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20 more thoughts only a paramedic will understand

You haven’t been in EMS long enough if you don’t yell “Clear right!” when you’re driving off-duty


Did we miss yours? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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By EMS1 Staff

Paramedics are a special breed. There are many thoughts only you will understand, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

We’ve all experienced the tones dropping before a shift change and have thought to ourselves, “Really?” And you haven’t been in EMS long enough if you don’t yell “Clear right!” when you’re driving off-duty.

Our Facebook fans kept the humor going and provided 20 more thoughts only you – a paramedic – will understand.

Did we miss yours? Be sure to let us know by sending an email to

  1. “You are confident that if you stare at the monitor display long enough then it will change to something you recognize and know how to treat.” – Perry Bailey
  2. “While the call is being dispatched, you automatically head to the bathroom.” – Stan Slaughter
  3. “Having spaghetti after the GSW and not even blinking an eye. Just pass the sauce.” –William E Harris Jr.
  4. “Whenever you’re backing up in your POV, you use only the side mirrors, even though you have a rear view mirror on the windshield. And wondering why your backup alarm isn’t working while you’re looking for the switch to turn on your strobe lights.” – Sandy Otto Bryant
  5. “Constantly noticing signs and symptoms of illness/disease in random people out in the public while not on duty.” – Christina Miller
  6. “You don’t always need one of the gadgets/tools you carry on you daily, but when you do, you probably forgot it. And, not feeling stupid until you try to put the stair chair back up.” – Evan Foshee
  7. “Walk by construction site, instead of wonder what they are building, where do I cut the rebar to get impaled worker into ambulance and to hospital?” – Pam Morrell
  8. “You can leave $20 on the table at station and be confident it will still be there next week. Leave chocolate cake on the same table and it will disappear when your back is turned.” – Kirsten Keightley
  9. “Working a difficult call, to no avail, and not have anyone that understands why you are quiet or needing to go somewhere to cry in private.” – Steve Clark
  10. “4 a.m. rule: When you get calls all night and if you’re awake after 4 a.m., time to get breakfast because you’re going to be awake for shift change hours later.” – Jesse Martinez
  11. “Family members don’t think death is as humorous as us.” – Rudolph Cunningham
  12. “You’ve thought about rolling down a window in the middle of January while driving because you’re on your third transfer and it’s 4 a.m.” – Patrick Greife
  13. “Wondering if the glove can hold the contents of your bladder. Worse, knowing that it can. Even worse, knowing that it can’t.” – Daniel Katzenstein
  14. “Walking around Wal-Mart and you look at random people’s arms and think to yourself, ‘I could get a 14 in that one.’” – Derwin Jeffcoat
  15. “You get a sudden adrenaline rush when you’re visiting your kids’ school and the class bells go off that sound very close to your station tones.” – David Langton
  16. “You know you’ve worked EMS long enough that when you are home you answer your phone by saying your rig number.” – Chris Martz
  17. “No calls all shift until 15 minutes before shift change and the whole county calls.” –David P. Walker
  18. “When the new guy says the ‘Q word’ and everybody at the station throws something at him.” – Harold Jorschumb
  19. “You sleep in the recliner because your bed is 20 feet further in the station.” – Jack Homen
  20. “Visiting a friend and thinking about how hard it would be to get a cot or stair chair into the back bedroom because there’s not a clear path.” – Anne Harrison

Uniform Stories features a variety of contributors. These sources are experts and educators within their profession. Uniform Stories covers an array of subjects like field stories, entertaining anecdotes, and expert opinions.