10 Must-Haves for Paramedics

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First responders never know what disasters they will encounter each day, so they must prepare for anything that could occur. So, every EMT or paramedic has a list of necessary items to cover various situations.

Since each scenario is unique and potentially involves a life-or-death situation, it is essential to have high-quality tools. Learn about the essential items every paramedic should have to ensure they can save lives.

Trauma Shears

Critical for tearing through clothing, trauma shears quickly and easily cut clothing from injured people. They are blunt at the end to prevent accidentally cutting the patient and bend at a 150° angle to allow the user better control.


Paramedics are often dispatched to dark buildings or nighttime accidents. If your flashlight uses batteries, keep spares in your kit. If it is rechargeable, check to ensure it is fully charged before your shift.

Tactical flashlights are an excellent multipurpose option that can also be used for self-defense against combative or intoxicated patients. The ultra-bright light can temporarily blind an attacker, and the heavy-weight casing can disarm them if they have a weapon.

Water-Resistant Watch

You need a durable, water-resistant watch to monitor vital signs, track how long you’ve been on the scene (most critical patients must be removed within 10 minutes), and provide accurate documentation. Ensure your watch can track seconds, not just the hour and minutes, because in many paramedic scenarios, every second counts.


A penlight is a small flashlight shaped like a pen. This is ideal for checking pupil response and examining the throat, ears, and wound areas. A good quality penlight has low power consumption for long-term use, a pupil gauge, and a pre-focussed pinpoint lens.


Most ambulances have an inexpensive stethoscope. However, in case the equipment is missing or damaged, it is a good idea to carry your own stethoscope. A stethoscope is necessary for listening to different parts of the body, like the heart and lungs to determine irregularities and make a preliminary assessment of any medical issues.

Disposable Gloves

Disposable gloves are critical for protecting you and the patient from infection, contamination, or disease transfer. Ambulances typically stock disposable gloves; however, they may not have them in your size, or they may be made from a material that causes skin irritation if you have a latex allergy.

Gloves that are too big make tasks more difficult than necessary, and gloves that are too small will often tear. Carrying a pack or two of disposable gloves in your hand size ensures optimal barrier protection and allows you to focus on the task at hand.


Paramedics often deal with life-threatening emergencies like gunshot wounds or crushed limbs that require medical services at the scene. A tourniquet helps to manage excessive bleeding that cannot be controlled with direct pressure. This tight bandage prevents blood flow through a vein or artery, inhibiting blood loss and saving the injured person’s limb or even their life.

Must Haves for Paramedics

Blood Pressure Monitor

Blood pressure monitoring is crucial for patient management. Paramedics take blood pressure measurements to determine whether a patient is falling into shock or experiencing cardiac failure or a hypertensive crisis.

Ensure the ambulance has all the necessary sizes, including infant, pediatric, adult, and large adult. You should also carry a manual blood pressure cuff in your personal kit in case the one in the ambulance breaks.


Depending on the accident scene and situation, you may be required to improvise, so carrying a multi-tool in your kit is a good idea. For example, you can use your multi-tool to turn on an oxygen tank if you don’t have an oxygen key.

Survival Dog Tag - Gut Hook

The Freedom Fatigues Survival Dog Tag With Gut Hook offers the ideal compact multi-tool for paramedics. Crafted from rugged 304 stainless steel with a MIL-SPEC ball chain and paracord housing, this simple accessory provides EMTs with the ability to cut through garments and gauze, tie a makeshift tourniquet, and remove debris from wounds with the rounded edge.

Power Bank

The use of phones, particularly smartphones, has increased in recent years, and it has become necessary to rely on one for work. Paramedics are no exception. The power bank case protects your phone and recharges it when needed.

Your cell phone can be used to call hospitals, calculate medications and drip rates, take notes, and perform other necessary tasks like a GPS, flashlight, or stopwatch.

Give Back to First Responders with Freedom Fatigues Apparel

Paramedics provide a life-saving service for those in need. At Freedom Fatigues, we support and collaborate with charitable organizations like Call For Backup and First H.E.L.P. that work to break mental health stigma in first responders and emergency workers. A portion of every purchase is donated to charities to support veterans and first responders.

Explore our online catalog of American-made men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, and contact us to learn more about how you can support and show appreciation for our frontline heroes.