Trending Topics

5 things only paramedics complain about

The art of complaining has been adopted by just about every profession, but paramedics have the best things to complain about


There is a good chance that a few complaints are being discussed while this ambulance posts.

Image Greg Friese

By Sean Eddy

EMS providers are a unique group of people. We work different hours than most, we see things that most will never see and yes, we complain about things that most could never dream of complaining about.

Some say the art of complaining can be traced back to some time around the birth of the EMS model that we know today. Historians have hypothesized that early EMS pioneers actually founded the art of complaining as a way to cope with the stresses of the new profession.

Some of the earliest forms of complaining were simple and low-key, such as “Man, I wish we could have done more for that guy.” However, through practice, research and development, EMS personnel were able to expand their skillset over the last few decades.

Today we have far more advanced methods. These include giving out long sighs as we get up from the couch to go run a transfer, responding to dispatch with a loud and obnoxious tone and — in its most advanced form — ignorant and sometimes offensive social media rants.

Today, the art of complaining has been adopted by just about every other profession. In fact, some professionals, like political commentators and food critics, make entire careers out of doing nothing but complaining. But EMS professionals still occupy the throne when it comes to what we complain about.

While the list is too long to include in a single article, I have spent hours and hours narrowing down the top five things that only paramedics complain about.

1. Firefighters

Who complains about firefighters? They‘re the good guys, the heroes, the lifesavers! They‘re the guys who throw on their turnouts at the first sign of trouble, jump into their immaculately clean and shining fire engine and wave at the crowds of adoring citizens who run to the streets to cheer them on. Everybody loves firefighters, right?

Wrong.EMTs and Paramedics complain about firefighters every day. This form of complaining usually originates from a place of jealousy. We complain about how they receive all the recognition, make more money, look better and get all the dates.

The struggle is real.

2. Overtime

The fact that we complain about overtime is not what‘s unique, it‘s how we complain about it. You see, it is physically impossible for us not to complain about it. If there‘s no overtime available, our families are starving and living on the streets. If there‘s plenty, then we are overworked and understaffed. Even worse, if we are mandated to work extra shifts, then our employer is part of the president’s devious plan to enslave America. You might as well chain us up and dress us in striped jumpsuits in the event of mandatory overtime.

3. Nurses

Like firefighters, everyone from sick patients to the customers of the adult film industry are always happy when they see a nurse. They are the first sign of hope after sitting around in the ER waiting room for hours on end. They are the gatekeepers to the much desired treatment or nausea medications. They are both the face and backbone of the emergency department. So what do medics have to complain about?

Nurses take too long to acknowledge us, they have the audacity to ask us questions about our treatment and even worse ... they‘re attracted to firefighters.

The strange thing about nurses is that even though we complain about them, most of us end up dating or evening marrying them. Actually ... that explains it perfectly.

Moving on...

4. Doing What We Signed up to Do

When we enroll in EMT school, we have a strong desire to save lives and stamp out disease. We want to stop natural selection dead in its tracks. Well, that is until we actually hit the streets and start doing it. At that point, we want to drive around, watch TV, play Xbox and just talk about doing what we‘re trained to do.

But the second those tones go off, we start complaining, stomping our feet, and throwing a temper tantrum. It should be noted that our call volume for the present day has absolutely no bearing on whether or not we complain.

5. Complaining

Yes, we actually complain about complaining. The logistics of this can be confusing and I‘m fairly certain that we are approaching a level of compound complaining that somehow threatens to interfere with the space-time continuum. You know, kind of like going back in time and seeing yourself ... only worse.

I have seen complaining get so complex that it actually comes full circle to where the complainer is actually complaining about something that they say they will personally be complaining about in the near future. This is a dangerous place to be as I‘m sure it somehow threatens the integrity of the Universe.

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.