Trending Topics

EMS Poem: Medical alphabet soup

CPAP to C Dif, ECMO, Ebola – EMS acronyms and TLAs

Editor’s note: Do you have a creative work about your experience as a first responder you’d like to share? Email us at

A menu of medical alphabet soup,

Baffles the layman, throws some for a loop


CPAP to C Dif, ECMO, Ebola

COVID and SALAD, CABG and hives

Munchausen by proxy

CPR saving lives

TLAs and acronyms are regularly used

But know what they mean or you’ll be confused



Anti-clotting intervention interdicts infarction

Mentor the medic to monitor the monitor

Resuscitation repels asystole, thus arresting arrest

A quick balloon balloons survival

Jamming Joules hustles muscle

Targeting temperature means cooling is cool

Shocks from box, rocks your sox


You’re a medic, provider, deliverer of care, 24/7, any time of the year

Your rig is your wagon, your truck or your bus, but if we call you the driver, you will make a fuss

Rob Lawrence has been a leader in civilian and military EMS for over a quarter of a century. He is currently the director of strategic implementation for PRO EMS and its educational arm, Prodigy EMS, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and part-time executive director of the California Ambulance Association.

He previously served as the chief operating officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority (Virginia), which won both state and national EMS Agency of the Year awards during his 10-year tenure. Additionally, he served as COO for Paramedics Plus in Alameda County, California.

Prior to emigrating to the U.S. in 2008, Rob served as the COO for the East of England Ambulance Service in Suffolk County, England, and as the executive director of operations and service development for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust. Rob is a former Army officer and graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served worldwide in a 20-year military career encompassing many prehospital and evacuation leadership roles.

Rob is a board member of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) as well as chair of the American Ambulance Association’s State Association Forum. He writes and podcasts for EMS1 and is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Connect with him on Twitter.