Teams and Teamwork in Emergency Medical Services

Authored by: P. Daniel Patterson , Matthew D. Weaver , David Hostler

Human Factors and Ergonomics of Prehospital Emergency Care

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781482242515
eBook ISBN: 9781315280172
Adobe ISBN:


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When I reflect on exceptional or good teamwork in EMS, I often think of my own experiences working at a small-volume EMS agency that was a mix of paid and volunteer personnel. I typically worked Wednesday evenings for 8 hours. I worked with several different partners. One in particular was my favorite, whom we will call Mitch for confidentiality purposes. He was a great teammate and an experienced paramedic who worked at multiple EMS agencies. Mitch probably worked more than 80 hours a week. Everyone at our agency was friendly, and the medical director was a good friend and mentor. Our agency deployed one ambulance every 24 hours, although we had a second ambulance available if volunteer employees/members were available to respond. My routine with Mitch was to first perform an equipment check, clean the ambulance, and then complete any required documentation or tasks. Next, we would drive the ambulance to a local restaurant near our station, join some colleagues, and enjoy a meal while sharing “war stories” of prior patient encounters. The atmosphere was collegial and fun.

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