FROM THE EDITOR
try to steer them in the right direction.
If that approach fails, it’s incumbent on you
to bring their resistive attitude to your superiors. The life of a patient can be impacted, or
lost, in the future.
My partner Bernie was trained to respond to
my voice and, more importantly, my eye and
hand movements. I could walk him with one
finger on his leash. He watched me and gauged
my foot speed and direction, and turned when
I could point to a down position and he
would immediately stop what he was doing
and lay down so a small child could pet him.
I could wave my hand and he would go to a
safe location in a patient’s room, stay away from
hazards such as an escalator or open manhole
cover, or retrieve an object I pointed to in a
These are essential traits for partners and
associates to have.
When you find an oxygen tank left empty
from a previous call and ask another crew
member, “Please go get another O2 tank,”—
and give a firm, distinctive look to that crew
member—you shouldn’t have to answer
why or explain the problem in front of a family member.
More importantly, when you’re at a domestic
violence or assault call and you see a weapon
on the table or a sense a potentially dangerous situation, you should immediately establish
eye contact with your co-workers and alert
MENTOR THE MENTORS
If you lead by example and mentor your partner,
you’ll find that they assimilate knowledge and
begin to act as you do. I learned from every one
of my partners when I worked on a part-time
basis with a small, elite group of paramedics
in the very busy city of Allentown (Pa.) EMS
system. Because there were so few of us and we
ran non-stop on calls every shift, I knew their
every mood, skill and expectation. I also learned
their unique skills and techniques, approaches
to patients and, their unique senses of humor.
I absorbed their best traits and was mentored by each of them. This approach is contagious, and can result in others learning from
you down the road.
My beloved Bernie is gone from this earth, but
his legacy and spirit live on because I raised
my 2-year-old Bernese mountain dog Charlie alongside him. As a therapy dog in training, Charlie assimilated and picked up most
of Bernie’s solid traits. He learned from him
You can have a similar effect on your associates and partners by following what Bernie taught me, and allowed me to share with