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What advice would you give a new EMS supervisor? WRONG answers only!

“Micromanage everything” and other bad advice for new industry leaders. Rank your favorites

By EMS1 Staff

Nothing bonds two providers more than commiserating over a supervisor who couldn’t lead themself out of a paper bag. While there are dozens of worthwhile articles that address the toxicity of bad leadership, sometimes what you need is a little sarcasm to help get you through the day with a tough supervisor. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of things new EMS supervisors should absolutely not do.

What would you add to this list? Add a comment to the form below to share your cheeky nugget of wisdom, and upvote your favorite submission of the worst advice for new EMS supervisors in our embedded poll below.

EMS1 readers share their worst advice for new leaders

  • “Instead of delegating for efficiency, tell your subordinates to do things you think you are too good to do.”

  • “Remember the only explanation you ever have to give is ‘because I said so.’”
  • “Let everyone know you’re in charge and if you want their opinion, you’ll give it to them.”
  • “Trust that your newbie is right! They just got out of school, so they know the latest and greatest way to do things!”
  • “Get on the radio and be sure to help run the scene from across town. Also try and get helicopters coordinated when you’re also not on scene and know the landing zones or condition of the patient. Bonus points for asking directions to the scene over the radio when everyone knows you have active911 and a brand-new iPhone. Also, be sure to tell a crew to call you on your cell when they’re actively involved in patient care on a critical call.”
  • “Criticize (l mean critique ?) your supervisors, off duty staff, and pretty much anything that annoys you to the staff on duty at that time. And remember you know everything, and everyone else is inferior, that is obviously ? why you got the job ??.”
  • “Make sure you assert dominance. They should respect you just because on your title and the bars on your collar.”
  • “Make sure your employees know that they need a direct order from you to use the restroom. Write disciplinary actions for every violation, no matter how petty.”
  • “Micromanage everything.”
  • “Make sure to show up at a post or quarters at about 0300, turn all the lights on, and be loud so you can properly interface with your crews and see how they’re doing.”
  • “Crews love it when you show up on scene, take over their calls, then don’t stick around to transport. It helps them realize that you are smarter than them. Especially when they are typing up the chart for the call you ran. It helps them learn!”
  • “Never be on you crew’s side when something happened, that helps them to grow a spine and learn how to beat management, at the end of the day your ass is the only one worth to save.”
  • “Be friends with everyone.”