A Formal Affair: EMS is ready to dress up


 
 

JEMS.com Staff | | Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Remember when garbage men became sanitation engineers? Their perception of themselves changed, and it forced society's perception to change as well.

The same thing is happening in the world of EMS. No longer do EMTs think of themselves as just ambulance drivers; they are prehospital care providers and more. The understanding that perception is reality has not been lost on the industry, and there has been a growing movement to incorporate a sophisticated dress uniform program into EMS culture.

Although EMS has always been characterized by independence, there is also the desire among many to join firefighters and police at the 'head table' of the emergency service world. And there_s no doubt that adopting a more professional look can be very beneficial as EMS is increasingly forced to compete for funding.

Recognizing this direction and desire several years ago, national EMS leadership, including Jim Allen, John Roquemore, Ken Bouvier and John Fitzsimmons, began to explore the viability of an EMT Class 'A' Dress Uniform.

The group wasn_t just looking for a durable and good-looking uniform but one that could denote an EMT_s level of experience.

The idea was long overdue, according to JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman.

Fire departments and the military have long had standard dress uniforms that are so well established, even the public recognizes them, Heightman said. EMS, on the other hand, had nothing to distinguish itself and needed something formal to wear for ceremonies and events, like parades.

"EMS for the longest time did not have a special dress uniform," Heightman said. "It makes a big impression."

One of the first companies to put together an EMS dress uniform program was Lighthouse Uniform Company, headed up by President Steve Cohen.

"The thinking was, 'If you want to sit at the head table, you needed to dress like you belonged there,'" Cohen said.

After numerous discussions Cohen presented the NAEMT leadership with the new EMT Class ÂA_ Dress Uniform (see related article in theMarch 2005 issue of JEMS.) The uniform, appropriate for parades, funerals, award ceremonies and other events, is a black, double-breasted wool blend and features sleeve striping and "Stars of Life" to denote years of service.

"I think what has really happened is their perception of themselves has changed and they wanted to reflect that," Cohen said. "A dress uniform is really an effective vehicle in creating separation between yourself and the guy next to you."

The EMT world has just celebrated its 25th year. It is beginning to dress up.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Leadership and Professionalism

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Three Kentucky Firefighters Injured in Ice Bucket Challenge

Campbellsville tower ladder comes in contact with power lines.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

NAEMT: Transforming EMS

A look inside at the Mobile Healthcare Paramedic system.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Austin-Travis County Community Health Paramedic Program

Overview of program provides operation and referral details.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Flight Paramedic’s Perfect Weekend

Carilion Lifeguard Flight Paramedic shares what would make his perfect weekend.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >