, in paramedic circles, her name is spoken only with reverence and thanks.

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