busyEMT is an outlet for one paramedic’s ideas too long for Twitter. It is a restart from early 2000s.


To predict or determine the future, it is in self-interest that prehospital professionals do both

I’ve made it a goal to be a participant in determining the destiny of our profession. To predict is passive; to determine is affirmative and conveys a sense of control. In the context of our profession, my opinion is prehospital personnel generally do neither. I am not speaking of issues within an organization or local …

What’s in a Name?

Recent events May 23rd, Michael Morse1 encouraged EMTs and paramedics “to embrace our inner ambulance driver.” Apropos given that the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA)2 recently issued a proposal to streamline our nomenclature.  These two items are not one-in-the-same.  However, both open a door to discussion on labels.  (I will save exploration of “Are we a profession or job?” and “Is …


I have been a paramedic since 2002. Of my other jobs in healthcare, prehospital care has been the best by far!

As described at length in the About this site page, busyEMT began during paramedic school. However, I cannot even tell you what interested me in healthcare. I started my path at a nearby medical/dental academy in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. I became a certified medical assistant (CMA). The clinic I hoped to do my externship at did not select me. Yet the clinic I ended up apprenticing at was a great fit!

I worked a couple of years, content with my new career. That is until a nagging feeling caused me to look into emergency care. The clinic was a family medicine residency clinic. I was instructed almost weekly to call 911 for transport of patients in clinic. Regularly I would speak to a call-taker who inquired about “bells and whistles” or “code two”? This intrigued me. But it was the times patients experienced chest pain that encouraged me to learn more about emergency care.

Yes, when I asked about aspirin, nitro and oxygen to the residents, they would say the patient could get that at the hospital. Instinctively I felt this was wrong. Finding the process for emergency transfers deficient, I signed up for an EMT-Basic course. This was the first taste of a potent elixir.

The clinic only had one nurse, she was the manager and was frequently away on managerial tasks. The clinic was otherwise staffed by CMAs. None of the CMAs could do IVs. With the approval of administration, I became and EMT-Intermediate so I could start IVs.

It wasn’t much longer before I took a second job as an ED Tech at a downtown Minneapolis level one trauma center. After this, I joined the volunteer Metrodome First Aid team. We were not there for athletes; we served the audience. Access to free Twins baseball, Vikings pro football, sold-out concerts and myriad other special events hooked me on some of the perks of EMS.

Four years after becoming a CMA, I left the clinic to enroll full-time in paramedic school. I supported myself through school by working in the trauma center. This was the best “studying” a student of prehospital medical care could get!

I met my wife, a non-medical person, through a classmate of mine. She was also in school. We graduated about the same time. Our marriage coincides with our careers. We’ve got two great kids.

At one point all four of us were in school. My wife has achieved licenses for work and I will graduate in Spring of 2018. Perhaps my MSHS in Clinical Management & Leadership will be just the start. But for the time being, this blog will be my outlet to toss in my two cents on current events in EMS-related issues.