Day in the life of
Ambulance Driver – Jeff Byer, NREMT
I am a Firefighter/EMT with the Village of Waukesha, in Waukesha WI. When I run EMS calls, I am either a driver or an attendant in the back, so I have done both jobs. Driving an ambulance is a very rewarding experience. Anytime I can deliver the patient safely to the hospital and bring my crew safely back home, it’s a great day. While driving an ambulance, there is a lot you have to do, especially when you are arriving at the scene. Generally, you run hot (light and sirens) to the scene initially, and then run silent (no lights and sirens) to the hospital, unless the patient’s condition requires otherwise.
When running hot, there is a lot to watch out for. Other drivers, pedestrians, and road conditions. Generally, you are going faster than everyone around you, so it is certainly exciting. You definitely have to learn how to control your adrenaline, so you can focus on what is going on around you. There are a lot of blind spots in an ambulance, so constantly knowing where everyone around is located is very important. You also have to listen to the dispatch information and prepare a plan with your partner, on how to help the patient when you arrive. While en route, my partner and I will discuss who will do what on the call. Such as patient assessment, applying oxygen, getting medication, etc. We will also have to think if we will need to ask for additional units, based on the initial dispatch information. Finally, knowing where you are going as the driver is probably the most important. You can’t help the patient if you can’t get to the patient. Knowing your community is very important to help you get around quickly, as you can’t rely on GPS, because you need to focus on the road. Being in the ambulance as a driver or attendant is the best job ever! I get to help people when they need it the most, and that is very rewarding.
- Helping people
- Getting to do something that a lot of other people can’t do.
- Being involved in a person’s life, at the moment they need you the most.
- Ever-changing and challenging
- Never sure what you are going to have when you arrive on-scene.
- The ability to quickly see something and know exactly how to fix it.
- The things you see, you can’t unsee. Since you are being called to help someone at the worst time in their life, it can be very difficult at times.
- Time away from your family
- Sometimes you have to miss different events or activities because a call came out and you have to run it.
drive ambulance or assist ambulance driver in transporting sick, injured, or convalescent persons. Assist in lifting patients.