EMS Tips

When you say, "It's Not my Job" I Say …

“Then what is your job?”

There is a significant risk for any person or any organization to be asked to assist or given an assignment and to respond with the throwaway line “It’s not my/our job.”

If you use that response you better be sure that the rest of the world is really clear on what your job actually is.

Another high risk response is, “What else don’t you do?”

If the list of things you “don’t do” is longer than the list of things I know you “do” suddenly you become dispensable.

My list of what I know you do is likely much shorter than what you actually do.

Emergency responders and their employers – public, private, volunteer, municipal (the type doesn’t matter) – that spend more time defining what they can’t do, who they won’t help, why it’s not their job, or who else should do it put their contracts, jobs, stations, and pensions at risk.

Make a point to be memorable for what you can do, willingness to go beyond expectations, and never turn down an opportunity to be helpful.

This is my take on the 700 pound question raised at

When you have a chance to demonstrate that you are indispensable, will you?

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.