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15 habits paramedics can’t shake

Don’t see a habit you have? Add it in the comments!


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There are habits EMTs and paramedics pick that are hard to shake even when off the clock or after retirement. Check out our favorites, and don’t miss this other list of habits EMTs can’t shake. Don’t see a habit you have? Add it in the comments!

1. “I leave enough space at a red light to be able to pull out and around if needed.” — Josh Sharpe

2. “Pulling the shopping cart behind me like I’m at the front of the stretcher.” — Tim O’Connor

3. “When someone else is driving and making a turn I always yell ‘clear right!’” — Lisa Bogowith Schaeffer

4. “I always consider coughing a foreign body obstruction and prepare to do the Heimlich.” — Tamatha Arendall

5. “Where’s the closest hospital and how long of a response time am I looking at if something was to happen right now?” — Rene Rogers

6. “I catch myself watching people when I’m in a crowded room; always looking for signs of someone in distress.” — Scott Lisman

7. “I always back into a parking space so I’m in response mode.” — Phil Murphy

8. “When meeting a new person I start taking a sample history as part of getting to know them.” — Alex Lisa Brown

9. “I use my wife as a backer, and honk twice when backing.” — Justin Martinets

10. “Passing large open fields thinking ‘good place for an LZ’” — Sherry Lynn

11. “If I get a ‘maple syrup’ odor out of context, I look for the diabetic. When I hear a harsh cough in a restaurant all conversation stops until I locate them and await evidence of a clear airway. The guy nodding off in church or at the movies better show rise and fall or chest expansion or I’m tapping on his shoulder.” — Guido Jannetti

12. “Driving private car with friends and shout ‘bump ahead.’” — Timothy Lynn O’Ceallaigh

13. “Still can’t make myself use the ‘Q’ word. After many years on a truck I have removed it from my vocabulary.” — Eddie Battros

14. “Always checking to see if ‘my scene is safe.’” — Angela N Grace

15. “When I go to my doctor for a routine physical, I start with ’47 y/o male patient presenting with...’” — Bill Butler


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This article was originally posted Feb. 23, 2016. It has been updated.

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