Looking for the Best Books for EMTs? This list of the best EMS books is written by medics, for medics. Remember, even if you read the best books for EMTs, you still need to practice your skills regularly and never stop learning!
Although we’ve written about the Best EMS Textbooks before, you won’t find any textbooks on this list, instead the focus is on easy-to-read books that add immense value to our lives as EMS professionals, and helps us provide better care for our patients – and sometimes that means more informal learning.
1. A Thousand Naked Strangers by Kevin Hazzard – One of the best books for EMTs
As one of the Best EMS Books, A Thousand Naked Strangers is Kevin Hazzard’s story of being an EMT in Atlanta. The book is entertaining, but also offers some educational value for EMTs and Paramedics alike.
Reading about other people’s experiences in EMS can help us reflect on our own, identify similarities, potential areas for improvement, and consider our own perceptions of what we do, helping us to grow and become better providers.
2. Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss
Never Split the Difference is written by Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator who basically wrote the book on hostage negotiation techniques. As an EMT or Paramedic, negotiation is a fundamental skill that we use every shift. Whether it’s negotiating with our stubborn elderly patients to get them to agree to a hospital visit, or negotiating with our employers for better pay and working conditions, it’s difficult to accomplish these tasks without having a good understanding of which negotiation techniques work best, and why.
The way this books teaches negotiation is powerful, making it one of the best books for EMTs to improve their overall abilities and understanding.
That’s why this negotiation book is also a reliable EMT book or Paramedic Book. The skills inside also have the potential to assist us with conflict resolution and de-escalation – both vital skills in EMS.
3. Lights & Sirens by Kevin Grange
This Paramedic Book by Kevin Grange is one of the best books for EMTs, taking an in-depth look at education in EMS, both that attained through formal schooling, and on-the-job learning. Kevin attended UCLA’s Daniel Freeman Paramedic Program, and did his field internship with the Los Angeles Fire Department, these experiences are discussed in Lights & Sirens, with a focus on the positive side of EMS.
4. Hard Roll by Jon McCarthy
In Hard Roll, Jon McCarthy recounts some of his most memorable calls from his EMS career in New Orleans. These gripping stories are a valuable read for EMTs and Medics, meaning that this EMS Book easily makes the top 12!
5. First Responder by Jennifer Murphy
Jennifer Murphy writes about her experiences as an EMT in New York City. Published in April, 2021, First Responder also recounts details of dealing with the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its affect on EMS.
6. The Patriots Creed by Kris Paronto
If you haven’t heard of Kris Paronto, you likely have, but don’t remember the name. Kris Paronto was one of the CIA contractors who risked their lives to defend American lives in Benghazi, the story made popular by the book, and subsequent movie, “13 Hours”.
In The Patriot’s Creed, Kris talks about the everyday heroism that is encompassed by the collective First Responder community. From the military, through to local law enforcement, fire departments and EMS, he shares stories that are awe-inspiring, and showcase the best of humanity. While not directly EMS related, there are stories included from EMTs and Paramedics, and overall the book offers a lot of value for EMS providers, especially those who may be jaded, struggling or considering why they even go to work anymore.
7. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Anyone who served/serves in the military already knows the principle Leaders Eat Last. The idea (in a basic sense) is that leaders should ensure their teams are looked after, well nourished, etc. before themselves. Leadership in EMS is an important topic that requires careful consideration, and this book is a great starting point.
8. Rescue 471 by Peter Canning
Rescue 471 recounts the stories of Paramedic Peter Canning, and although it’s an older publication, it still holds plenty of value today, offering providers insight, guidance and words of wisdom.
9. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
I know what you’re thinking…. How on earth did a finance book like Rich Dad Poor Dad end up on a list of the best EMS Books?
Well, we all know that EMS doesn’t offer the best pay in the world, and while we’ve already written about ways to make some extra money while working in EMS, it’s important to develop good financial literacy to help your money go as far as possible.
10. On the Go by Greg McCaffrey
Recounting their time as a trauma flight nurse and paramedic, On The Go is a great book for anyone interested in a career as a flight paramedic.
11. Lifeline by Darren Duvall
Retired fire captain and paramedic Darren Duvall recalls some tragic, funny and interesting situations he encountered throughout his life in Fire/EMS. Lifeline is a great book for anyone in EMS, or those looking to start a career as an EMT or Paramedic.
12. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink
In Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin discuss leadership lessons learned in combat, put into practice in the civilian world. As EMTs and Paramedics, leadership is an important skill to have, and while we’ve already written about leadership in EMS, you can never learn too much about the topic.