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Murphy's Law of EMS

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The First Law of EMS:

All emergency calls will wait until you begin to eat, regardless of the time.
Corollary 1 - Fewer accidents would occur if EMS personnel would never eat.
Corollary 2 - Always order food "to go".

The Paramedical Laws of Time:

1 - There is absolutely no relationship between the time at
which you are supposed to get off shift and the time at which you will get off shift.
2 - Given the following equation: T + 1 Minute = Relief Time,
"T" will always be the time of the last call of your shift.
E.g., If you are supposed to get off shift at 1900, your last run will come in at 1859.

The Paramedical Law of Gravity:

Any instrument, when dropped, will always come to
rest in the least accessible place possible.

The Paramedical Law of Time and Distance:

The distance of the call from the hospital
increases as the time to shift change decreases.

Corollary 1 - The shortest distance between the station
and the scene is under construction.

The Paramedical Rule of Random Simultaneity:

Emergency calls will randomly come in all at once.

The Rule of Respiratory Arrest:

All patients, for whom Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation must be provided,
will have just completed a large meal of barbecue and onions, garlic pizza,
and pickled herring, which was washed down with at least three cans of beer.

The Axiom of Late-Night Runs:

If you respond to any motor vehicle accident call after
midnight and do not find a drunk on the scene, keep looking - somebody is still missing.

The Law of Options:

Any patient, when given the option of either going to jail or going
to the hospital by a police officer, will always be inside the ambulance before you are.

Corollary 1 - Any patient who chooses to go to jail
instead of the hospital probably knows your driver.

The First Rule of Equipment:

Any piece of lifesaving equipment will never malfunction or fail until:
You need it to save a life.
The salesman leaves.

The Second Rule of Equipment:

Interchangeable parts don't, leak proof seals will, and self-starters won't.

The First Law of Ambulance Driving:

No matter how fast you drive the ambulance when responding to a call,
it will never be fast enough, unless you pass a police cruiser,
at which point it will be entirely too fast.

Paramedical Rules of the Bathroom:

If a call is received between 0500 and 0700,
the location of the call will always be in a bathroom.
If you have just gone to the bathroom, no call will be received.
If you have not just gone to the bathroom, you will soon regret it.

The probability of receiving a run increases proportionally
to the time elapsed since last going to the bathroom.

The Basic Principle for Dispatchers:

Assume that all field personnel are idiots until their actions prove your assumption.

Basic Assumption About Dispatchers:

Given the opportunity, any dispatcher will be only too happy to tell you where to go,
regardless of whether or not (s)he actually knows where that may be.

Corollary 1 - The existence or nonexistence of any given location
is of only minor importance to the dispatcher.
Corollary 2 - Any street designated as a "cross-street" by a dispatcher probably isn't.
Corollary 3 - If a street name CAN be mispronounced,
a dispatcher WILL mispronounce it.
Corollary 4 - If a street name CANNOT be mispronounced,
a dispatcher WILL mispronounce it.
Corollary 5 - A Dispatcher will always refer to a given location in the
most obscure manner as possible
(e.g., "Stumpy Brown's Cabbage Field" is now covered by a shopping center)

The First Principle of Triage:

In any accident, the degree of injury suffered
by a patient is inversely
proportional to the amount and volume of agonized
screaming produced by that patient.

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Dave Lightner FF/EMT.
Copyright 1999 6 DOGGS Design. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Sept 2001 2308 Hrs EST -5:00GMT .