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Design a distinct uniform to identify professional EMS

Do we need a distinct EMS uniform?  

82 members have voted

  1. 1.

    • Yes, We need a professional look
    • No, I like looking like a cop/FF
    • I prefer to wear whatever I want

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The scrub top idea with the BDU's or medic pants is not a bad idea. But, I think we need lettering across the back of the scrub as well as the front that says EMS, or your department, or something else for that matter. Plain scrub tops don't scream professional to me, any more than a T shirt does. And different colored tops are used to indicate different things in the prison population. Plain white top with darker pants, for example, indicates a suicide risk, at least for one prison close to where I live.

Personally, I think polos are not a bad option. Here's why I think this. Polos are cost effective. You can get well constructed, climate comfortable polos for a department in a fairly cost effective manner. Collared shirts have always spoken to me as being more professional than non-collared shirts, and I think a tucked in scrub top would end up looking just like some V-neck shirt. Maybe I'm wrong. I will go try on a scrub top with EMS pants and get back to you, perhaps with pictures.

What about purple, or *BRIGHT* green, think tennis ball or international safety placard green, or electric blue shirts? Green and blue come in variations, ya know. If you really want to stand out from your fellow responders and LEO's that much, then do it right. Pick a nice distinctive color and let's have that associated with EMS.

I thought white was that color... but I agree that it is a pain to keep clean and that a bad shift will end up making me look like a slob to quite a few patients. Sorry, that doesn't help our professional image, and while theoreticals are always great, we have to operate in the real world. Also, if companies are forced to provide their employees with a million shirts so that they can change the instant they have some sort of soil, you're going to see a lot of employees in poorly made, cheap shirts. More so than we already see. Don't think that will help us here either.

Well, that leaves us with one conclusion only... it's time to introduce the EMS muumuu... easy to fasten, fits multiple body configurations, and nice and comfy... :lol: Shall we argue about what color it should be? :D



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What about hot pink? Or indigo for that matter. :roll: I agree with many in this thread that Scrubs do not look professional. I as well, like the idea of baseball caps or other hats of sorts. How many cops do you see wearing baseball caps? I agree that the badges have to go. There is no need for them, unless your going to an EMS banquet, where it's in your dress uniform. No need for them to be on the streets. I can see what people are saying about the flight/jump suits. If they don't fit right, they look like shit. So what is the solution here? I believe EMS pants are fine, but what about the top half? What's wrong with polo shirts? As long as they are tucked in, clean, and not wrinkled, I don't see whats wrong with them. I hear many complaining that they don't have pockets, but you have plenty, sometimes too many pockets on your pants, so put everything from your top pockets to your pants. That's just my opinion, and it's only one.

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Just stirring the pot a bit more: What ever the uniform turns out to be, are you going to have the name of the service on the back?

If yes, will you be designing a patch to be sewn on? Or will you have it embroidered on? What style embroidery print? What size? What color? Member's name, and/or title?

What, if any, emblem in addition to the department name, like a Star of Life, a type one, two, or three ambulance, a caducous (spelling?), a depiction of some well known tourist trap? A recognizable bridge (Roxbury <NY> VFD & VAS has a nice rendition on their patches of the Marine Parkway/ Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge)?

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In the drastically mixed culture that is NYC, I partially recalled that some groupings would avoid certain colors for ambulance uniforms. For example, if I remember correctly, Chinese people associate white clothing, as European based cultures associate black clothing, with death.

Just food for thought

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I would LOVE to be able to wear polo's again. Our boss went back to standard uniforms due to how the polos wore out (but he was cheap and bought ones paper thin) . I think as long as they are taken care of it will be good enough.

As for a symbol the star of life is the symbol for american EMS. All in the hood around me know it means free ride for 3 hots and a hospital bed.

Scrubs- NO everybody in the hood has at least 1 pair they stole from the hospital

Badges- the only thing theyre good for is when I do my special events gig and end up plain clothes I will wear a badge on a chain and holder under my shirt and if I have to treat someone I will pull it out so I have some sort of Identification.

I guess what is the big deal about what you wear. How you wear it and your attitude will display your proffessionalism more than anything. And if the patient can't figure out who the people are that just got out of the truck with the big flashy lights and pushing a stretcher are then isn't that kind of a darwinism issue.

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Badges- the only thing theyre good for is when I do my special events gig and end up plain clothes I will wear a badge on a chain and holder under my shirt and if I have to treat someone I will pull it out so I have some sort of Identification.

This sounds like the type of situation where a uniform would be needed.

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Here the ER docs seem to gravitate toward a scrub shirt with khakis. I suppose this started out as a shirt and tie and khakis, then polo and khakis, now a scrub top and khakis. There are some folks of the surgical ilk that think it's ridiculous. We ignore them and increase the haldol we're slipping into their coffee.

The scrub tops are nice ones of good quality and embroidered. I've moved to 5.11 pants since they offer more storage and are a bit thicker (double layer through the knees) and more durable than my dockers.

I don't think this is a bad way to go. The scrub top, as people have said, is distinctly medical. The khakis are practical but still look decent. Neither makes you look like a cop or fireman.

As far as outerwear goes, the service I work with has moved to the ANSI coats in the bright fluorescent yellow with reflective striping. I don't care what anyone says about the looks. It's very visible and it helps me avoid getting schmucked by some idiot driving by who's entranced by the bright flashing lights. I don't know why they've known about this in Europe for so long and yet it's just catching on now in the US.


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Doczillas idea sounds like something I would wear. Currently we wear a Royal blue polo with a red Star of Life and the squad name embroidered in the left chest and black 5:11 pants. Navy blue T-shirts are issued strictly for wearing at night under flight suit which is Royal blue with reflective material in all the usual places.

I like the scrub top idea. It would be considerably cooler in the muggy eastern NC days. As long as it was of good quality, able to handle multiple washings without loosing its shape, I'd be all for it.

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