About Me

Thanks for coming to my website. I’m Steve Whitehead, a firefighter paramedic for the South Metro Fire Rescue Authority.

My first EMT job was in San Jose California with a company called PacMed. In 1992 PacMed merged with several local services and adopted the name AMR. That same year I became a paramedic and moved on.

Since that time I have been a paramedic field instructor, an EMS supervisor, a firefighter and an instructor of EMTs at all levels. I’m currently an instructor with South Metro’s EMT program. It was my experiences teaching and tutoring the South Metro EMT students that inspired me to create The EMT Spot.

Another point of inspiration has been my experiences as a freelance author. I have been writing for EMS journals for over five years now and have found the experience both rewarding and challenging. I’ve had the good fortune to see my articles on the cover of EMS Magazine, Advanced Rescue Technology and JEMS. Nothing has helped me hone my own EMT knowledge and skills quite like writing about the subject for a larger audience. In that respect, The EMT Spot is as much a commitment to my own ongoing development as it is to yours.

I write The EMT Spot from my home in Parker Colorado where I live with my wife of 11 years and our two grade school age children. My family and I are active members of Southeast Christian Church here in Parker and I am involved in outreach missions to Panama. Our family enjoys wilderness hikes, skiing, SCUBA diving and  daddy’s famous pancakes.

Thanks for being a part of my website. Come back soon.


  1. Just wanted to write and thank you for this website- I’m a new EMT in San Francisco and currently job hunting. What a great resource you’ve built here!


  2. I stumbled across your website recently, and I really enjoy it. Thank you for taking the time to do it!

  3. do you have any of your past emt exams I really need some tips I am in the westmed emt course and I got a D on one of the exams but I am doing well on everything else, let me know

    I am here in san jose, ca

  4. I am linking your page to mine.

  5. Steve Whitehead says:

    Hey thanks NYC. I always appreciate a link-up.

  6. Steve Whitehead says:

    April, I’m currently working on an E-book to address that very question. I’m sorry I don’t have more to offer you right now. ;-(

  7. Steve Whitehead says:

    Courtney and AdCy thank you.

  8. Lisa Harter says:

    Hi Steve. I’m starting an EMT class this January of 2010, at Baldy View Regional Occupational Program center in Ontario, CA. I chose this program because it offers the most hands on experience and practice between class hours, ride alongs, and clinical shifts of all the programs I have researched available here in southern California. I’ll be an older student, 47, entering a professional field completely different from anything I’ve ever done before (English major, B.A. and M.A.). I am so excited and so looking forward to all I have to learn . Been studying ahead of time, two books of medical terminology later, I just want to be on the ball, there’s so much to learn. I’ve been surfing on the web exploring every EMS/EMT site I can find and so, stumbled on yours! First article I just read was about the foundational importance of good “basic” EMT skills. That’s just what I want to achieve. Do you have any advice/recommendations/thoughts for someone starting out and older, like me? Thanks!

  9. Charles Butler says:

    Thanks for bringing back some fond memories. Keep up the good work.

  10. Hey Steve,

    Some of us are old enough to remember when you first started putting words on a page. I love your website and your writing!!!



  11. Becky Owens says:

    I am an EMT in Vermont, running with a small town ambulance service and full time ski patroller. I have visited your site often for information and to improve my skills. Thank you

  12. Steve Whitehead says:

    @Becky I’m glad you find the site useful. Thanks for your comment. Be careful out there on the slopes.

    @Mike Thanks Mike. You’ve always been a great EMS writing mentor to me. You influenced my writing long before I even considered doing it myself. Thanks for coming by.

    @Charles, Thanks my friend.

    @Lisa, Your life experience will be immeasurably helpful in your quest to become a caregiver. You’re starting off with that advantage. And you’re not old … you’re in your prime. Have fun.

  13. Nice site.As a medic this makes for great reading at work.

  14. Steve Whitehead says:

    Hey, thanks Nolan. I’m glad you like the site. You keep reading and I’ll keep writing.

  15. Hi Steve- I read your article in the December EMS mag (The Power of Words) and I wanted to check out your site. I was vry impressed with your article- I retired from EMS 2 years ago to further pursue my nursing career. But I go into nursing because of EMS. Your perspective is so importaant- respect is the most precious thing you can give to anyone- but especially to someone you care for as a patient. THey are vulnerable, and probably not at their best. I work with geriatric community and dementia patients respond quicker to a respectful approach than anything else. Speaking to a patient on their level, is the only thing that will establish the rapport you need to help them . Dememtia patients can be difficult, but in spite of the confusing world they live in, they sense respect- and they remeber the many years of living as an independent adult with the freedom to choose. Don’t take that away from them Even animals respond to respect when establishing communication with them. Very few medical personnel seem to understand the need for showing respect, and I thank you for your article- it was much needed.

  16. Nice to see a fellow believer/blogger putting up a strong effort. Nice page. I’m putting a link to your blog on mine. If you know of any others, let me know. You’re an inspiration to many.


  17. Evan Hickey says:

    Hey Steve,

    I heard about your website, and had to check it out. It is a really good resource for all of us in the EMS field. Having such a talented, and knowledgeable instructor such as yourself was a pleasure, and a requirement for the challenges we face day to day in the job.

    Keep it up, and good luck with the nomination!

    Your former student,

    Evan Hickey

  18. Steve Whitehead says:

    @Nancy. Thanks for your contribution. I imagine your work with dementia patients must take a tremendous amount of patience. I’m glad the article met with your approval.

    @Dave Thank Dave I appreciate the link. I’m glad you like the site.

    @Evan Hey brau. great to hear from you. I’m gad to hear that your EMT career is going well and glad that you found the site. I look forward to your comments.

  19. Evan Hickey says:

    Hey Steve, I sent you an email a few weeks ago regarding SMFR EMT-B practicals…if you need victims, then I’m your guy, just let me know, and I will try to fit it into my schedule!


  20. Just stumbled across your site one night and I’m already hooked. Thank you for the great information and advice! Keep up the good work.

  21. Excellent site.

  22. Hey Steve I am a 17 year old and a junior in high school and I am thinking about enrolling in an EMT-B class at Jefferson University Hospital and then after high school going into paramedic school but I am worried about the pay. Any advice

  23. Steve, Thank you for this Blog. I am an EMT student and I find your site to be incredibly helpful and encouraging. I like that you speak out against patronizing attitudes towards Basic level EMT’s (those of others and of themselves) and promote professionalism and a constant quest for knowledge and learning. With all you do, you must be incredibly busy, but you are also amazingly dedicated and real role model to those of us just getting our feet wet in EMS. Thanks.

  24. Mini-Medic says:

    Dear Steve,

    I laughingly quip that I came to EMS as a mid-life crisis, and, after having 8 children and several teenagers, I believed I was well-prepared for the juvenile attitudes I all-too-easily found. But I also have found a profession that I feel emulates Jesus’ ministry in that we are not sitting back and waiting for those in need of healing to come to us–we are taking the healing to the places where those that hurt need us to be. And as a primary instructor for basic EMT classes, I emphasize to those students that sometimes the most healing touch that we offer is the human one. Even something as basic as holding a hand can make all the difference to a life that is often hurting just as much emotionally as physically.

    I stumbled upon your site accidentally while searching to clarify the concept of “duty to act” for one of my students. I am thankful to have found what I believe to be a kindred spirit to that of my own: a member of the EMS community that is not afraid to care, to share, to teach, to learn, to grow and to go to meet the needs of those that God brings into my path.

    Thanks for joining all of us in the journey, and for sharing all of your gifts with us!

  25. Dear Steve,

    I have been trolling your site for a while, and I figured now was a good of a time as any to say hello. I love reading what you write; you have a gift. You can get that spark to re-ignite in me when I wonder why I do this job anymore.

    Thank you, thank you, Thank You!
    ~M. Trommashere~

  26. Mark Baird says:

    PacMed? That was a long time ago. I used to work for Medevac in San Jose and Regional in Alameda County, before they both became AMR. I have also worked for DGH, but am now in SoCal. You made a good choice at leaving to Colorado. Where did you got to Medic School? Stanford class of ’89 here.


  27. Donna Galganski-Pabst says:

    Would love for you to consider speaking at our EMS Conferance .Can you email me so I have your email address and can send you the information to consider.
    Look forward to hearing from you .

    Thanks Donna

  28. Dennis Mejias says:

    Hey steve im just briefly going over your website and i have to say, as an emt student this website is great. I can’t wait to go home and fully look over all the good stuf you have for us to learn and get better at. I am also excited about becoming an emt and moving to paramedic when i graduate in march. Thanks again!!!

  29. Travis Wolever says:

    Hey Steve, i just found your website n im hooked as well already, i took Registry at the end of May n passed, but i didnt pass my practical the first time around, im itching to be certified and get out in the field, do you know of any other schools that are holding practicals? If yes, please let me know, the fall term out here ends in december so anything before then would be great. Hope to hear from you. Cheers, Travis

  30. Hi
    I am training to become a paramedic in Australia and your site has been so very helpful. Everything from tips and tricks, ideas, different methods of treatment etc.
    It has also been interesting reading about the way in which ambulance services operate in the USA. Here, each state runs its own service. One state, one service.

    Anyway, looking forward to reading more.

  31. Thanks for creating this site. I’m an RN and have found some very helpful info. Bless you!

  32. Ryan Swearingen says:

    Great website, Im a new emt-a.. its really great to have a site like this to stay sharp and on top of the skills.

  33. Thanks for this website I was reading about your tips to remember the GCS score I just finished my EMT-I in Savannah Georgia. Was wondering if you have any tips on the NREMT exam I have taken it 2 times and can not pass. I made good grades in the class and did very well on all my clinicals but this is killing me Thanks again for your time!!

  34. hey thanks i just started my emt-b course and your site is really helping me i have my cpr test tomorrow im from new york city any advice on how to pass it or what to study first.i haven’t been to school in a very long time before this course and i failed the first time i took the exam please help any study secret’s. i would really appreciate any help or advice.i am studying (the emergency care and transportation of the sick and injured ninth edition)
    please email me at vinnybrits@gmail.com

    thank you all

  35. steve i told a few guys from class about your site and we just want to say thank you for this it is very nice of you to take your time and do this for us and all the other first responders out there all over the country .you are a great person for doing this i hope to one day also pass my emt-b an become a FDNY paramedic and help the new jacks but first i have to study for this any tips or advise please feel free to email me @


  36. Thanks for creating this blog, I love reading your stories and keeping up with latest info.

  37. Why am i getting spam from you ? I enjoy your site but did i sign up to get spammed by some advance your carreer here ad ? ? ? ?

  38. administrator says:

    Hey Owe. My newsletter list receives a single offer from one of our sponsors each month. This month..and likely in the future, it’s College Network. I think these guys are an awesome resource for EMTs to help them advance their career. The response from the readership has been pretty positive. I understand that you have to make a judgement call on what constitutes value in your inbox. I think the volume of free and useful content far outweighs the promotional content. You’ll have to be the judge for you personally.

    Thanks for the question,

  39. Hello from across the ocean

    I am an ILS medic in South Africa (I think we fall roughly between your EMT-I and Paramedic)

    I have to say that I really love this website.

    In South Africa, we have a very long way to go in terms of EMS education.
    Although we have some courses of a very high standard and quite a large scope of practise, we have a very limited choice of CME’s and short courses to further our knowledge and skills and to solidify and further understand what we learned on our main courses.

    We have no dedicated EMS sites (except those of the different companies providing the services) and no EMS journals.
    As such, trying to keep up with latest techniques and best practise is very difficult; this website is a great help in trying to fill some of that void.

    Keep up the good work.

    P.S I am trying to build a patch/badge collection from different EMS groups from around the world. If anybody is interested in exchanging some, please email me at lee.emt@googlemail.com

  40. Hey Steve,

    I was doing some research on EMT blogs and I found your site. I think you have one of the best one around :-).
    I’ve started my website project more as a research on the EMT’s after my wife gave birth to our third kid (and was brought to the hospital by ambulance). It’s a very honorable job 🙂

  41. This website is awesome. Thank you.

  42. Charles Eggers says:

    Currently I’m completing a research paper regarding paramedic burnout and found your insight very helpful. Your contributions are very realistic and wonder how you came across these methods? Thanks again for being a voice for the EMS community.

    Best Regards,

    Charles Eggers

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  44. Steve,
    Sounds like things are going well for you. I am now working for Bakersfield Fire in the Training Division. I found your site while browsing for EMS articles to put in our monthly training plan. Thanks for what you are doing, maybe we can entice you come back to California to teach some of your stuff one of these days. Do you teach at EMS World and those types of venues?
    Take care!
    Mike Lencioni

  45. Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you
    if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  46. Hello, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam feedback?
    If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  47. Hi, Steve…
    I think round-number birthdays are hard on adults because it makes the math so easy and then so shocking to realize how long ago something was. In my case it’s age 60 and–what??? –33 years since I was what was called back in the day, an EMT-IV. Now all too often I’m the patient being treated and transported! (I have very brittle Type 1 diabetes.) I stumbled on to your website today and time-traveled back to my ’20s. Thanks for the work you do to polish and advance skills in the profession.

    Vicki in Kirkland, WA

    p.s. Is it my advancing age or are EMTs and paramedics just cuter these days?


  1. […] first book in the series will be Steve Whitehead’s New E-Book The Non-Conformists Guide To EMS […]

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