Top 10 Pieces of EMT Equipment & Paramedic Equipment To Carry on Shift

EMT Equipment, Paramedic Equipment, EMS Gear

The 10 Best Pieces of EMT Gear & Paramedic Gear

  1. Watch – G Shock
  2. Trauma Shears – Leatherman Raptors
  3. Stethoscope – Littman Classic III
  4. Key Organiser – Smart Key
  5. Pocket Reference Cards – EMS Reference Cards
  6. Tactical Pen – Atomic Bear Tactical Pen
  7. Notebook – Rite In the Rain
  8. Torch – LedLensor P7.2
  9. Small Back Pack – Mini Day Pack
  10. Spare Pen – Zebra Pens

BONUS: Make sure you check out the best EMS Face Masks!

The Importance of EMT Gear & Paramedic Gear

EMT Equipment and Paramedic Equipment are a growing industry right now, with new tools and pieces of EMS Gear constantly being invented and improved upon, in an effort to make the jobs of EMTs and Paramedics easier and safer. A good example of this is the transition from manual stretchers to powered stretchers, helping EMTs and Paramedics reduce injuries from lifting and carrying patients.

Having good equipment is often essential when providing care, for example – having a good stethoscope instead of a cheap and nasty one will nearly always yield better and more accurate results, and thus have a hugely positive impact on the quality of your care as an EMT or Paramedic.

Just because EMT Equipment and Paramedic Equipment are useful pieces of EMS gear, that doesn’t mean that we should all start wearing every piece of EMT Equipment/Paramedic Equipment available on a thick police-style duty belt, like some kind of paramedic batman.

You should focus on carrying the useful EMT Equipment & Paramedic Equipment, that you use regularly and need quick access to.

This list is compiled of the top 10 useful pieces of EMS Gear that is useful for EMTs and Paramedics, as well as also being multi-functional and robust for use in the EMS field.

What Are The 10 Best Pieces Of EMT Equipment And Paramedic Equipment To Carry While On Shift?

Watch – Basic EMT Equipment

EMT Equipment, EMT Gear, Paramedic Equipment, Paramedic Gear, EMS Gear, watch, G shock
G Shock Watches are great EMS Gear

This may seem obvious to some, but I’ve certainly come across a few EMTs and Paramedics that have either forgotten their watch, or who’s watch has been insufficient for taking the patients basic vital sign observations like pulse and respiration rate.

When choosing a good EMT watch, you want something durable and robust, as well as something that’s easy to clean. I’ve found that nothing beats the G-Shock brand of watches when it comes to meeting this criteria, and are well suited as EMT Gear & Paramedic Gear.

You then need to make the choice between analog and digital, and digital is a far better option as it makes taking observations easy, as well as most digital watches offering built in lights that can be activated at the press of a button to illuminate your watch face and allow you to see the time.

Working in such an unpredictable environment makes these features essential, and after testing a few different watches over the years, the G-shock outperforms all of them, making it essential EMT Equipment & Paramedic Equipment.

Trauma Shears – Fundamental EMS Gear

emt equipment, emt gear, paramedic equipment, paramedic gear, ems gear, raptor, trauma shears
Leatherman Raptors are some of the best EMT Gear & Paramedic Gear available.

We’ve already written about the Best Trauma Shears for EMS, but let’s briefly recap.

When it comes to trauma shears, there are many different options. Although many people simply choose just to purchase the cheapest model available, or use free ones, unfortunately these shears just simply don’t feature the reliability or range of uses as a more premium pair of shears.

The Leatherman Raptors are undoubtedly the best shears on the market, not only are they strong and durable shears, but they also have a range of other tools, including a ring cutter which works remarkably well. These cutting-edge (Nice pun, right?) pieces of EMT Gear & Paramedic Gear are essential pieces of EMS Gear that provide much more than just the ability to cut away your patients clothes.

By choosing to carry a good pair of trauma shears like the Leatherman Raptors, you’re preparing yourself to handle a variety of situations more effectively with just the one tool.

Stethoscope – Essential EMT Equipment

emt equipment, emt gear, paramedic equipment, paramedic gear, ems gear, stethoscope
A good stethoscope is essential EMS Gear, EMT Gear & Paramedic Gear

Having a good stethoscope is paramount to being able to thoroughly assess your patient, and thus provide appropriate care.

Like most pieces of EMT Equipment, choosing a good stethoscope often comes down to personal preferences and experience, you can read more about selecting a good stethoscope here.

Personally, I use the Littman Classic III, which I find is a very exceptional piece of EMT Equipment (The Littman Cardiology IV provides even better performance for Paramedics, making it an even better piece of Paramedic Equipment/Paramedic Gear).

Note: Yes, the Littmann brand are a more expensive brand of EMS Gear, but they make quality products that are reliable pieces of EMT Gear & Paramedic gear and are used daily with little issues.

Key Ring Organiser

emt equipment, emt gear, paramedic gear, paramedic equipment, ems gear, key organiser
While not necessarily EMS Gear, these Key Smart Organisers are a great tool to have so you know your keys are secure while on shift.

If you’re like me and you have multiple keys, then these key ring organisers are great for keeping your keys squared away and secure.

Although these aren’t necessarily a piece of EMT equipment or Paramedic equipment, they are a useful tool to use for those of us in EMS who want to keep their keys safe and secure, making them good EMS Gear.

By using the key ring organiser, you no longer have to put up with the sound of keys clanging together, and no more poking holes through your pockets or scratching your phone screen.

Pro tip: Attach your keys to a retractable lanyard to help guard against pick-pockets.

Pocket Reference Cards

EMT Gear, EMT Equipment, EMS Gear, Paramedic Equipment, Paramedic Gear, Reference Cards, Pocket Reference Cards for EMS
Pocket Reference Cards are incredibly useful pieces of EMT Gear & Paramedic Gear

Reference cards and checklists provide you with a quick way to double-check or verify information, find formulas for calculations and give you an extra piece of mind that crucial information is on-hand. Read more about the Best EMS Reference Cards here!

Some EMTs and Paramedics will argue that if you need reference cards, or even class them as good pieces of Paramedic Equipment, then you don’t belong in EMS. That’s a ridiculous notion. Ensuring you have accurate, up-to-date information and that you are providing the right treatment to your patient is the foundation of providing good care. The use of reference cards does not make you incompetent or forgetful, it makes you sensible.

I’d rather work with the partner who checks their reference cards or protocols, versus the partner who’s too over-confident or arrogant to admit that they may make a mistake or not clearly remember something, and more importantly, which type of profession would you want treating you if you were the patient? The one who cares enough to double check their facts and figures, or the one who could never be wrong and knows it all.

Afterall, plenty of other professionals both in and out of healthcare routinely use checklists, reference cards, etc. all without people drawing conclusions as to their competence.

BONUS TIP: Try to choose a set with the Wong-Baker FACES Scale, like these. Having this as part of your EMT Equipment/Paramedic Equipment is an investment worth making, and is an important piece of EMS Gear that will actually come in useful, and is worth carrying on your shift.

Tactical Pen

emt equipment, emt gear, ems gear, paramedic gear, paramedic equipment, tactical pen, pen
This Tactical Pen proves itself as an incredibly useful piece of EMS gear and has multiple uses.

Tactical Pens are a great piece of EMT Equipment and Paramedic equipment as they have many different uses and are extremely durable.

Usually, Tactical Pens are made of steel or aluminium and are therefore strong and sturdy, making reliable pens, and even a viable self defence option as a last resort.

Also, in a situation where improvising other vital pieces of EMT Equipment or Paramedic Equipment, such as a tourniquet.

Not that we recommend relying on improvised Tourniquets for your EMT Gear, but the pens are strong enough to be used as an improvised windlass, usually combined with a triangular bandage ( A standard piece of Paramedic Equipment) to form an improvised tourniquet.


EMT Gear, EMT Equipment, EMS Gear, Paramedic Equipment, Paramedic Gear, notebook, rite in the rain
Notebooks are fundamental pieces of EMS Gear. Every EMT & Paramedic needs one.

Although many EMS agencies have transitioned to electronic Patient Care Records (PCRs), notebooks are still a vital piece of EMT Equipment and Paramedic Equipment.

I choose to use a Rite in the Rain notebook as the added waterproof feature is worth it if I find myself needing to write down information on the side of a road in the rain, or in any other situation where water can be present, if I write down information on-scene, I want it to still be readable when I get back in the ambulance.

Overall, a notebook is an essential piece of EMT Gear.


EMT Gear, EMT Equipment, EMS Gear, Paramedic Equipment, Paramedic Gear, torch, light
One of the most overlooked pieces of EMS Gear is the humble Torch. The LedLenser P7.2 is among the best available when buying EMT Gear & paramedic Gear.

This is a no-brainer for anyone who works night shift, but they are also a good piece of EMT equipment/Paramedic Equipment to carry on day shift.

You never know when your shift will be extended with mandatory overtime or a mass casualty incident that extends into the night, or be in any other situation where you find yourself in the dark (which seems to happen more often than you’d think!).

Personally, I use the LedLensor P7.2, it’s a reliable and bright torch that hasn’t let me down. Although small, it’s powerful!

They also come with a pouch, and aren’t bulky so if you do choose to wear this on your belt, you won’t be mistaken for a Paramedic Batman.

Additional EMS Gear to help with lighting includes a head torch. You could choose to get one like this to help provide you with hands-free light when required. A head torch could prove as extremely valuable EMT gear, so it’s well worth investing in.

Small Backpack

EMT Gear, EMT Equipment, EMS Gear, Paramedic Equipment, Paramedic Gear, backpack, day pack
Not Technically EMT Gear/Paramedic Gear, but still extremely Useful. This Day Pack is a great place to safely store and carry your EMT Gear/Paramedic Gear.

I usually take a small backpack with me on shift, just large enough to fit some water and food, and any other EMT Gear/Paramedic Gear i’m carrying, plus maybe a book if I’m working a standby or working in a qui…… (ahem!) peaceful… area.

Remember, it’s a bonus if the backpack is easy to clean, especially if you take it in the ambulance with you, you should be able to easily clean it by wiping it down with disinfectant wipes without damaging the fabric.

Sure, it’s not technically EMT Gear/Paramedic Gear, but it’s still useful to have on shift, and can easily be considered EMT Gear/Paramedic Gear provided you make good use of it!

Spare Pen

EMT Gear, EMT Equipment, EMS Gear, Paramedic Equipment, Paramedic Gear, Pen, Spare pens

The golden rule of EMS, apart from not saying the Q word, is that you are going to lose a lot of pens. Colleagues will also lose a lot of pens. Inevitably, they will ask to borrow one of yours, and this, Simba, is the circle of life.

Although not often thought of as being EMT Equipment or Paramedic Equipment, always keep one or two spare pens, plus your main tactical pen. This way, if they get lost you still have a pen to use in the meantime. This pack of cheap pens should help you implement this system rapidly, to avoid being pen-less when you need it most.

Choosing the right EMT Gear/Paramedic Gear

When you’re buying EMT gear/Paramedic Gear, it’s important to choose quality EMS equipment that you can rely on to not break or malfunction, when you need it the most.

That’s why, when we recommend EMT Equipment and Paramedic Equipment, we only recommend the pieces of EMS Gear that we personally use and trust when we need it.

We are willing to put our money where out mouth is, and we stand by the items mentioned in this article.

Furthermore, we’d like to provide you some tips and advice for making sure your desired pieces of EMT Equipment or Paramedic Equipment are really up to scratch.

  • Read the reviews

    Reading the reviews of EMS Gear may seem obvious, but I’ve seen many colleagues buy cheap stethoscopes off of ebay, only to find they have absolutely no acoustic conductivity when they arrive in the mail.
    If only they had of read the reviews – they would have seen others have the same experience, and spent their money on something better.
  • Ask Around

    If you’ve found an awesome looking piece of EMT Equipment or Paramedic Equipment, then don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues if they’ve ever used it, or know anything about it.
    If you don’t feel comfortable asking your colleagues, then you could become an EMT Humor member and gain access to our private Facebook group, and ask other members for their experience and opinions!
  • Get Nerdy

    Don’t be afraid of looking up the manufacturing details of EMT Equipment & Paramedic Equipment.
    Find out where it manufactured, and to what standards. EMS Equipment made in China might not meet the same standards that EMS Gear made in the USA might meet.
    If you’re unsure, checking to ensure the piece of EMT Gear you are buying meets any required safety standards or registrations is a good place to start.
  • Compare EMT Equipment/Paramedic Equipment

    Always compare pieces of EMT Gear and Paramedic Gear. Compare the look, feel, quality, manufacturing location, components and parts, as well as the price.
    Often it’s a case of “you get what you pay for” but there’s also some really reasonably priced pieces of EMT Equipment & Paramedic Equipment that seem like they should be priced higher.

Knowing how to use the EMT Gear/Paramedic Gear

You don’t want to be known as the EMT or Paramedic with “all the gear and no idea” so it’s important to study hard, and read a lot. That’s why we recommend a list of the best EMS Textbooks to help you keep your mind sharp.

Good quality EMS Textbooks prove to be some of the most valuable items of EMS Equipment because they help teach you how to correctly use all the nice EMT Gear and Paramedic Gear mentioned in this article.

Textbooks like Prehospital Emergency Care help introduce new EMTs and Paramedics to EMS concepts, and the correct use of many pieces of EMT Gear and EMT Equipment that are found on ambulances across the world.

EMS Textbooks are essential EMT gear and Paramedic gear

Of course, there are more ways than just reading about EMT Equipment & Paramedic Equipment than just reading about them.

You can always reach out to an instructor, senior colleague or other healthcare professional to help show you how that piece of EMT gear or Paramedic Gear works, and how you can best use it.

Thanks For Reading our List of the Top 10 Pieces of EMT Equipment & Paramedic Equipment.

Read More EMS Tips

We write about more than just EMS Gear – Read More

Did you like this EMT Equipment/Paramedic Equipment Article?

Share it with your EMS Gear-Obsessed Colleagues!

Share this article!
Scroll to Top