Basics #4: Keep calm and drive on

The absolute majority of people and their families do not want to see responding crews freaking out. Other than too much TV and movies, I never understood where some of our co-workers get the idea that it’s OK to be yelling and screaming at other personnel on a call. Imagine you called 911 and now the people who are supposed to take care of your problem are now running around with their panties in a wad.


Instead, I truly think you should be at a point where your outward tranquility should occasionally get you a complaint or two that you don’t care or you aren’t concerned. Like one particularly incompetent engine company who was angry that I told them to “calm the fuck down” on a simple evisceration. Take a lesson from my episode: It’s almost impossible to get an excited crew to “calm the fuck down.”

You really shouldn’t care. At least during the call. You make MUCH better decisions when you are objective and your mind is not clouded by emotion.

“Your head fell off? Yeah, yeah, I understand that, but please stop screaming at me. And you got your insurance card on you?”

And then after that, whoever is driving needs to remember to DRIVE CALMLY so stuff can get done in the back of the ambulance.

I’m certainly not saying you shouldn’t care or experience some emotions after the call. You should, because it’s good for your mental health. But during the call, it can be very bad for your license.

3 thoughts on “Basics #4: Keep calm and drive on”

  1. It can also be bad for your patient. I’ve seen too many who got all spazzed out provide some really, really crappy patient care…

  2. And to think. I’ve been yelled at for being too calm, because my lack of anxiety led the hospital to not believe that me stating that the meter long laceration was as controlled as could be expected led them to think it wasn’t an emergency.

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