Playing well with others

Back in the days of the rose colored glasses, before I ever dreamed of any future that did not include a Nobel Prize, I went to college. I had a complete stranger for a roommate in the dorms, and a few weeks before school started, I received some information about her and the opportunity to contact her.

This process turned a completely intimidating theory of a humanoid with weird habits, messy tendencies, and horrible taste in music into a real girl named Susannah with an affinity for country music and deep roots in religion. Perhaps not my kind of girl on the norm, but at least she was no longer a looming, scary archetype of the unknown. SusieQ and I weren’t best friends by any means, but we were comfortable enough for me to hold back her hair the first time she got a hold of some wine coolers.

I work in an agency with a few hundred folks in the field and a fairly normal EMS worthy turnaround rate. I don’t always know who my coworkers are and I suspect the same is true for many of my constituents. I may have more knowledge of many of my colleagues than I did of my college roommate, but SusieQ and I never had to work smoothly together to fight off the Grim Reaper.

Does your agency use any tool for biographical information to brief new partners in advance? Do you prepare a dorm assignment biography in advance? Do you copy the centerfolds’ interviews from Playboy?

If you could know something about your future partner, other than the vague ideas one grasps from others’ gossip and the occasional walk-by greeting in the wash bay, what would you want to know? What would you want them to know about you?

I think I would want to know a few basic things. Their certification level, their comfort level with the job, how long they have been at the agency, where they are from, what they prefer to do to pass the time on shift, and something fun and EMS related.

What do you folks think?


  • Heidifetters says:

    Agreed! Since I have been MIA, I would gladly complete a want ad for a partner. Even though I have worked at Medic for 5 years, when I returned last time I was told I was a myth. Ummmm yeah…. Not so much……

  • Geoffrey Horning says:

    You’re back! 

    I thought for sure we’d lost you to that place where old bloggers go…I’ve had the pleasure and the misfortune of working Hospital/small department rural/urban interface type EMS my entire career.  We all know each other and the only time I get a stranger is when we hire someone new.  However, I have had a few moments when I didn’t know much about the person I was working with.  In these cases, I have a few rules that I like to follow.  Working with primarily EMT-B’s and being the senior medic 90% of the time anyway, I usually get my way. 

    Rule #1:  Whatever happens, we both get to go home in the morning. 
    Rule #2:  Either person can tell the other to slow down, but neither can tell the other to speed up. 
    Rule #3:  We split the driving responsibility.  To a point at least
    Rule #4:  Remain calm at all times, remember were the responders to the incident, not the cause.  Lets just make the most out of it. 

    When I was younger, I used to throw in the My license-My responsibility-MY TRUCK BS, but as I’ve gotten older I don’t bother with that sort of arrogance.  Shit happens, we’ll split the responsibility. 

    Oh and one last thing that I’m kinda famous for…we know where were going BEFORE the truck moves. GPS with map verification fine, dispatch walking us in fine, been there a dozen times fine…But, “uh I think that’s this direction” will cause me to have a “come apart” that could only be funnier if I wasn’t so damn serious!

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