We have all seen it, and most of us have done what I snarkly refer to as The EMS Shuffle. Not only do we do it, we defend the practice as if it were our exclusive right as first responders to stroll toward an emergency, or perceived emergency at our own pace, even if that is as slow as a sickly old turtle.
Nonsense I say. There is nothing more frustrating, stress elevating, infuriating and downright ridiculous as an emergency responder acting as if there is no need to hurry. We can claim that fools rush in, and caution is king, and only Yahoo’s or people hoping to capture the attention of a cameraman and get on the news are those who run all day long, but I suspect even we know how empty those excuses are.
Experienced medics never run goes the conventional wisdom. Well, my wisdom must be unconventional, because I have no problem with a spirited dash to a patient in need. I’m not suggesting an all out sprint, but a little pep in your step never hurt anybody.
Like it or not, The EMS Shuffle will be misinterpreted as laziness or lack of caring by those waiting for us to arrive. Their emotions are at a high level already, no sense giving them even more time to feed their hunger for somebody to blame.
My advice, for what it’s worth? Move with purpose, walk briskly most of the time, and jog when needed. It won’t kill you, and might even save a life now and then.