5 Essentials All Paramedics Must Have

Paramedics are real-life superheroes who come to our rescue when we’re in greatest need, and every day they walk into unknown, highly pressured, and potentially dangerous situations. In addition, paramedics will work long and arduous shifts, endure all types of weather and must be able to move quickly and easily. If they do not have the right clothing, it is not an exaggeration to say that a paramedic cannot perform their job to their full potential, and that can impact the care they are able to provide.

While each NHS trust has its own uniform policy and guidelines, generally, there are five essential pieces of clothing all paramedics must have in their kit.

  1. Shirt and trousers
    A paramedic’s shirt should be comfortable and easy to move in, enabling them to bend and lift. In addition to being correctly sized, the shirt and trousers should be made from breathable fabric. Being a paramedic is a physically demanding job that can involve terrains and weather of any kind, so the fabric itself needs to be strong. Ideally, both the shirt and trousers should have plenty of pockets which can hold essential pieces of equipment. Finally, the garments need to be able to withstand regular washes at 60ºC to comply with infection control guidelines.
  2. Hi-visibility jackets
    Paramedics often have to put themselves in danger to help others, but that danger can be reduced if they are wearing hi-visibility clothing. A high-visibility ambulance jacket will make paramedics more easily visible, and it also provides an extra layer of protection and warmth in cold conditions. However, a full jacket is not always ideal if the weather is hot or the paramedic needs full motility, e.g., to fit into small spaces. For those situations, a high-visibility waistcoat is more suitable.
  3. Fleece
    Working outside in the winter can be tough, and nothing retains body heat quite like a fleece jacket, especially when worn underneath a high-visibility jacket. Fleece jackets are easy to move around in and should also have plenty of pockets for pieces of equipment so that it can be worn on its own.
  4. Steel toe-capped boots
    It is essential that paramedics have the right footwear for their work. The most popular choice is a pair of steel toe-capped boots, which provide protection against heavy weights falling on their feet, but it is important to ensure they are also comfortable. Paramedics work long shifts with lots of physical activity, and their feet need to be supported by well-fitted shoes to prevent injury.
  5. Other accessories
    Paramedics may also want to invest in some other items to ensure they are prepared for all eventualities. A lightweight helmet, for example, will provide protection for the head without impeding movement. Leather gloves with cotton lining will keep hands warm and dexterous in cold weather, and a utility belt maximizes the equipment paramedics have close by during an emergency. To identify their specific role, epaulettes can be attached to clothing with epaulette sliders, and a carry kit bag ensures paramedics have all their kit to hand when they need it most.