Every new EMT needs to purchase 5 pieces of gear to make their life easier on the job.  Here is my list of 5 items that every new EMT needs before they start their first shift:

  1. Boots – My favorite boots are the Merell Moab 3 8inch Tactical Boots. I have been wearing these boots for many years and highly recommend them.  They have zipper on the inside of the boot for easy in and out, are waterproof, and are very comfortable.  I own them in both black and khaki.
  2. Backpack – The Hazard 4 Patrol: Thermo-Cap Daypack is the best everyday carry backpack.  I have used a variety of bags over the years and finally have stuck with this pack.  For a more in-depth review of this pack, check out my article here.
  3. Stethoscope – Every EMT needs to purchase their own stethoscope.  I know that most, if not all, agencies will provide a stethoscope it will often be a cheap one.  If you’re looking for a stethoscope then the best one out there is the Littman Cardiology IV.
  4. Trauma Shears – I always recommend two pairs of trauma shears.  The first being the Leatherman Raptor due to its multitool approach which includes a set of trauma shears, oxygen wrench, seatbelt cutter, and my favorite tool the ring cutter.   The second set of trauma shears I recommend is the Kretzer Spirale (Robin) “Safety Boy” trauma shears.  These things will cut through anything in the field.  I carry both of the outside of my Hazard 4 Patrol: Thermo-Cap Daypack for easy access in the back of the ambulance.
  5. Flashlight – The SureFire G2X flashlight is what I carry on shift.  It is small enough to not weigh me down and bright enough to light up the darkest scenes.  For advanced providers, this flashlight is great because you can hold it against the skin of someone who is a hard IV stick and see their veins!