The First Law of EMS:
All emergency calls will wait until you begin to eat,
without regard to the time.
1: Fewer accidents would occur if EMS personnel
2: Always order food "to go".
Law of Time:
is absolutely no relationship between the time at which
are supposed to get off shift and the time at which you
get off shift.
the following equation: T + 1 Minute = Relief Time,
will always be the time of the last call of your shift.
If you are supposed to get off shift at 08:00, your
run will come in at 07:59.
if you have early relief coming in you will see you relief
at the first stop light from the station, waving!)
Law of Gravity:
Any instrument, when dropped, will always come to rest
in the least
accessible place possible.
Law of Time Versus Distance:
The distance of the call from the Hospital increases
as the time
to shift change decreases.
1: The shortest distance between the station and the
scene is under construction.
The Rule of
will randomly come in all at once.
Law of Respiratory Arrest:
All patients who are vomiting and must be intubated
have just completed a large meal of Barbecue and Onions,
Garlic Pizza, and Pickled Herring, all of which was washed
down with at least three cans of Beer.
Basic Principle for Dispatchers:
Assume that all field personnel are idiots until their
prove your assumption.
Basic Principle for Field Personnel:
Assume that all dispatchers are idiots until their
Axiom of Late Night Runs:
If you respond to any Motor Vehicle Accident call
and do not find a drunk on the scene, keep looking: somebody is
Law of Options:
Any patient, when given the option of either going to
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
First Rule of Equipment:
Any piece of Life-saving Equipment will never
need it to save a life, or
Other Rules of Equipment:
Interchangeable parts don't
Leak proof seals will
First Law of Ambulance Operation:
No matter how fast you drive the Ambulance when
it will never be fast enough, until you pass a Police
at which point it will be entirely too fast.
you are responding to an "Officer Down" call then it is
physically impossible to
be travelling fast enough!
* If a call is received between 0500 and 0700, the
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.
General Principles Concerning 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.
1: The existence or non-existence of any given location
is of only minor importance to a Dispatcher
2: Any street designated as a Cross-street" by a
Dispatcher probably isn't.
3: If a street name can be mispronounced, a Dispatcher
will mispronounce it.
4: If a street name cannot be mispronounced, a Dispatcher
will mispronounce it anyway.
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
Law of Triage:
In any accident, the degree of injury suffered by a
inversely proportional to the amount and volume of agonized screaming produced
by that patient.
Gross Injury Law:
Any injury, the sight of which makes you want to puke,
immediately be covered by 4x4's and Kerlix.
Given the equation: X +Y = Q
= Quality of Care
X = the care that you render
Y = the assistance supplied by any Supervisor.
you can eliminate Y from the equation,
The Quality of Care will improve by X².
1: Generally, Field Supervisors have no business
in the Field.
2: The level of technical competence is inversely
proportional to the level of management.
3: Technology is dominated by those who manage what
they do not understand.
Law of Protocol Language:
The simplest Protocol Directive will be worded in the
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
Corollary 2: If you can understand it, you probably don't.
Law of EMS Educators:
Those who can't
Law of EMS Evaluators:
Those who can't do
or teach, evaluate.
Law of Light:
As the seriousness of any given injury increases, the
availability of light to examine that injury decreases.
Law of Space:
The amount of space which is needed to work on a
varies inversely with the amount of space which is available
to work on that patient.
The number of distraught and uncooperative relatives
any given patient varies exponentially with the seriousness of the
patient's illness or injury.
Theory of Weight:
The weight of the patient that you are about to
increases exponentially by the number of floors which must
be ascended to reach the patient and the number of floors
which must be descended while carrying the patient.
1: Very heavy patients tend to gravitate
toward locations which are furthest from
mean sea level.
2: If the patient is heavy, the elevator is
broken, and the lights in the stair well
Laws of Non-Transport:
1. A Life-or-Death situation will immediately be
driving away from the home of patient who has just thrown
you out of their house.
2. The seriousness of this situation will increase as the date
of your trial approaches.
3. 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.
First Rule of Bystanders
Any bystander who
offers you help will give you none.
Second Rule of Bystanders:
Always assume that any Physician found at the scene of
emergency is a Gynecologist, until proven otherwise.
(Unless the emergency is obstetrical in nature, then
the bystander will be a Dermatologist.)
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.
Law of Show and Tell
A virtually infinite number of wide-eyed and
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
The true value of any Rookie, when expressed
will always be a negative number.
The value of this number may be found by simply having
rookie grade his or her ability on a scale from 1 to 10.
skill: 1 = Certified Health Hazard,
10 = Johnny and Roy.
Driving ability: 1 = Obstruction to Navigation,
10 = Mario Andretti.
The true value of the rookie is then found by simply
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.)
Corollary 2: We were all rookies once upon a time....
Law of Rules:
As soon as an EMS Rule is accepted as absolute, an
to that Rule will immediately occur.