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Top 10 translations to Facebook comments on EMS topics

For those of you who actually go there to have meaningful discussions, I have thoughtfully provided translations for 10 of the most common Facebook EMS forum comment types


If you’ve been on Facebook more than a month and haven’t gotten in an argument, then it’s a pretty sure bet that you’re only posting adorable cat pictures among your closest, most intimate circle of friends. Those guys and gals love you, and they’d never say mean things.

Well, except the one friend who loves dogs. He’s just probably fuming quietly at your latest status update, wondering why you hate him so much.

But for the rest of us, in between news from friends that we truly look forward to, our timelines are cluttered by incessant game requests, pointless memes, and ill-informed political commentary.

But when I really want an argument, I can find no better place than the EMS pages on Facebook. I stopped following most of them over a year ago, but occasionally I feel the need to pressure-test my cerebral arteries, and the commentary on most of those pages does the job nicely.

But for those of you who actually go there to have meaningful discussions (on Facebook? Impossible!), I have thoughtfully provided translations for 10 of the most common Facebook EMS forum comment types.

You’re welcome.

10. “Thirty year paramedic here…” I say that so you’ll think that whatever I type next is valid. I see close to 50 patients a year in my rural service, so I know what I’m talking about.

9. “My opinion is just as valid as yours.” Don’t go throwing your scientific citations at me, pal. I’ve seen spinal immobilization and rotating tourniquets work with my very own eyes. All these eggheads doing this research have an axe to grind against real EMTs, and none of them have ever been in the back of the rig at 3 a.m. going 100 mph trying to save a life. And if one of them were in my rig, I’d give him a wedgie just to show him how EMS really works.

8. “ACLS standards are…” My agency only updates its protocols every five years, and then only the new AHA updates. And I only memorized the algorithms for class, never read the book and certainly never read the research cited. Otherwise I’d be calling them “guidelines” and not “standards.”

7. “Back in the day, we used to do X, and then they told us to do Y, and next year, they’ll probably have us doing X again.” I’m fuzzy on exactly who “they” are, but I really wish we could go back to “Push one of the tan box, and one of the pink box” pharmacology. I miss those days.

6. “TL; DR.” Too long, didn’t read. But I’m not going to let a little thing like not knowing what I’m talking about stop me from offering my opinion about it.

5. “Anything written in all caps with multiple punctuation marks.” My amygdala has been hijacked by the picture in your post, and I never even read the actual article before I dashed off my angry reply. So ignore the fact that I’m totally irrational and think that multiple exclamation points makes up for poor rhetorical skills. Just apologize for the imagined insult and agree with everything I say.

4. “The person who wrote obviously hasn’t been in EMS long.” I’ve been doing this exactly 10 years less than the author, but I don’t know that because I never read her bio. So don’t come around me with your enthusiasm and idealism, man. You ain’t seen the things I’ve seen, man. EMS changes you, man.

3. “Screw you, [insert insult here].” I cannot refute your argument because I lack the wit or the knowledge of the subject, so I’m just going to resort to ad hominem attacks from here on out. Poopyhead.

2. “So what you’re saying is…” STRAWMAN ALERT! I can’t be bothered to debate the point you actually made, so I’m just going to attribute something to you that you never wrote, and attack that statement instead. And when I’m not on Facebook, I play checkers with myself, because I get to win every time.

1. “We all got into this to save lives and help people. Can’t we all just try to get along?” I am an idealistic, rookie EMT who came here looking to gain a little wisdom and knowledge. I scrolled through all those T-shirt ads (and bought four of them) for this? I’ve seen monkey poop fights at the zoo that were more entertaining and productive. I’m outta here.

Got any of your own translations? Share ‘em in the comments! 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.