While this may sound scary, fear not. The EMS Gods are truly on our side. They are a friendly bunch an will treat you well, so long as you follow these 5 rules:
- Thou shall not camp at hospitals:
Camping at hospitals is defined by spending more than 15 minutes at the facility once your patient has been transferred to their care. This makes The EMS Gods angry as the hospital is the one place that their powers are useless. Think of it like a safe haven. Sure, you could sit inside and remain safe, but just remember that you have to leave sometime. Piss them off and you can be sure to catch that late call at the local convalescent home.
- Thou shall not dodge calls:
Hiding from dispatch or lying about your location will land you in some big trouble. Not to mention the heat you would take from your coworkers and supervisors. Be honest. Take the call and shut up. Dodging will land you an even worse call and will leave you wishing that you would have just took the first one.
- Thou shall not use the “Q” word:
That word I’m talking about is “Quiet”. This is often said to state the obvious during periods of low call volume and enjoyable downtime. We all know that it’s quiet, you don’t have to say it. Using this forbidden word will almost immediately summon the army of 911 callers and EMS Armageddon will begin. It’s that serious. I’m sure that as I’m writing this, some EMS system is suffering as a result of me using the word. The collateral damage is a small price to pay to save thousands of EMS professionals around the world.
- Thou shall not mouth off to dispatch:
While the location of the EMS Gods is officially unknown, it is often hypothesized that they reside in dispatch centers. The EMS Gods are proponents of professional conduct over the radio. They hate bad attitudes and usually respond in full force. It is always wise to keep your cool on the air. No matter how angry you are or how stupid the dispatcher may seem, just shut up and run the call. It’s not worth the trouble that comes when you open your mouth. Hand the mic to your partner and keep everyone happy.
- Thou shall not make plans after work:
This is by far the most important rule to follow. You should never depend on getting off work on time in order to make your plans. This is the party fouls of all party fouls. Trust me because I speak from personal experience. The EMS Gods see this as opportunity to show you who’s in charge. Do yourself a favor and either take the day off or make better plans.
The EMS Gods realize that nobody is perfect and therefore offer forgiveness to those who seek redemption. If you break any of the rules above, there are some steps that you can take to redeem yourself and enjoy a pleasant shift. There is no guarantee that these will work as the EMS Gods take these requests on a case by case basis. It is however, your only chance to avoid punishment.
Here are 5 examples of sacrifices you can make to appease the holy ones:
- Jump a less than desired call:
Normally we are all over the shootings, full arrests, traffic collisions, etc. What we don’t do is voluntarily jump into action when we hear a call at the residence of a frequent flier or a local convalescent home. Think of these as your golden opportunity at a second chance. When you hear these calls being dispatched, jump up and take them. This will please your coworkers and quite possibly make the EMS Gods happy.
- Volunteer for a long distance transfer:
Long distance transfers can be tedious and at times annoying. Some people love them and some people hate them. If you stand on the hate side of the fence, make the sacrifice and take the call. Who knows, you might even dodge the bullet of a high call volume while your gone. The EMS Gods see this as a good gesture will certainly take it into consideration when determining your punishment.
- Sacrifice a meal:
It’s no secret that we transform from EMS professionals into beasts when we miss a meal. Bedside manners, professionalism and patience all drop simultaneously with our blood sugar. If you think you have what it takes, skip that meal and maintain your cool. This will show the EMS Gods that you are worthy of redemption.
- Pick up an overtime shift:
Most of us enjoy our days off and don’t want to be bothered. Instead of turning off your phone and breaking open that much needed beer, try calling your supervisor and offering to pick up a last minute shift that he needs covered. Doing so shows dedication and a strong work ethic. The EMS Gods will be pleased. This of course might not be a good idea if you violated rule #5.
- Offer to drive:
If you are a paramedic working on a single medic rig, try giving your partner a break and allowing him or her to nod off for a while. Not only will you please your partner, but the EMS Gods will see that you are a caring, selfless person. They might just forget about that nasty word you said over the radio and let you slide.
Sacrifices to the EMS Gods are not necessarily something that you do after you have been bad. They can be used even if you are on good terms with the almighty ones. Staying on their good side and building up brownie points never hurt anyone. Do a couple preemptive good deeds and they might even let you slide on a couple screw-ups in the future.