Get over yourselves, drivers

Why is it that we as a profession can’t get over being called “Ambulance Drivers?”

Without fail, whenever someone (usually in the media, or a member of the uninitiated) refers to one of us as “Ambulance Driver” or “Attendant,” we have a cow.

Granted, we all did spend a good amount of time going to school, studying, preparing for our respective tests, and we have earned whatever title we use.

But, do you actually drive an ambulance as part of your normal work duties? Oh, you do?

Then get over it.

As a profession, the best way for us to present ourselves as professionals is to look good, with clean, iron uniforms, and provide quality care in a timely and efficient manner. Not bitching about what we are called by the general public.

“That ambulance driver gave nitro to an MI without performing a 12-lead”

I’m not an ambulance driver! I’m a paramedic.”

“Okay, then. That paramedic gave nitro to an MI without performing a 12-lead.”



  1. I have no real problem with being called an ambulance driver, at least when it comes from the people who don’t know any better, because that’s what they see us doing: driving the big white horizontal taxi. A very, very wise Paramedic who also happens to be my older sister once told me that the worst thing you could do in this business is take yourself too seriously. Why get your hackles up over people who don’t know any better? The one time it really bothers me is when it’s a nurse or a doctor saying it, because it’s inevitably said with that tone… You know the tone. The “you don’t know anything, you’re just an AMBULANCE DRIVER” tone. I can’t help but be ruffled by that. The people who SHOULD know better, refusing to know better. That bothers me, but it’s not the words. It’s the sentiment behind them.

    • Windy City, you make a great point here and you’re right. I generally don’t care what I’m called. I’m not into titles and recognition. But you’re right about using the term as a dismissive one. That is certainly annoying.

  2. I’m not even privaleged enough to be called an ambulances driver…..I haven’t completed driver training yet, so unless its an absolutely dire emergency, I don’t drive the ambulances.

  3. I pretty much hate the phrase “ambulance driver” makes me feel like I work for a cab company instead of a ambulance company. Granted that all our calls are code 2 and not exciting but still give us a break and call what we are. Emts and medics. Do u call an engineer in the fire department “fire engine driver” of course not cuz thoes testosterone ego driven idiots will get in ur face and tell u to f*** off. So why can’t we?

    • So you want to portray yourself as more professional than “Ambulance Driver by referring to firemen as “testosterone ego driven idiots”? And then you add that they would “get in ur face and tell u to f*** off.”
      Then, you ask: “So why can’t we?”

      And you wonder why you aren’t considered professional?

      • Clearly, this is someone who should be an armed ambulance driver.

        If he/she can shoot people for calling him/her and ambulance driver, then there will be respect. O_o


      • Well all I ask is to be respected by other peers we work with. I don’t care what the public thinks as long as they have a transport to the hospital and it’s free from their insurance . I wish our fire department peers that we work with just don’t consider us as just a transport and not hold our hands because we are incapable. Repect is what I’m looking for, not A** kiss but we are the same. Nothing special.

        What I get a kick out of Is that the fire department flaunts us by telling us they are going back to sleep. And at this time we just ran our 13 call at 4 am with them. With out us they would be transporting everything and feel the fatigue themselves.

        • Respect from our peers is important, I will agree. Being a paramedic, I show my colleagues out there the same respect I would like to be shown.

          Most of the support for fire-based EMS comes from people who don’t have to wake up at 4 a.m. to run that constipation call to the hospital.

  4. Mama first Medic next says:

    It only bothers me when we do convo calls and the RNs call us “taxi”. I finally did tell one after I had ran 3 of her discharges and she told them all “you’re taxi is here” that I was a paramedic not a taxi. Little old ladies can call me whatever they want, if I grow to be a little old lady I might screw someone’s job title up myself.

    • Wow,

      Here I get in trouble because I have no problem calling in to dispatch as “Taxi” whatever instead of “Medic” whatever for those runs. Lighten up and relax. We are a taxi service to every BLS patient we take to or from the hospital…

  5. Wow.

    CCC, don’t get me wrong, I disagree being called an Ambulance Driver.

    That said, we’ve got bigger battles to fight. Like standards for ambulance safety, updated protocols, better pay, better education. The list goes on and on.

    If that means I get stuck being called an ambulance driver, meh, I guess I could live with that.

  6. CCC, you are right on. As a dispatcher I was called a call taker. As a Firefighter I was referred to as just a “Volly”. As an EMT I was called Ambulance Driver, and now as a Paramedic I am still called an Ambulance Driver by someone on the general public almost every shift…

    Who gives a flying FUCK???

    If you got into EMS, or Emergency Services for that matter, to be recognized as a God or Hero you have a couple of options:

    1) Become a fulltime proffesional Firefighter.
    2) Become a Physician.

    The rest of us, (EMS and Police), are hated and/or take too long to get there. The PD falsely accuses and arrests everyone. We should load the patients and go to the Dr who can help them(sadly this is sometimes all to true). We should drive faster with someones loved one. I could go on for a long time with the statements I have heard and the things I have been told over the last decade and a half. Who gives a flying FUCK???

    The nurses at our ER call some of us Ambulance Drivers, they tend to be the ones they do not respect or want to get riled up. I do take offense when someone who knows what our capabilities are and what we do calls us that but, I do not care enough to make it an issue.

    If you do, maybe you need to pick up one of these. Maybe, CCC, you should make them available through your blog…!/photo.php?fbid=342648605758149&set=a.336251829731160.80569.113256155364063&type=1


  1. […] colleague at Captain Chair Confessions really screwed the pooch (IMHO) on his latest blog entry: Get over yourselves, drivers. He says it’s okay to be referred to as “Ambulance Drivers”. That’s not the […]

  2. […] It seems Captain Chair Confessions has some bloggers in a frenzy over a post where he basically tells everyone to get over being called an “ambulance driver”. […]

  3. […] Captain Chair Confessions thinks we've got bigger fish to fry than what name we're called, and tells the rest of EMS to get over it. […]

  4. […] of the dreaded phrase “ambulance driver.” Alternatively, I call today Wednesday. We’ve got Captain Chair Confessions, EMS Outside Agitator, Medic 51, and Ambulance Driver all weighing in on the phrase. So, now that […]

  5. […] Dave, over at the Social Medic is weighing in on this little brou-ha-ha over the term “Ambulance Driver”. So is Kelly Grayson and others so I guess I hit a nerve. GOOD! That’s what I’m here for aren’t I? My only agenda, oft repeated, is to promote medics seeing themselves as being part of a Bigger Picture. Really, what a ridiculously outrageous a thing to ask of you! Dave starts off with: It seems Captain Chair Confessions has some bloggers in a frenzy over a post where he basically tells everyone to get over being called an “ambulance driver”. […]

  6. […] Get over yourselves, drivers Captain Chair Confessions February 20, 2012 Article […]

  7. […] lit a firestorm across the EMS blogging world in this post, and since I’m a humble firetender, it’s my pleasure to keep it burning; maybe even […]

  8. […] whole “ambulance driver” debate occurred because one blogger wrote an emotional opinion. Another blogger didn’t share his opinion, engaged, and wrote a reply. A third blogger read […]

Speak Your Mind