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Physical Danger

Emergency Medical Technician is not the most dangerous job in the world, but it has its moments. After all, it is considered a public safety occupation along with police officer and firefighter. Example: You are transporting a drug overdose patient. It turns out that the police did not search him too well before you got there. Halfway to the hospital he pulls out a gun and starts shooting. It has happened.

Here are a few other ways to get hurt:  lifting a patient the wrong way; losing your balance while carrying someone down a stairway; having a dumb partner who stabs you with a needle instead of the patient; slipping on spilled oil at a motor vehicle accident; dropping an oxygen tank which then becomes a launched missile; breathing toxic fumes or touching toxic chemicals. Traveling by ambulance is inherently dangerous. Other motorists may panic upon hearing a siren or seeing emergency lights too close.

Air ambulances have the highest fatal crash rate in aviation. An air ambulance service has its own set of special problems such as bad weather, ground hazards, or mechanical failures. Air evacuations frequently take place at makeshift landing zones that might be surrounded by high tension wires, windmills, high trees, and other problems that the flight crew might not be familiar with. Try doing a landing at one of these places at night.

Besides getting hurt, working as an EMT can also make you sick. You will come into contact with people who are carrying all sorts of infectious agents. When everyone else moves away from a patient with infectious hepatitis, you will be up close and personal. You will be trained to protect yourself, but the risk is still there.