why are ems people so strange?

loadngo

Forum Probie
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I'm about half way through my EMT-I class and it never fails to amuse me the 'EMS garb' worn by most of my fellow students. EMT hats, shirts, pendants, key retainers, etc. This seems to be the rule regardless of the age of the EMT. I don't get it. When I'm not working I don't wear clothes signifying my profession. Nurses, carpenters, etc., other people don't do such things. My question is why - And I have a clue - Many people apparently get into EMS because they lack an identity, and they feel EMS will give them one. This, to my thinking, is not normal. I got into EMS because I wanted an interesting job - Not for approval, "hero status" or anything else.

Is this behavior strange or am I just being a grouch?
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
Community Leader
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I've seen similar stuff with other people in other industries... Healthcare included. If you were to check back with your classmates in a year or two, you'd probably find that they also don't display their EMS affiliation as openly as they do now.
 

silver

Forum Asst. Chief
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sits back and grabs some popcorn

I think it is more because of the subculture involved. Police, and fire do the same, and its is because you see other people do it so why not do the same.

I feel like any job can give you an identity, ie. Coach Silver, Mr. Silver the general contractor, Mr. Silver the plumber, Mr. Silver, CPA, Dr. Silver, Ph.D. Each come with their own identity, and each their own corky stereotypes which are not true for everyone.
 
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PapaBear434

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For the most part, anyone in emergency services are of a slightly different breed. We don't fit into the rest of society sometimes, because we are strange, with a strange sense of humor and strange sense of what is "gross."

There is a certain "brotherhood" aspect. It's a natural, human response to want to belong to a group. And emergency services... Well, it's another group to belong to and be proud of.

That said... People can take it too far. I'm proud of what I am doing and what I am training for. I'll talk people's ear off if they start asking me questions about it. But I don't have an off duty shirt, except for one from an "airplane pull" competition my station entered at the local Navy base where we pulled a C-17 across the tarmac by a rope (came in third behind the Norfolk Police Department and the local SEAL team). I don't have rescue plates, stickers, or anything else on my car. I don't have hats I wear off duty to let everyone know.

The only time I wear anything with a symbol on it is in the winter. We have a pullover sweatshirt with our emblem on the upper left, above the breast pocket. It is small, hardly noticeable, and most people probably think it's a brand logo or something. I don't wear it to show off, it's just warm and comfy.

It's a weird thing. People call them "whackers" on this site. In the Navy, they are called "dig-its." All professions have people like this, WAY too proud of what they do and display it over EVERYTHING. I don't know if it's just more prevalent in EMS or if we are just more apt to key in on it, like the way we will hear a siren coming long before any of our family or friends in the car. But I do agree, it's a little weird and in some cases quite annoying.
 

medic_texas

Forum Crew Member
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Around here, we call those types "crackers". I'm not sure where the term comes from or why it exists, but it's known as "cracker **** medics".

The medic, when off duty, wears either his uniform or his EMS garb complete with pager, radio, hat, shirt, boots, and possibly EMS underwear. When the cracker is on duty, he carries 2 trauma shears, 18 pairs of hemostats, 14 pens, a knife, and who knows what else. Some even have a "bat belt" contraption to store and carry all this crap.

We all know who this is. Stupid crackers.
 

medic417

The Truth Provider
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Around here, we call those types "crackers". I'm not sure where the term comes from or why it exists, but it's known as "cracker **** medics".

The medic, when off duty, wears either his uniform or his EMS garb complete with pager, radio, hat, shirt, boots, and possibly EMS underwear. When the cracker is on duty, he carries 2 trauma shears, 18 pairs of hemostats, 14 pens, a knife, and who knows what else. Some even have a "bat belt" contraption to store and carry all this crap.

We all know who this is. Stupid crackers.

I think you people in Lubbock speak with a lisp as what you describe is a whacker. Or even a WOO WOO.
 

Medic

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getting back to the 'Wack sense of humor' I was volling with a local service. And the bls medic was discussing what he saw the other day which was the biggest mva he had been to. So he was talking the described the 1 dead girl how her torso was almost 150 odd yards from her legs so a als pipes up, wow sounds like a split personality. This poor women standing near by nearly fell over when she heard it. i guess its a way of dealing with stress. I'm sure you guys have heard or said this stuff. or is it just them?
 

PapaBear434

Forum Asst. Chief
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Around here, we call those types "crackers". I'm not sure where the term comes from or why it exists, but it's known as "cracker **** medics".

The medic, when off duty, wears either his uniform or his EMS garb complete with pager, radio, hat, shirt, boots, and possibly EMS underwear. When the cracker is on duty, he carries 2 trauma shears, 18 pairs of hemostats, 14 pens, a knife, and who knows what else. Some even have a "bat belt" contraption to store and carry all this crap.

We all know who this is. Stupid crackers.

Hey now!

rn012r.jpg


This is mine, though I don't carry nearly as much stuff as this guy does in the picture. Heck, I don't even carry trauma shears anymore, since we have two in the jump bag. I carry a crapload of gloves, two pens, a penlight, a roll of tape, and a radio. I put it in the pouch on my belt because the pouch as a Velcro back that I can just take off when I lay down at night. When we get a call, I put it back on and get on the road. No emptying pockets, no scrambling with gear, all of it in one spot and easy to take off and put on.
 

VCEMT

Forum Captain
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I'm about half way through my EMT-I class and it never fails to amuse me the 'EMS garb' worn by most of my fellow students. EMT hats, shirts, pendants, key retainers, etc. This seems to be the rule regardless of the age of the EMT. I don't get it. When I'm not working I don't wear clothes signifying my profession. Nurses, carpenters, etc., other people don't do such things. My question is why - And I have a clue - Many people apparently get into EMS because they lack an identity, and they feel EMS will give them one. This, to my thinking, is not normal. I got into EMS because I wanted an interesting job - Not for approval, "hero status" or anything else.

Is this behavior strange or am I just being a grouch?

So, they're not even working yet? Reminds me of my fire courses. There were and still are a bunch of morons wearings fire department t-shirts and wearing the latest in sun glass fashion. They crack me up.

The only work related item I have worn, outside of work, was a hat with my company's logo.
 

absolutesteve81

Forum Crew Member
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On duty: Trauma shears (can't ever find the ones on the truck when I need them, otherwise they are in plain site). Stethoscope (Not hung around my neck, when I get a run, I place it in my leg pocket so that I can pull it out without effort). An ink pen or two and my pen-light. During cooler months I will also bring in my personalized jacket or winter coat

Off duty, my car has a small star of life decal on the bumper

I do have a hat that I think it pretty awesome, but I only wear it occasionally at work.


Now back when I first became licensed, I suppose I was a 'whacker'. I didnt have the lights/sirens on my car BUT I did carry around a stocked trauma bag, decals galore over my vehicle, and enough tools on my belt to put Batman to shame.
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
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EMS is full of strange people because EMS is strange work.

Also, I HATE radio harnesses. I wonder if I'm really allowed to be on SAR if I hate those.
 

imurphy

Forum Captain
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Think the earlier into a career, the more stuff they tend to have.

Back in the 90s when I started, I had a bag of everything, but now all I have in my car at all times is my books for school and a sleeping bag in case I have to do an unexpected overnight (which has ahappened a number of times! Ugh, hospital linens!!)

At school, I wear my work uniform on Wednesdays as I finish my 24 at 0700 and have to be in school at 0730! No time to change.

Some of my fellow students who still have the ink wet on their EMT cards wear a number of differnet EMS / fire shirts. Personally, I like to be as unidentifiable as possible when I'm off the clock!
 

Tincanfireman

Airfield Operations
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I think anyone who works in any of the emergency services is (and should be) justifiably proud of their job. This may not apply to the terminal burn-outs, but for the most part, helping others in need is a noble profession. The difference between "us" and other professions seems to be that some of us carry that pride to the extreme. An IT geek wearing an "Intel Inside" shirt attracts little attention, mostly because it's usually seen on a nondescript blue t-shirt or polo, hardly the way to make yourself noticed. On the other hand, if you attend any kind of EMS or fire muster, convention, or seminar, you'll rarely see a forest green or navy polo with a small star of life or fire helmet. What you *will* see is every color of fluorescent ink that can be applied to a shirt, great big bold logos, symbols, and insignia. This isn't the fault of the vendors, it's pure supply and demand. The conservative stuff sits on the shelf, and the more flamboyant stuff sells out by Saturday at noon. Can't blame a guy for trying to make a buck. Granted, a lot of this is the "ohwowI'manEMTandIsavelivesforaliving" feelings of the newly certified, and a great many of us have been there and have (or have had) a closet full of t-shirts to show for it. Temper those feelings with a few years on the street and most of that goes away on it's own. Now, if you happen to think that fluorescent logos are unbelievably stylish and trendy, go right ahead and wear them. Look for me, wearing the forest green polo and khaki's, with nary a logo to be seen.
 

PapaBear434

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I guess I DO keep a bag in my car. Nothing huge, though. A winding flashlight, a couple sets of gloves, some 4x4s, roll of tape, trauma dressing and two rolls of cling wrap.
 

rescue99

Forum Deputy Chief
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I'm about half way through my EMT-I class and it never fails to amuse me the 'EMS garb' worn by most of my fellow students. EMT hats, shirts, pendants, key retainers, etc. This seems to be the rule regardless of the age of the EMT. I don't get it. When I'm not working I don't wear clothes signifying my profession. Nurses, carpenters, etc., other people don't do such things. My question is why - And I have a clue - Many people apparently get into EMS because they lack an identity, and they feel EMS will give them one. This, to my thinking, is not normal. I got into EMS because I wanted an interesting job - Not for approval, "hero status" or anything else.

Is this behavior strange or am I just being a grouch?

Annnnnnd..you posed this question because ya didn't want the entire cyber EMS world to notice, right Loadngo? People just like feeling pride in the things they do and enjoy IMHO.
 

Dominion

Forum Asst. Chief
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A few topics on this already but here goes:

I won't get into the debate of what I think is right and what i think is over the top but I'll preface what I personally wear and use and I don't consider myself a whacker by any definition of the term.

On-Duty: I arrive with sheers in my leg pocket and my own scope. I do this because sheers are constantly disappearing from trucks and bags and supply never had the stocked and because using the same scope as someone else...ew. Radio on belt when I'm out of the truck or away from stand by location. Extra gloves in my thigh pocket. Everything else is in either side pockets (wallet, cell phone, keys). I don't carry anything on my belt except the radio when I'm away from the truck.

Off-duty: I do not wear uniforms off-duty, I do not wear EMS clothing off duty, and the only thing I have with me that is EMS related is the O2 Wrench that hands on my keychain. Again this disappeared from the trucks frequently and supply never had them.

My car has a single 2" x 2" star of life sticker in the lower left hand corner of my rear window. Above that is my Rebel Alliance Sticker (from star wars) and above that another personal symbol (that I won't bring up here) that like minded people recognize. I do have a pocket mask in the back window shelf area but it's been there for three years, I threw it up there the day I got it in basic class andj ust never took it out :p (it's in a small red case, it could be anything unless you knew what it was).

At home in my office area I have my PC (which has a dueling Jedi's background....woo go star wars) and on my wall next to my PC is a series of hooks for my scope and keys and such. Behind my desk is a star of life placard (about 8x8inches, round, very simple single snake and staff, star of life, and says Emergency Medical Services around it). Around that placard i have my accomplishments and a spot where my paramedic stuff will go. On a shelf below that I have Engine 20 (from LFD) and Squad whatever also from LFD. I have these because they are collectible items specifically made after the trucks in my area. Engine 20 because I've lived next door to it for several years and the squad just for the EMS side of it. I'm not affiliated with fire side at all and don't want to be a fire guy....ever....
 

JonTullos

Forum Captain
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There's nothing wrong with being proud of your chosen profession. Lord knows that I am! But you have to admit that there are too many folks who go too far over the "whacker" line and it makes all of us look bad. It's unfortunate but it happens. I say be proud and even show it off a little if you so choose... just please don't do crazy stuff like having the Batman belt and wearing your uni off duty. That's just crazy.
 

Dominion

Forum Asst. Chief
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http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/20154813/index.html

This character isn't strange..he's a bit under the weather <_<

lol, to think of what was happening in the ems community (here locally in Louisville) when that happened. I had a text message within 10 minutes of the general info, and 30 minutes later everyone in EMS knew what happened (allegedly happened at the time). Almost like you hate to have felt sorry for him at the time.
 
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enjoynz

Lady Enjoynz
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I assume it was an EMS class you noticed your class mates or in public???
People taking pride in their profession/interest is not a crime or strange.
In New Zealand while taking EMS classes. We have to wear our uniforms as part of the ambulance services policy.:)
I know most of you over there just wear tee-shirts with a logo on it while in training???
We are not allowed to wear part of our uniform around the streets when not on duty or ambulance business, so that people will notice us.:ph34r:
And gone are the days that they printed tee-shirts for the ambo's to wear the service logo as casual off duty clothing.

Enjoynz
 

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