Sunday 5 February 2012

The Laws of EMS

The first law of EMS: All emergency calls will wait until you begin to eat, regardless of the time.
  • Corollary 1: Fewer accidents would occur if EMS personnel would never eat.
  • Corollary 2: Always order food "to go"

The EMS law of Time:
  • There is absolutely no relationship between the time at which you are supposed to get off shift and the time at which you will get off shift.
  • Given the following equation: T + 1 Minute = Relief Time, "T" will always be the time of the last call of your shift. E.g., If you are supposed to get off shift at 1900, your last run will come in at 1859.
The EMS law of Gravity: Any instrument, when dropped, will always come to rest in the least accessible place possible.

The EMS law of Time and Distance: The distance of the call from the Hospital increases as the time to shift change decreases.
  • Corolloary 1: The shortest distance between the station and the scene is under construction.

The EMS Law of stairs:   The severity of a patients illness or injury is directly proportional to the number of stairs said patient has climbed to get away from the front door. The worse  the patient is the more stairs they will have climbed.

  • Corollary 1: If a patient can't walk, has chest pain or is fitting they will have gone upstairs to call 999
  • Corollary 2: If a patient is heavy they will have gone upstairs to call 999

The EMS law of Random Simultaneity:  Emergency calls will randomly come in all at once.

The EMS law of Respiratory Arrest: All patients, for whom Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation must be provided, will have just completed a large meal of Barbecue and Onions, Garlic Pizza, and Pickled Herring, which was washed down with at least three cans of Beer.

The EMS law of Options: Any patient, when given the option of either going to Jail or going to the Hospital by a Police Officer, will always be inside the Ambulance before you are.

The first law of Equipment: Any piece of Life-saving Equipment will never malfunction or fail until you need it to save a life.

The second law of Equipment: Interchangeable parts don't, leak proof seals will, and self-starters won't.

The first law of Ambulance Driving: No matter how fast you drive the Ambulance when responding to a call, it will never be fast enough.

The EMS law of Bathrooms:
  • If a call is received between 0500 and 0700, the location of the call will always be in a Bathroom.
  • If you have just gone to the Bathroom, no call will be received.
  • If you have not just gone to the Bathroom, you will soon regret it.
  • The probability of receiving a job increases proportionally to the time elapsed since last going to the Bathroom.

The EMS law of Light: As the seriousness of any given injury increases, the availability of light to examine that injury decreases.

The EMS law of Space: The amount of space which is needed to work on a patient varies inversely with the amount of space which is available to work on that patient.

The EMS Theory of Relativity: The number of distraught and uncooperative relatives surrounding any given patient varies exponentially with the seriousness of the patient's illness or injury.

The EMS Theory of Weight: The weight of the patient that you are about to transport increases by the square of the sum of the number of floors which must be ascended to reach the patient plus the number of floors which must be descended while carrying the patient.
  • Corollary 1: Very heavy patients tend to gravitate toward locations which are furthest from mean sea level.
  • Corollary 2: If the patient is heavy, the elevator is broken, and the lights in the stairwell are out.

The Axiom of Late Night Jobs: If you respond to any Road Traffic Collision after Midnight and do not find a drunk on scene, keep looking: somebody is still missing.

The first principle of Triage: In any accident, the degree of injury suffered by a patient is inversely proportional to the amount and volume of agonized screaming produced by that patient.

The Gross Injury law: Any injury, the sight of which makes you sick, should immediately be covered by a number 3 dressing and peerhaft.

The Basic Principle for Dispatchers: Assume that all front line staff are idiots until their actions prove your assumption.

The Basic Principle for Front Line Staff: Assume that all dispatchers are idiots until their actions prove your assumption.

Basic assumption about Dispatchers: Given the opportunity, any Dispatcher will be only too happy to tell you where to go, regardless of whether or not (s)he actually knows where that may be.
  • Corollary 1: The existence or non-existence of any given location is of only minor importance to a Dispatcher.
  • Corollary 2: Any street designated as a "Cross-road" by a Dispatcher probably isn't.
  • Corollary 3: If a street name CAN be mispronounced, a Dispatcher WILL mispronounce it.
  • Corollary 4: If a street name CANNOT be mispronounced, a Dispatcher WILL mispronounce it.
  • Corollary 5: A Dispatcher will always refer to a given location in the most obscure manner as possible.

The first law of Duty Station Officers: Take the equation: X - Y = Quality of Care, where "X" is the care that you render and "Y" is the assistance supplied by any DSO. If you can eliminate "Y" from the equation, the Quality of Care will improve by "X".
  • Corollary 1: Generally, DSOs have no business on the road.
  • Corollary 2: The level of technical competence is inversely proportional to the number of pips on their shoulder
  • Corollary 3: Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.
The law of Training Officers: Those who can't do, teach.

The law of Evaluators: Those who can't do or teach, evaluate.

The law of Protocols and Guidelines: The simplest Protocol or Guideline will be worded in the most obscure and complicated manner possible. Speeds, for example, will be expressed as ‘Furlongs per Fortnight’ and flow rates as ‘Hogsheads per Hour.
  • Corollary 1: If you don't understand it, it must be intuitively obvious.
  • Corollary 2: If you can understand it, you probably don't.

The first rule of Bystanders: Any bystander who offers you help will give you none.

The second rule of Bystanders: Always assume that any Doctor found at the scene of an emergency is a Gynaecologist, until proven otherwise.

The EMS rule of Warning Devises: Any Ambulance, whether it is responding to a call or traveling to a Hospital, with Lights and Siren, will be totally ignored by all motorists, pedestrians, and dogs which may be found in or near the roads along its route.
  • Corollary 1: Ambulance Sirens can cause acute and total, but transient, deafness.
  • Corollary 2: Ambulance Lights can cause acute and total, but transient, blindness.
Note: This Rule does not apply in Hackney, where all pedestrians and motorists are apparently oblivious to any and all traffic laws.

The rule of Rookies: Treat any rookie EMT or Driver assigned to you as you would a Bystander. (See The First Rule of Bystanders, above.)

The Rule of Rules: As soon as an EMS Rule is accepted as absolute, an exception to that Rule will immediately occur.

The above is a compilation of various lists scattered over t'interweb with a few of my own additions and tweaks chucked in for good measure!