Friday, December 23, 2011


It's that time of year. Holidays. For a lot of people, anyway.

Last year, we had a call on Christmas Day. No big deal, everything turned out okay, as I recall.

The patient was a little apologetic about having called us on Christmas Day, and we told him it was not a problem.

One thing that happened made me smile, but I have been thinking about it a lot since then.

When the ambulance arrived, one of the medics hopped out wearing a Santa hat. It was adorable, and cheerful, and in the circumstances, made everyone smile.

But what if the circumstances had been different?

None of us wears anything special for any holidays. We don't have a uniform, either, but I wish we did. We've come up with our own semi-uniform, but at this time of year, we don't have anything that is both well marked and matching- and warm enough.  Need to work on that.

Whenever there is a holiday that has typical clothing associated with it, especially something cheerful, I wonder whether it's appropriate to show a little holiday spirit of some sort.

I haven't decided.

It seems like it might be nice, with kids, especially, to have a Santa hat, or bunny ears, or something.

But I worry about walking into a bad situation, and upsetting someone who might think we're making light of their serious difficulty. I don't want to be dressed like an elf, and end up doing CPR, for instance.

I'm curious about what other people think about this. Unprofessional? Always inappropriate? Sometimes okay, depending on the circumstances?

That Santa hat last year really did cheer everyone up. In that moment, in that place, under those circumstances, it was great.

Maybe I just worry too much.


  1. Medics are people too. I'm not going to begrudge someone that is working on Christmas (either pair of as a volunteer) the ability to try to enjoy the day a little in their own way. If a Christmas hat helped that medic make it through Christmas without as much heart ache as we all feel we we're seperated from our families on important days, then great for him. If he would have ended up working a code in the hat I'm positive it would not have changed the outcome one bit. However I'd have to think that if the call were for something more serious the hat probably would have been left in the ambulance in the first place.

  2. I'm with shooter. It is what it is, and we all make our best assessments then roll with what comes along. I cannot see any medic or EMT getting paged for 'elderly male, chest pains, CPR instructions being given" that would say "Hey, I think I'll put on my reindeer antlers and give everyone a laugh at this scene". We can all make judgements.
    On the other hand, I have run a critical call or two when I was a Scoutmaster and was in uniform. One patient looked up at me and asked if the rescue squad was so short on help that they had to ask the Boy Scouts to help out. I just told him "No, we take that 'Do a good turn daily thing' very seriously and I was behind today".
    everything has a place.