Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back for a short one......

Well the time off visiting family was blissful. There was no internet or cell phone coverage at 'the farm' and it was interesting to watch all my cousins walking up and down the road staring into the little boxes in their hands looking for a signal. I broke the habit after just a day or so.
So I have been back in town and at the paying job for this week, but am leaving tomorrow to be part of the EMS team at a major music festival for the next 3 days. Should be fun and give me a chance to improve my skills.
But I have enough time to post this short one and ask y'all a question that has been burning at me for a couple of years.
We were all taught "BSI, Scene Safety" until we were sick of it. We all practice it without thought on a daily basis (RIGHT?). For most of us this means no unnecessary exposed skin and proper PPE at all times. In the Volunteer service we were all cautioned against showing up at calls in shorts and flip-flops. Very unprofessional, of course, but also dangerous for the responder. Glass, blood, torn steel, are all nasty on the dermal layers. So accepted practice has always been long pants (no shorts or skirts), at least a short sleeve shirt (long sleeve is better), sturdy shoes (preferably EMS boots with a composite toe), and the gloves, glasses, etc..
I know that I am NOT the only person that is uncomfortable working a job in the blazing sun on the side of a blacktop road or off in a field with those terribly comfortable (?) EMS pants. Yeah they look cool and have enough pocket space to store all the gadgets any whacker needs to have, but man, they wear me out. They are HOT, and they don't breath which keeps the heat in. They also suck the heat out of the sun and inject it in your body. They are EVIL.
This spring I decided enough is enough and I bought a couple of pairs of EMS shorts. I cover most weekends as a first responder (go direct to the job and let the rig meet me there). Those pants were killing me when I was carrying gear 1/2 mile to a patient in the woods, or carrying the same patient out. If we have a bad MVA I can always throw on my EMS bunker pants (BBP barrier, more pockets, etc.), but for the routine calls, the shorts have been SO much better. I'm sure they will rule this weekend in 90+ degree heat while treating the drunk, fallen, and over-partyed.
So here's my question to you all: Is it so bad wearing proper and neatly presented shorts as opposed to pants while on duty in the summer? I know your agency probably does not allow it, but if they do, let us know, and what the rules are. Everybody else, just leave a short comment and let us know what YOU think, not your agency. I think this might be an interesting point for discussion.
If it turns out to be of interest, I might continue to pursue which shorts work best, or are most comfortable. I have already purchased two pairs that are very different and I have begun forming opinions.
So leave a comment and let us all know what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Personally, I think the pants look more professional but that in insane heat and humidity, shorts can be more practical. For me personally, I always wear the pants, but I also have spent almost my entire life with insane summers and have climatized over the years. I am also the person who is freezing 9 times out of 10.

    I may have also gotten lucky and found a pair of EMS pants that doesn't kill me. Sure they get hot, but I think they are comfortable and breathable (to me at least).

    So, yeah, not short, but basically if it really is that hot, I think shorts can be okay if they still look presentable.