Murphy's EMT laws

  • Air goes in and out, blood goes round and round, any variation on this is bad.
  • Try not to discuss "your day" at the family dinner table.
  • You may not install a "car catcher" on the front of the ambulance.
  • The more equipment you see on a EMT's belt, the newer they are.
  • Examine all chest clutchers first, bleeders next, then the rest of the whiners.
  • When dealing with citizens, if it felt good saying it, it was wrong.
  • All bleeding stops... eventually.
  • You can't cure stupid.
  • If it's wet and sticky and not yours -- LEAVE IT ALONE !!!
  • "Riding shotgun" does not mean you shoot the tires of non-yielding vehicles.
  • If at all possible, avoid any edible item that fire fighters prepare.
  • EMS is extended periods of boredom, interrupted by moments of sheer terror.
  • Every emergency has three phases: PANIC... FEAR... REMORSE.
  • A good tape job will fix almost anything.
  • Yuppies involved in accidents complain how bumpy the ambulance ride is.
  • It's not a compliment when Policemen say you're crude, crass & cynical.
  • The severity of the injury is directly proportional to the weight of the patient.
  • Turret mounted machine guns usually work better than lights and sirens.
  • Schedule your days off to avoid working during full phases of the Moon.
  • There is no such thing as a "textbook case".
  • You've come to conclude 90% of all drunks are a waste of protoplasm.
  • Never refer to someone in respiratory distress as a "Smurf".
  • Automatically multiply by 3 the number of drinks they claim to have had.
  • Your social skills will be lacking, if all your anecdotes deal with blood.
  • Assume every female between 6 and 106 is pregnant until proven otherwise.
  • Get very, very scared when a child is too quiet.
  • Don't place bets on the glucose level of an unresponsive patient.
  • You cannot institute a surcharge for unruly or surly patients.
  • It is not necessary to have a pet name for your cardiac monitor.
  • As long as stupidity remains epidemic in the US, you have job security.
  • Don't worry about the gunshot wound as much as dealing with the family.
  • 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 Paramedical Laws 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 08:00, your last run will come in at 07:59. (Or if you have early relief coming in you will see you relief sitting at the first stop light from the station, waving!)
  • The Paramedical Law of Gravity:
    Any instrument, when dropped, will always come to rest in the least accessible place possible.
  • The Paramedical Law of Time And Distance:
  • The distance of the call from the Hospital increases as the time to shift change decreases.
    Corollary 1:
    The shortest distance between the station and the scene is under construction.
  • The Paramedical Rule of Random Synchronicity:
    Emergency calls will randomly come in all at once.
  • The Rule of Respiratory Arrest: All patients who are vomiting and must be intubated will have just completed a large meal of BBQ and Onions, Garlic Pizza, and Pickled Herring, all of which was washed down with at least three cans of Beer.
  • The Basic Principle For Dispatchers:
    Assume that all field personnel are idiots until their actions prove your assumption.
  • The Basic Principle For Field Personnell:
    Assume that all dispatchers are idiots until their actions prove your assumption.
  • The Axiom of Late-Night Runs:
    If you respond to any Motor Vehicle Accident call after Midnight and do not find a drunk on the scene, keep looking:
    somebody is still missing.
  • The 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.
    Corollary 1:
    Any patient who chooses to go to Jail instead of the Hospital has probably been in my rig in the past.
  • The First Rule of Equipment: Any piece of Life-saving Equipment will never malfunction or fail until:
    a)You need it to save a life,
    or
    b)The salesman leaves.
  • The Second Rule of Equipment:
    Interchangeable parts don't, leak proof seals will, and self-starters won't.
  • The First Law of Ambulance Operation:
    No matter how fast you drive the Ambulance when responding to a call, it will never be fast enough, until you pass a Police Cruiser, at which point it will be entirely too fast. Unless you are responding to an "Officer Down" call then it is physically impossible to be travelling fast enough!
  • Paramedical Rules of The Bathroom: 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 run increases proportionally to the time elapsed since last going to the Bathroom.
  • 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-street" 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. E.g., "Stumpy Brown's Cabbage Field" is now covered by a shopping center.
  • 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 Rule:
    Any injury, the sight of which makes you want to puke, should immediately be covered by 4x4's and Kerlix.
  • The First Law of EMS Supervisors:
    Given the equation: X - Y = Quality of Care where "X" is the care that you render and "Y" is the assistance supplied by any Supervisor. If you can eliminate "Y" from the equation, the Quality of Care will improve by "X".
    Corollary 1:
    Generally, Field Supervisors have no business in the Field.
    Corollary 2:
    The level of technical competence is inversely proportional to the level of management.
    Corollary 3:
    Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.
  • The Law of Protocol Directives:
    The simplest Protocol Directive 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 Law of EMS Educators:
    Those who can't do, teach.
  • The Law of EMS Evaluators:
    Those who can neither do nor teach, evaluate.
  • The Paramedical Law of Light:
    As the seriousness of any given injury increases, the availability of light to examine that injury decreases.
  • The Paramedical 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 Paramedical 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 Paramedical 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 Rules of Non-Transport:
    A Life-or-Death situation will immediately be created by driving away from the home of patient who has just thrown you out of their house. The seriousness of this situation will increase as the date of your trial approaches. By the time your ex-patient reaches the witness stand, the Jury will wonder how patient in such terrible condition could have possibly walked to the door and greeted you with a large suitcase in each hand.
  • The First Rule of Bystanders:
    Any bystander who offers you help will give you none.
  • The Second Rule of Bystanders:
    Always assume that any Physician found at the scene of an emergency is a Gynecologist, until proven otherwise.
    Corollary 1:
    Never turn your back on a Proctologist.
  • The Rule of Warning Devices:
    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 California, where all pedestrians and motorists are apparently oblivious to any and all traffic laws.
  • The Law of Show-And-Tell:
    A virtually infinite number of wide-eyed and inquisitive school-aged children can climb into the back of any Ambulance, and, given the opportunity, invariably will.
    Corollary 1:
    No emergency run will come in until they are all inside the Ambulance and playing with the equipment.
    Corollary 2:
    It will take at least four times as long to get them all out as it took to get them in.
    Corollary 3:
    A vital piece of equipment will be missing.
  • The Rule of Rookies:
    The true value of any rookie EMT, when expressed numerically, will always be a negative number. The value of this number may be found by simply having the rookie grade his or her ability on a scale from 1 to 10.
    For rookie EMT's medical skill:
    1 = Certified Health Hazard, 10 = Jonny or Roy.
    For rookie EMT's behind the wheel:
    1 = Obstruction to Navigation, 10 = Mario Andretti.
    The true value of the rookie is then found by simply negating the rookie's self-assigned value.
    Corollary 1:
    Treat any rookie assigned to your Unit 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.
    All of the laws above were sent by Ted Fisher
  • It's not a bugle, it's a drain for common sense
  • If you're wearing blue and a badge, it doesn't matter what kind it is when the crowd gets riled
  • The mere tone of your voice during the patient report to the hospital can often determine what you're required to do in the field
  • Don't be surprised if your patient changes names based on whether it's the cops or the FD/EMS asking questions
  • The one patient you don't glove up for is the one with "the crud"
  • You never get incorrectly dispatched or make a wrong turn going to a BS call
  • Patients suffer "ambulancenesia" - they deny any medical problems or history during your assessment, but once you arrive at the ER they "suddenly remember" that they have/had any of a myriad number of medical conditions, causing the ER staff to look at you like you like you're totally clueless
  • "Escriba su nombre aqui" is not spanish for "do you want to go to the hospital?"
    Last eight laws were sent by - Firefighter/Paramedic

As a medic in the Israeli ambulance service, we all go through a training course to learn the techniques of first aid, however, as is often the case, circumstances require using your head to come up with an 'imperfect' way to treat the patient. Therefore, at the end of the course, the instructor provides the students with a bit of advice in the form of a mathematical equation (it sounds better in Hebrew, because it rhymes).

Postulates:
  1. A good medic = An improvising medic
  2. An improvising medic = A medic who doesn't memorize
  3. A medic who doesn't memorize = A medic who forgets
  4. A medic who forgets = A male medic
If 1=2=3=4, then 1=4... A male medic = A good medic! No need to be politically correct.
Sent by pi
EMT = Empty Minded Twit
EMT = Educated Monkey Trainer
EMS = Earn Money Sleeping
EMT = Empty
Sent by Sean