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Questions to Ask Before Purchasing New EMS Equipment

Many EMS agencies are preparing budgets for the next fiscal year. More than ever funds are tight and cutbacks are likely. This article about the lack of 12 lead capable cardiac monitors in Chicago Fire Department ambulances gets at the complexity of purchasing new equipment.

In an Everyday EMS Tips column I encouraged readers to ask these questions before making any new equipment purchase.

1. If you had to pick just one piece of new equipment, which would it be?

2. Which one thing would benefit your patients the most? Would it offer a benefit to your service’s coworkers as well?

3. How would the new piece of equipment improve patient assessment and care?

4. How could you prove a positive impact on patient assessment and care with the new piece of equipment?

5. What protocol changes or initial and ongoing education would be required if the new equipment was purchased?

6. Does your service have the ability to maintain and monitor use of new equipment?

7. What could be eliminated from the existing inventory by purchasing the new piece of equipment?

Visit to read the full Everyday EMS Tips column. What would you add to this list?

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.