Sleeping then and now

It doesn’t matter if you have worked forty hours straight without a break.

It matters not if the patient is a frequent flier, 400 pounds, third floor dweller who refuses to walk.

Nobody cares that it is 4:00 a.m., and the patient is in better shape than you are.


Conking out in the Captain’s seat during transport happens. It’s happened to me. It happens more often than anybody will admit. It will continue to happen for as long as there are sleep deprived people providing EMS services to a public that has no idea, does not care, and shouldn’t have to.

I once told a patient who nudged me awake that I had not had the opportunity to rest in 48 hours.


“You’re an idiot then,” he replied.

Sleeping EMT before cell phones

Sleeping EMT before cell phones

Not “You poor thing.”

Not “Those bastards!”

Not  “Something needs to be done!”

Not “Well then, friend, get a little shut-eye while we ride.”


You are an idiot. That is the bottom line. I’m not preaching, because I was an idiot too. But everybody wasn’t making movies when I was.



  • Gerry Miklos says:

    most of the emt’s and firefighters I know work 24 hour shifts and are on call at all times of the night.
    Does the person know what their shift was like during the night. I personally know of cases where the fire dept only got 1 to 1/12 hours of sleep because of call outs after they got back to the station.

  • Gerry Miklos says:

    Most of the EMT’s and FF’s I know work a minimum of 24 hours straight and are on call all night long, I know of several cases where they had call all night long, so after going without sleep for so long, who can blame them.
    Put yourself in their boots before you say anything.

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