As requested we compiled a list of common terms/questions you had. Please Comment with any questions so we can add them to this list.
Common street terms:
Push: Police and fire may request a "push" if the patient is deemed to be critical or EMS is needed quickly.
80Z: an old police term used for a non viable patient. This term has been replaced with "Non viable." however, 80z is sometimes still used.
Ring down: Used by crews who do not have time to notify the hospital of the patients condition via CMED. The EMT assigned to dispatch will notify the hospital for the crew via phone.
EDP: Emotionally disturbed person- essentially a psych.
Trauma X: Sexual assault.
L20: A crew can request this when they anticipate a delay onscene/at a hospital.
H&H: Health and Hospitals, the former name of Boston EMS
PDN: Party denies need. When a crew arrives and finds a patient that has no injury/illness you may hear them clear with a PDN.
Ocean frank: A unit logging off.
HOC / OCC: Highway Operation or the old Operations Control Center for the tunnel system and now I-93 and I-90 in the city, Ability to direct responding unit and provide updates directly via Boston EMS radio to the responding units using video cameras and State Police and DOT personnel
UCC: Unified command center. During large scale events/weather emergencies, this command center is staffed by representatives from most city agencies
Common call sign questions:
C #'s: All supervisors are issued a C number, C1 being the Chief of department.
C1: Chief of department
C2: Superintendent in Chief
C3-C5: Superintendents (Senior command staff)
C7-C19: Deputy Superintendents (shift Commanders) 1 DS per shift. Their call sign is their assigned C#.
C20-C29: Captains. 1 Per shift. Their call sign is their assigned C#.
C30-81: Lieutenants. 2 Lt's per shift (Their call sign is either Division 1 or Division 2.) Communications also has 1-2 Lts assigned per shift.
EMTxxx: EMTs individual numbers
Medicxxx: Paramedics individual numbers
Academy 101: Personnel assigned to Training and Quality Improvement Section
Tango 1-5: EMT's assigned to the Special operations divison.
A in front of a number: IE: A15- A BLS ambulance with two EMT's
P in front of a number: IE P1- An ALS unit with two Paramedics
X-ray units: Bicycle units
HU2: Harbor unit 2. During the summer months EMT's are assigned to the Boston Police harbor unit.
Jake team: 6 wheeled John Deere gators capable of transporting patients to medical tents.
A40: bariatric ambulance
A50/51: Detail ambulances
Squad 70-73: Detail SUV
S61-68: Materials unit/Mobile supply
S70's: Fleet maintence- mechanics
The Main/ Fleet: fleet maintence/ mechanics garage. This is also where spare ambulances are stored.
Supply: Located at Massachusetts ave/Albany street.
"The city" or "The Menino": Units commonly use these terms when referring to the Boston Medical Center.
Bradgon: BEMS Special Operations.
Birth 10: The location of the Boston Police harbor unit, Terminal St. South Boston.
The edge: P2/A2 Satelite location on Warren St.
174: An old term used to describe Eddy Everett square. 174 is the fire box number for that location.
Paramedic terminology can be complex and confusing. That’s because paramedics are highly trained professionals who perform complex life-saving procedures on patients in extreme situations. Nobody wants to become a paramedic’s patient, but if you or a loved one does need paramedic help, there is some paramedic terminology you might want to know.
Here are the 10 paramedic terminology phrases everyone should understand:
1. A.L.S. Advanced Life Support
This is paramedic terminology for the advanced level of emergency care they administer using invasive life saving procedures, including intravenous (IV) infusions, tracheal intubation, medication administration and electrocardiogram interpretation.
2. Anaphylactic Shock
This is a collapse of the circulatory system function and decrease in blood pressure from an allegic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that can result in death if not treated immediately. It can be caused by an allergic reaction to medications, bee stings, other insect bites and certain foods. Read how a flight paramedic survived an in-flight case of anaphlaxis.
3. Atrial Tachycardia
Uncontrolled rapid heartbeat in the atria of the heart. This condition sounds scary, but it’s not life threatening. It can however cause blood clots which can cause a stroke, which is life threatening.
4. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Most people know this term, but for the uninitiated, CPR refers to a life-saving procedure used when the heart has stopped beating and the patient has stopped breathing. It employs hand pressure on the chest to circulate blood and breathing into the patient’s mouth to introduce air into the lungs. Anyone can learn how to perform hands-only CPR — watch a demo of hands-only CPR — or receive just-in-time CPR instruction from a 911 dispatcher.
5. Cardiac Arrest
The sudden temporary or permanent cessation of the heart function. Fatal if not treated. Apply an Automatic External Defibrillator as soon as it available.
6. Collapsed Lung
This can occur as the result of a chest injury such as impact to the chest in a car accident. It can also be caused by lung disease.
7. Supra-ventricular Tachycardia
This condition is life threatening. It denotes a synchronized rapid contraction of the heart ventricles, decreasing cardiac function and will cause death if it isn’t treated and corrected.
This paramedic term involves the prioritizing of medical response according to the severity of the patient's condition or injury. Test your ability to triage 10 mass casuality incident patients with a quiz.
9. Ventricular Fibrillation
Uncontrolled spasm of the heart muscle with no cardiac output. Results in death if not corrected immediately. An electric defibrillator is used to correct this condition through electric shock, allowing the heart to return to a normal rhythm, if successful.
10. Ventricular Tachycardia
Uncontrolled rapid heartbeat produced in the ventricular section of the heart. This reduces cardiac function due to a decrease in ventricle filling. Potentially life threatening if it progresses to ventricular fibrillation.
By knowing the paramedic terminology commonly used in emergency situations, you can better understand the procedures they use in treating patients.