I was lucky to have a good EMT instructor when I took my EMT-B class. He was fantastic full man with years of experience and good morals. He’s a fair, wise, knowledgeable and an all around nice guy. Yet he had a UN canny knack of teaching us the little things a text book could not possibly print. One thing he told us was that you will get to know your partners on the truck better than your best friend or even your spouse.
I work with a fantastic couple of partners at the Ambulance Service, I spend more time with them then I do with my girl friend it seems. In EMS you entrust your life to your partner for the good the bad and the crazy. People outside of EMS don’t understand this for the most part sadly. You have to work as a team to get the job done during a shift and when the crap hits the fan both of you have to be cool calm and collected.
However some people are better to work with then others as life goes. You and your partner have to be in perfect communication and sink. If you’re not your heading for an accident or major risk to your life. My time in the Military thought me this well however a single EMT class does not prepare a lot of EMTs for this.
One day I and my partner were doing a normal transfer and it all went wrong in the blink of an eye. I won’t go into details since I don’t want to name names or the specifics for legal reasons. The root cause of the problem was mistrust and lack of communication. Needless to say we had a major incident where my partner broke down in a very bad way that adversely affected the health and welfare of a patient and betrayed my trust.
In an instant I found the training I received in my EMT class kick in like clockwork or a backup generator. Just like that I did a full head to toe trauma assessment and I was solely caring for this patient. The reason only I was caring for this patient was because I had to send my partner back to the truck to calm down and regroup since said partner was lost. In the end the patient was cared for and taken care of in a professional way.
After the call and the mountain of paper work a something like this generates I sat down with my partner and talked about what went wrong. Sadly my partner was blaming the whole things on me and claimed outlandish things about me during the call to supervision. I maintained the truth and was 100 percent honest about what happened. This served me well with my co workers and supervisors in the after math and subsequent investigation.
I never thought I would have a partner betray the fundamental trust we as EMS professionals have in each other. It’s a sad day when your partner who has more experience then you as an EMT lets you down in a major way. This bothered me in a major way for a long time after this call, my partner was openly joking about the call to people and was seemingly happy about what happened with made me even more UN happy.
I am just glad I had the proper training and skill to provide outstanding patient care in times of extreme duress. I also learned a valuable lesson of how to properly communicate with my partner to make sure were 100 percent on the same page before, during and after any call. It’s so easy to rush and muddle though a call and just get it done but it does not always do good things for your patient.
In the end my experience and EMT training served me well. It’s impressive during times of extreme duress when your training kicks in like a machine. For that I have my EMT instructor to thank many times over without you I would not be the fine EMT I am today.