There are habits EMTs and paramedics have that are hard to shake even when off the clock or after retirement.
1. “I leave enough space at a red light to be able to pull out and around if needed.” — Josh Sharpe
2. “Pulling the shopping cart behind me like I’m at the front of the stretcher.” — Tim O’Connor
3. “When someone else is driving and making a turn I always yell ‘clear right!’” — Lisa Bogowith Schaeffer
4. “I always consider coughing a foreign body obstruction and prepare to do the Heimlich.” — Tamatha Arendall
5. “Where’s the closest hospital and how long of a response time am I looking at if something was to happen right now?” — Rene Rogers
6. “I catch myself watching people when I’m in a crowded room; always looking for signs of someone in distress.” —Scott Lisman
7. “I always back into a parking space so I’m in response mode.” — Phil Murphy
8. “When meeting a new person I start taking a sample history as part of getting to know them.” — Alex Lisa Brown
9. “I use my wife as a backer, and honk twice when backing.” — Justin Martinets
10. “Passing large open fields thinking ‘good place for an LZ’” — Sherry Lynn
11. “If I get a ‘maple syrup’ odor out of context, I look for the diabetic. When I hear a harsh cough in a restaurant all conversation stops until I locate them and await evidence of a clear airway. The guy nodding off in church or at the movies better show rise and fall or chest expansion or I’m tapping on his shoulder.” — Guido Jannetti
12. “Driving private car with friends and shout ‘bump ahead.’” — Timothy Lynn O’Ceallaigh
13. “Always checking to see if ‘my scene is safe.’” — Angela N Grace
14. “When I go to my doctor for a routine physical, I start with ‘47 y/o male patient presenting with…’” — Bill Butler
*This article was adapted from a post on