Flashlights and Knives?


Forum Lieutenant
Do you intend on doing a lot of stabbing? What happens when your psych Pt, or what turns out to be a psych, decides it's time to go hands on and gets a hold of that knife? Think about safety, not looking cool.


Forum Asst. Chief
The thing is, I'm on a Paid Volunteer Service, so what I did was quit my fulltime job to focus on ems.
Your an inspiration to us all.

I have a flashlight by my bed, on my person, 3 in my truck, and a personal light in my Ambo, and one knife on my person.
Why do you have one by your bed? In case a patient comes out of your closet (in that case I would opt for the knife instead of the flashlight)?
You always have a flashlight on your person? Do you also have a EMT badge? You know, just so EVERYONE is aware.
3 in your truck? I think you know where I am going with this.

Am I being ridiculous? I haven't even had to use one on a call yet. So again, am I being ridiculous?
Yes and yes.

What are some good use for flashlights and knives in EMS? And what are some good knives or flashlights to use?
Seeing in the dark and cutting stuff.
Bright ones and sharp ones.


Forum Probie
I realize how ridiculous i was being. As I've said I toned myself down, I gave some flashlights away as gifts, and I don't even bother with a knife. Thank you for your input though.


Forum Deputy Chief
Saw a private transfer guy at the hospital yesterday with shears, big ole mag light, knife, seat belt cutter and gloves on his belt. I almost spit out my coffee and I wasn't even drinking any.


Forum Asst. Chief
I've found a knife is very useful, but primarily for opening boxes of supplies and forcing our crappy plastic O2 seals off the bottles. In 5 years of EMS, I have cut exactly one seatbelt with one (note that a knife is not preferred for this--use shears) and lost two others, so I don't advocate spending a lot of money on them. A dinky one at the sporting goods store is probably fine. I keep it small so it can safely stay clipped in my pocket and away from my patients.

As far as flashlights, I actually think everyone is being a little harsh. I keep a flashlight by my bed and in my car. It has nothing to do with EMS, but they're useful in power outages and the like. If you're responding POV as part of your EMS service, I'd keep a light in your car too. If you respond with the ambulance, I don't see any reason to carry one since the truck should have some on board.

I don't like carrying any on my belt, it seems excessive, especially since I work days.


Forum Ride Along
I use on duty Swiss Army rescue tool knife (its my jack of all trades), Streamlight microstream and Swiss Tool RS. When off duty for every day carry and volunteer department I carry again Swiss Army rescue tool and streamlight nano flashlight clip on to knife with a small pocket watch.

Multitool come in handy for maintenance and tech rescue (particularly auto carabiners, which get jammed up pretty easy up here in Alaska), scissor on them have been modified for quick opening for making steri strips and patient cloth removal (such as burn clinging materials). Blade is modified for one handed opening. This tool I wear mostly when serving as medic or crew chief on either ladder/ rescue company or engine company duties.

Swiss Army rescue tool has a blade for cutting patients clothing and seat belts which I use often (policy wise, if were performing extrication, we cut the attached seat belts), general purpose blade also comes in handy for daily use.
Streamlight microstream I like because of size and it can be clipped to brim of ball cap.

Trauma shears are nice but interfere with putting on turnout gear, don't work well for forcing carabiner or cutting line for either high angle or shipboard firefighting. I actually had a pair pop out while being timed for bunker drill and hitting FAA inspector for ARFF drill two years ago.

Lieutenant/ Paramedic
DHS USCG Base Kodiak Fire & Rescue


Forum Ride Along
I strongly recommend the leather man raptor trauma shears. I am also a volunteer on call all the time also and I'm working for an ambo company. I come up on car wrecks all the time on my way to work and these shears cut through battery cables and have a seatbelt cutter that is very handy. Instead of carrying multiple rescue tools I only have to carry my raptors. As far as flashlights, I keep a pen style led light I got from the hardware store. Costs like 5-10 bucks and is more reliable than the ems pen lights but doesn't blind my pts like the cell phone light.


Critical Crazy
I quickly learned that I was caught up less when moving the patient and was more agile in tight spaces the less crap I had.

If I was going to be on the bus again, I'd carry:
Leatherman Raptor (shears, belt cutter, O2 wrench, window punch)
Fenix FL55 Headlamp (light, small, brighter than any Mag light)
Princeton Tech Pulsar (keychain LED light also works for pupilary response without blinding the pt)


The Other Guy/ Paramaybe?
All I carry on me is my Benchmade 530 Pardue and a streamlight vantage mounted on my helmet.


Forum Lieutenant
I have a flashlight next to my bed, I have 1-2 in my truck, I have 3 when I'm on duty (small handheld that doubles for checking pupils, a 3D LED Maglite, and a light on my helmet), and I carry a drop point combo knife at all times. They have all come in handy and I use them often.

Small light: works for small rooms and has a pupil exam setting

Maglite: I work in a desert where some areas are very dark so a powerful light is great.

Helmet light: I'm not gonna hold a light while trying to do patient care, that's what my partner is for or I can just put it on my helmet and free her up to help me.

Knife: I have tried the blunt tip knifes and the rescue knifes. However I always find a need for a sharp tip (opening packages to cleaning under my finger nails to forced entry to houses). The majority of the rescue knifes are too big for my taste.

EDIT: Let me add that the Maglite stays in my backpack unless I determine I need it.

I like the headlamps too. Small , bright, mine flashes and does the red vision thing. More useful than a flash in most cases though a small streamlight is good for the pocket.