What Every Paramedic Should Carry (EDC for Medics)

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As a paramedic you job and job setting is always moving rapidly with ever changing variables. It’s important to be prepared for as much as you can. While its impossible to be prepared for every situation there are few things you can carry to fix a lot of problems.

A paramedics EDC needs to be adaptable but pertinent to his or her line of work. After working as a paramedic for the past five years, here is a list of items every paramedic should carry.

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Most actual medical equipment and tools are found on the ambulance or in the jump bag that the company often provides. But a stethoscope now thats personal.

For starters hygiene…you don’t want any body else earwax going in your ear.

But more importantly a quality stethoscope goes a long way and makes hearing those difficult lung sounds in stressful situations that much easier. I personally use and recommend the Littman Brand when on the Box. When I’m on the Firetruck, or worried about loosing my Stethoscope, I like to use the MDF Brand as a budget option on Amazon.


Lets start off by saying there are alot of multitools on the market. Some are pretty great and others not so much.

If this is a tool you plan on actually using stick to a brand that has already been vetted by many first responders and military. Leatherman is the way to go. Leatherman makes OHT which has a couple tools oriented to first responders.

Its a good tool but a little bulky so I prefer the Leatherman P4 for its slim design and one hand opening for every tool…because I rarely have both hands available.

Trauma Shears or Rescue Knife

If you are a paramedic then you must know that Trauma=Clothing or shoes might need to be cut off.

Clothes have to come off for most critical trauma patients to do a complete assessment. So having a tool that cuts through fabric and nylon quickly is a must.

I’ve used and carried both trauma shears and a rescue knife. Both work well. These days I carry only a rescue knife since I found that I can easily tear through most anything with a maintained blade after years of experience, but I’d recommend Trauma Shears to anyone new. You cant go wrong with the Benchmade Triage or the Leatherman Raptor Shears. You can also get the generic option because chances are you will loose or break them.

Pen and Marker

So you will always need a pen and marker. Most of the time you wont have it because it got lost. (This is why I personally do not recommend having a quality pen on the job.)

Buy a pack of ten and keep them in your bag for when you need them after your partner lost your last one. But if you want a quality pen that’s durable, compact and long lasting then I recommend a fisher space pen. Also a marker or sharpie very useful for marking distal pulses or writing measurements on tubes or marking times on tourniquets.


Another great tool that won’t break the bank. Flashlights these days are becoming more advanced with brighter lights and smaller designs.

Using a pen style light is ideal for this line of work. You’ll need something useful with that patients poorly lit house or that 3AM car wreck.

A regular light could be helpful, but a pen light can be attached to your uniform or fit in your pocket. Making it quick to use and easy. I’d recommend ordering several ‘cheaper’ options online (like Amazon has a bunch of multipacks) or at the Supply Store, so that you always have a back up (again, because these things get lost, fall in weird places, or break)


As a Paramedic, timing is everything. While a lot of people use smart watches these days, they have one flaw (the battery). I prefer something that will last months if not longer if its solar. Im a fan of G Shock or Protrek series.

Lots of things to carry

A lot of people will carry a large amount of objects with the thought to be prepared for anything. I prefer a simplistic mindset of does it bring me more use than inconvenience and will I actually use it. Then go for quality and lightweight. Cant go wrong with that process.

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