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2011 gift guide for EMTs and paramedics

Do you know what you’re going to get the favorite medic in your life?

Do your loved ones have a hard time Christmas shopping for you? This guide will give them plenty of ideas for what to get the EMS professional in their life. Many of the products can be found online and shipped in time for holiday gift giving.

Tools of the Trade
The stethoscope is the ubiquitous tool of the EMS profession. Instead of relying on the cheap-o stethoscope stuffed into the jump kit or the relic hanging from the grab bar in the patient care compartment, purchase a good stethoscope. Prices at BoundTree range from under $25 to more than $200. Spend enough so that you will be disappointed if the stethoscope is lost, but don’t spend so much that the recipient will have to work extra shifts to replace it.

Add to the EMS provider’s toolbox with an alternative to the trauma shear. The TRECK by Talon Rescue can remove multiple layers in a single cut. Rip Shears attach to trauma shears.

A WANTYNU Oxygen wrench or a StatGear medical tape holder make excellent stocking stuffers. A box of black medium point pens are also sure to be appreciated by the EMS provider who is always searching for a pen.

Lunch bag and water bottle
It is tough to eat well between emergency calls. An important first step is bringing healthy snacks and beverages. An insulated lunch bag, preferably with a rigid interior liner, will help keep food from getting crushed when it is stuffed behind the seat while making sure healthy food is always close at hand. A re-usable water bottle, like the Clean Bottle, can be refilled for free and tucked in a cup holder, lunch bag, or rolled under the seat.

Gear organization and protection
Does your EMS provider spend their entire day in the ambulance either running calls or posting on street corners? If they do, the ambulance is their office as well as their rec room, lunch room, and break room. A durable day pack or briefcase is essential for stowing a book, magazines, ereader, snacks, and other sundries. Help them stay organized on the go with a Duluth Trading Company Cab Commander or briefcase.

EMS providers are constantly on the move and work in all environments. OtterBox makes cases for all of the top models of smartphones and tablets.

Music, Movies, and Books
The idle time between calls can be one of the most challenging aspects of an EMS job. Help fill their downtime with an Amazon Kindle e-reader, subscription to Netflix streaming video service, or a subscription to EMS World or JEMS magazines. Need some books for the new ereader? Look for titles by Peter Canning, Kelly Grayson, Michael Morse, and Michael Perry.

Gift Cards
Not sure? Or want to let the recipient choose? Then consider a gift card from:

  • iTunes for a paramedic or EMT study app like EMT Review or Paramedic Review.
  • Southwest Airlines for air travel to the March 2012 EMS Today conference in Baltimore or October 2012 EMS World Expo in New Orleans.
  • REI for a new watch, fleece hat or gloves, or a thermal under layer for cold winter nights.

What do you think is the best gift for an EMT student? What will brighten the day of a veteran paramedic? Share your ideas in the comments.

Greg Friese, MS, NRP, is the Lexipol Editorial Director, leading the efforts of the editorial team on Police1, FireRescue1, Corrections1 and EMS1. Greg served as the EMS1 editor-in-chief for five years. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree from the University of Idaho. He is an educator, author, national registry paramedic since 2005, and a long-distance runner. Greg was a 2010 recipient of the EMS 10 Award for innovation. He is also a three-time Jesse H. Neal award winner, the most prestigious award in specialized journalism, and the 2018 and 2020 Eddie Award winner for best Column/Blog. Connect with Greg on LinkedIn.