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Top 10 EMS Christmas carols

Check out these festive songs with an EMS twist


We drove the ambulance through town at a slow crawl … playing the Chipmunks Christmas album through the PA system.

Photo/Max Pixel

It was Christmas Eve, 1995. My partner and I were on duty, and in a festive mood. With nothing to do in our small little town, we took it upon ourselves to spread a little Christmas cheer throughout the neighborhood by going Christmas caroling.

The fact that neither of us could carry a tune in a bucket and it was bitterly cold outside didn’t stop us. EMTs are nothing if not inventive. So we drove the ambulance through town at a slow crawl … playing the Chipmunks Christmas album through the PA system.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, and truthfully I think most of our neighbors enjoyed the musical stylings of Simon, Theodore and Alvin. It wasn’t until we segued into Porky Pig singing Blue Christmas that someone called in and complained.

Leave it to me to find the one cranky traditionalist in town.

Anyway, the holiday season gave me cause to think of that story and chuckle, and it got me to thinking about Christmas carols with an EMS twist. So, without further ado, I give you the Top 10 EMS Christmas Carols:

10. I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas… and praying that no one is driving in it. I mean, we’re right in the middle of A Christmas Story, here. It would suck to work a wreck right now.

9. Silent Night… holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Wait a minute … has our radio been turned off this whole time?

8. Walking In a Winter Wonderland… in my slippers and bathrobe. Hey, Decubitus Acres? I think we found your missing Alzheimer’s patient!

7. Jingle Bells… jingle bells, jingle all the way … from the community hospital ER to the trauma center two hours away. Hey partner, how do I silence the CO oximeter alarm on this Lifepak 15 again? It’s driving me nuts!

6. Hark The Herald Angels Sing. Why yes, this is my fourth ROSC with full neurological recovery in the past month, but really, the choir and receiving line in the ambulance bay is a bit much. A simple round of applause will suffice.

5. Away In a Manger, no crib for a bed … yeah, Murphy got kicked out of the shelter for alcohol intoxication again, and he’s faking another seizure to get a meal and a night in a warm ED. Corner of 4th and Main, look for the hysterical lady on a cell phone.

4. What Child Is This? More importantly, why is he passed out drunk in the bathroom at Wal Mart? And where the hell are his parents?

3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen... but keep an ear open for the pager and radio. It’s breaking loose in the city tonight, and you’re our only coverage.

2. We Three Kings of Orient Are. And what were their names, you ask? Easy; Person, Place, and Time.

1. The best one isn’t a carol at all, but a Bible verse. On a bitterly cold Christmas Eve, years ago, I spent the late hours of the night staging outside of a hostage scene, where a mentally disturbed man held his family at gunpoint. The standoff was finally ended without bloodshed, and as we cleared from the scene, the clock struck midnight, and a quiet voice transmitted all over the Sheriff’s Department frequency:

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

And units from around the parish clicked their microphones in response, or transmitted a quiet, “Amen.”

Merry Christmas, everyone, and I wish you peace on Earth, and good will toward men.

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This article, originally published on Dec. 21, 2012, has been updated columnist Kelly Grayson, is a paramedic ER tech in Louisiana. He has spent the past 14 years as a field paramedic, critical care transport paramedic, field supervisor and educator. Kelly is the author of the book Life, Death and Everything In Between, and the popular blog A Day in the Life of An Ambulance Driver.