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Poll call: Majority of responders answer non-critical calls loaded with gear

“Whatever you don’t bring is what you’re going to need,” one commenter wrote

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Photo/Dan Limmer

After the body camera footage was released in the case of the two Ill. EMTs charged with first-degree murder, many analyzing the video noted the lack of supplies the providers brought into Earl Moore Jr.’s home.

Doug Wolfberg, Esq.; and Steve Wirth, Esq., noted that once inside the patient’s home, EMT Peggy Finley had a “small tablet and pen, but no medical equipment.” In his article on prone positioning, Kelly Grayson highlighted that Finley “did absolutely no assessment of the patient in the house; all she did was write down a few demographics and speak to the patient in a surly and apathetic manner.”

In a recent poll, we asked EMS1 readers what they bring to the patient’s side on non-critical calls. Most of the respondents answered that they are loaded with a full response bag and a monitor:


While 51% were fully stocked, even on non-critical calls, 27% bring a small kit with the basics, while 17% said what they bring depends on how far they are from the ambulance. Only 6% said they don’t bring supplies on non-critical calls, opting instead to bring the patient to the ambulance in those instances.

EMS1 Reader Reactions

The poll question also prompted a lively discussion on the EMS1 Facebook page. Check out what readers had to say and add your own comments below.

Everything you need for the worst possible senerio! Nothing is worse or more unprofessional then sending you partner back to the Rig, because you were too lazy and not prepared to handle the pt. Yes all Medics wear their stethoscope at all times and use it on every pt. Be the best, not the rest!” — Gregory M.

Stretcher is pre-loaded with LP15, airway bag, and aid bag. Would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Takes barely any effort to just return it back on a non-critical call.” — Marshall W.

It all depends on where you work and what the situation is. If we can drive up to a pt who is in a parking lot and the gear in the truck is 10 feet away from the pt and the pt is alert and ambulatory, I probably won’t grab anything and just walk the pt into the truck. On the other hand, it we drive out to a farm and find that the pt is a half mile away from where we park our truck, then we are bringing everything.

“Bottom line is to do the right thing in each and every unique situation without setting yourself up for failure.” — Jeff. H.

Really depends on the call. Generally, the lifepak and med kit and airway bag if needed.” — Kathy C.

Even as a single medic on a car, every single call: jump bag, med bag, monitor, O2, suction. No excuses for being willfully unprepared.” — Tyron M.

Sounds like some of you should just park the ambulance in the living room.” — Cori R.

Well, my former system was stretcher to the door with monitor, O2 bag and ‘jump’ bag, during the height of the pandemic it was only the monitor. I hate to go in empty handed, but I am also a ‘let’s get you to the truck’ kind of person. I prefer to do everything en route, but I am used to 45 min. transports and hate camping out on scene.” — Jessica B.

Apartment building? Everything, I’m not coming back down when the stubbed toe is an arrest. If it’s a normal house I’ll bring the defib with a thermometer, glucometer and a single IV lock in a little pouch we have attached.” — Seth T.

We always roll the gurney as close as we can with at least a monitor and the first in bag, every call.” — Steve C.

Honestly depends on the call. If it’s a fall, then my monitor and a backboard. Pedi my monitor and med bag. Code then monitor, med bag and stretcher. Generally, FD is on scene and will advise if we need a stairchair or stretcher. If it’s a car crash or shooting, a backboard, stretcher and monitor. No need to bog yourself down if you don’t need to. Think of your back!” — Dawnmarie S.

Given the wild inaccuracy of most ‘emergency’ calls, you take the viva and the drug kit as a minimum – and supplement with first aid, maternity or others as needed.” — Brendon H.

LP15, ‘everything’ bag, c-collar (if it’s called as a fall) and stretcher at least to door.” — Michael F.

Whatever you don’t bring is what you’re going to need.” — Cass S.

Everything, and stretcher to the door. Just went on a call for a nosebleed. She arrested minutes after walking in the door. You just never know.” — Lisa H.


Read next:

You’ve seen the footage – Now what?: Part 2

Teaching points from the ‘malpractice or murder’ case: Action steps for EMS practitioners

Rachel Engel is an award-winning journalist and the senior editor of and In addition to her regular editing duties, Engel seeks to tell the heroic, human stories of first responders and the importance of their work. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, and began her career as a freelance writer, focusing on government and military issues. Engel joined Lexipol in 2015 and has since reported on issues related to public safety. Engel lives in Wichita, Kansas. She can be reached via email.