What’s in Your Bag?

I’m trying to get organized for the new semester and my volunteer duties.I decided I should make a list of all the stuff I need to have with me when I go on a shift. I always seem to forget something – last shift it was a pen light and safety googles.

Then I got to thinking I should just have a bag I take with me and keep it packed and stocked.

Here’s what I’ve got in mind right now that needs to be with me on every shift:

  • ID (Either student, or ESD Volunteer)
  • Trauma Shears
  • Stethoscope
  • Goggles/safety glasses
  • Pen light
  • Tape to stick on my arm or leg write vital signs down on. (better than my glove)
  • Multiple pens
  • Watch
  • Little notebook
  • Backup Food*

If at night, also include:

  • Bed roll
  • Pillow
  • Breath mints (toiletries for a 24)

For Clinicals:

  • Report sheets.
  • Call list sheet.

Non-essentials but nice:

  • A backup uniform
  • Computer
  • Headphones
  • Something to read

What do you take to your shifts? What do you think I’m missing? Leave a comment below and help a Newbie out.

* Every shift I’ve been on we’ve gone out to eat….till the last one. Luckily I had some microwaveable backup food in the truck. Advice from my Basic clinical coordinator, Ms P, be prepared for both, because you want to do what your crew does.

  • My pack usually has the following in it for work:
    Kindle 2
    Nook color (rooted)
    Laptop
    textbooks
    chargers for toys
    I also keep a small duffel in my trunk with a spare pair of uniform pants, stuff to shower with, uniform T-shirt, and hanging in my car is a spare uniform shirt.
    For class it’s going to be almost the same thing.
    I also have food in the cabinets of our station for me to eat when I’m on duty (oatmeal, quick microwavable meals, chai tea mix, hot chocolate, craisins, gold fish, and a few other things) and I usually bring a mug into work with me along with either a frozen or refrigerated lunch/dinner.

    On my person at work (in various pockets) I have a Zune 30, my phone, penlight, pens, pad of paper, 3″ tape for putting on my pants leg to write notes, sharpie, shears, scope. My sunglasses have a set of clear lenses in my bag that make them double as safety goggles/shooting glasses (oakley M-Frames ordered from usstandardissue.com).
    During class our uniforms are similar to my work uniform, but I leave the scope and shears at home usually.

  • Sllloth

    Layers depending on the weather. Especially night shift. If your sitting in a rig for a few hours it can get cold. A knit hat and layers will help. I also find headphones helpfull in case your partner doesn’t like your shows or you can’t stand they’re tunes. Just make sure you can hear dispatch. I keep my ipod and phone charged. I also love my GPS.

  • Since I’m a volunteer and a student, I don’t have one station I’m at
    regularly. And I’m only there at most 3 12hr shifts a month, so not
    food at the station for me.

    You need a Nook and a Kindle? 🙂

  • I should have listed headphones (post changed). I carry them for the
    exact reasons you mention.

  • Mike

    Ron, don’t kill me for this, but speaking from my experiences as a third-rider on a 911 ambulance as a fire explorer: (with CPR and as of last August, CFR cert.)

    You don’t need you’re own tape to write on. Grab a roll off the truck. And for pens: make sure they’re a size that fits inside an IV needle so you can get a sugar off of it. I carry 1 pen (and 3 larger, better writing pens) just for that purpose.

    And aren’t you forgetting a watch in that list as well?

  • Mike, good catch on the watch, I’ll update the post. I’m one of those
    people who always wears a watch – an increasingly rare thing among my
    friends and classmates.

    But I do need to remember to wear the right watch. Took me awhile, but
    I found a watch with a glow in the dark second hand.

    I’m reluctant to depend on being able to get something from the truck,
    but you are right it is there.

    Also good point on the pen size. I normally carry very fine point
    pens, but those probably won’t work as well on tape and a sharpie/felt
    pen.

    Ron

  • Kindle is my main reader, but the Nook color is rooted and gets used as a tablet when I’m in a WiFi area (like our station) and just wanna do some light surfing or playing on facebook… or playing Angry birds

  • Christine

    Being in the same situation as you with volunteering, I know what you mean, Ron. I do keep a bag stocked for my volunteer shifts. It’s not only a nice way to corral everything, It’s a handy way to claim a bed at the station! In it, I keep:

    Toothbrush/toothpaste
    contact lenses/solution/back up eyeglasses
    Safety glasses
    Phone charger
    Headphones for iPhone
    Pocket notepad
    pens
    sharpies
    trauma shears
    Stethoscope
    flashlight & batteries
    Gum
    ID’s and certification cards (in a wallet)
    layers (light jacket, extra long-johns)
    hat and gloves (those will come out when it gets warm)
    Snacks
    Book or textbook (if, I am studying for a class) with notepad, if needed

    I also carry a pillow and sleeping bag in the car. Seems like as soon as I get it out and put it in the station, we are cursed to run all night. I’m still experimenting to see if there is a way to break that curse, so I leave it in the car as long as possible.

  • Zanzabar

    Ron,
    What model is the watch with the glow in the dark second hand. I am trying to find one like that right now.

  • It is made by Elgin which is a Sears brand. It is a little bling, but was the only one with a glowing second hand.

  • It is made by Elgin which is a Sears brand. It is a little bling, but was the only one with a glowing second hand.

  • It is made by Elgin which is a Sears brand. It is a little bling, but was the only one with a glowing second hand.

  • austintr

    No disrespect intended at all here, but as I am a student in clinicals, I think all of that technology and the M frames are a little bit out of budget for most of us. I thought I was getting all fancy upgrading to a Droid Incredible from my enV 3 for clinicals and field internship. =P

  • If you’re a certified EMT already, check out usstandardissue.com since they have DEEP discounts on some Oakley products. And my work bag = my clinical bag so some stuff goes with my everywhere. (most of the tech cause I can get bored on 48s)

  • Christine

    I LOVE my Timex Indiglo Expedition watch… it lights up when you press on the side button. Perfect for low-light situations or nighttime MVC’s. I got the men’s version because I wanted a bigger face, but they do both men’s and women’s watches. It comes with a fabric band, but you can swap it out for a plastic one at Wally-world.

  • Christine

    On the safety glasses, I went and bought my own at Academy Sporting Goods because the ones on the truck always slid down my nose at the worst moment. They were about $10 and came with a carry case and clear, yellow, orange and brown lenses. They are totally adjustable… from the length of the earpieces to the tilt of the lenses on your face. Now I just need to add a bunch of those sparkly crystals to them so the boys on the trucks don’t “accidentally” think they are the ones from the truck and snag them.