Top 10 EMS New Year's Resolutions

With 2011 fast coming to an end, here's what I'm vowing to do in the coming 12 months

2012 begins in less than a week, and just in case the Mayans were right and it all ends this year, my New Year's Resolutions were all aimed at enriching my life and the lives of others, all to better make use of what little time we have left here on Earth.

But there are only so many ways to phrase, "be kind to my fellow man," and "stop putting benzocaine spray on the triage nurse's coffee cup," so I scrapped that list and went for less altruistic and lofty goals. You know, just in case the Mayans were wrong...



I resolve to lobby the senior editorial staff at for gift cards from Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops. I mean, sure, the annual Starbucks gift card is nice, but I don't drink coffee. And last time I tried to apply my gift card to the purchase of my very own barista, they were not amused. Turns out that even five years worth of unredeemed  gift cards are not enough to hire the cute brunette at our local Starbucks.


I resolve that, while the weather remains cold, I will help my partner wash the rig at end of shift. Usually I'm cleaning the station or finishing my run reports while she washes the rig, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to swap duties now and then. At the very least, it will give her time to recover from the frostbite. I think losing more than a couple of fingers every year is too much to ask of any partner, don't you?


I resolve that whenever dispatch asks us if we'd like the Fire Department to respond with us to wreck scenes, I will stop answering with, "Why, is the patient on fire?"


I resolve that, when the triage nurse at the charity hospital asks, yet again, "Well, why are you bringing them here? Hospital X is closer!" I will stop responding with, "I tried to talk them out of it, but they're willing to accept substandard care as long as it's free." As nice as it is to have a few days off, my supervisor tells me that future complaints will be met by more than a suspension.


I resolve that, when a certain community hospital ER doc – a Maryland transplant - answers the phone with, "Baltimore Shock Trauma South Campus, Dr. Cowley speaking," I will no longer be surprised. He doesn't see much at Podunk General Hospital, Nail Salon, Tire Repair and Crawfish Hut, and making me choke with laughter is often the highlight of his shift.


I resolve that I will stop lashing my colleagues' ambulance cab doors together with spine board straps fed through the arm rests, but only because I nearly got stuck in the window between the module and cab last time I did it. Besides, that's what skinny partners are for.


I resolve, once again, to lose weight so that the scenario in #5 is no longer possible, and so that disgustingly fit firefighters will no longer say, "Wow, you move pretty good… for a guy your size."


I resolve that, for my speaking engagements in 2012, I will finish the PowerPoints within one month of booking. Wait, make that three months. Okay, then at least the week of the lecture... all right, then how about I resolve to not still be polishing them at 0300 the day I'm supposed to give the talk?


I resolve that, whenever an obese patient apologizes for us having to carry her, I will not reassure her with, "No worries, Ma'am, you're a minnow compared to some of the whales we've carried." Especially when her even larger sister, who we transported the week before, is standing right behind me.


I resolve that, in my 19th year in EMS, I will no longer carry a personal trauma kit that makes me look like the World's Biggest Whacker. Nope, just a few bandages, a stethoscope and a CPR mask for me… and a small surgical kit… and some tourniquets... and burn sheets… and a full set of King LT airways… and a Broselow tape... and a cricothyrotomy kit… and adult and pediatric BVM's… and a few bougies… and my personal EZ-IO kit… and a pressure infuser… and a couple of liter bags of saline… and some chest decompression needles.

But other than that, I'm gonna cut way down. Seriously.

Got any New Year's Resolutions of your own? Chime in with your comments!

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