Learning streets in a new city or state

blachatch

Forum Lieutenant
173
0
16
What is the best way to learn streets in an area that you are not familiar with? I'm looking for people that have moved to a different state or city for an EMS job. What is a the best way to learn in a short amount of time?
 

medichopeful

Flight RN/Paramedic
1,863
254
83
What is the best way to learn streets in an area that you are not familiar with? I'm looking for people that have moved to a different state or city for an EMS job. What is a the best way to learn in a short amount of time?

Get a GPS :p

But in all seriousness, you learn the streets pretty quickly when you're working, especially driving. If you have a GPS, put it on "view map" while you're on the ambulance if you're not using it for directions, because it will show you the street you're on and the surrounding ones. I work in a city different to the one I live in, and when I started I had no idea how to get anywhere except to the base. Once I started driving (there's a waiting period where I work), stuff really started to come together.
 

NomadicMedic

Pot or Kettle? Unsure.
11,833
6,527
113
Drive around. Get random address lists from dispatch and map yourself to them. Or, do what 95% of the people do... Use GPS, the CAD or your phone.
 
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blachatch

Forum Lieutenant
173
0
16
Do any of you put in the address in your phone gps and just use that going to the hospital?
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
11,088
3,307
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Do any of you put in the address in your phone gps and just use that going to the hospital?

I do that going to call locations. Once I'm at the house I don't need to route myself using a map or GPS to the hospital. I just drive out the same way I came in until I get to a major street. Once I'm at a major street I can get anywhere very easily.

Learn the major streets and if there is any system that they follow (for one of our areas even numbered streets go through several cities while odd numbered streets don't). Just knowing major streets will help you a lot.

Drive the area was the easiest for me. You will also learn all of the big bumps and other traffic hazards to avoid. Do some research on the city to see if they hold events (every Thursday night all year we have a major street shut down for a market night).
 
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abckidsmom

Dances with Patients
3,380
5
36
When you're posted listen to the radio and map yourself to each call that's dispatched. From the place the truck started and from where you start.


Pay attention when people are telling stories and look up the addresses. Linking a place with a story helps you keep it in your head.
 

avdrummerboy

Forum Lieutenant
154
20
18
As I suggest to new trainees- most of the people that work for my company live at least an hours drive time away, so we're all 'foreigners' to the area-Learn the major streets first, the smaller cross streets will come to you with time. There are people who have worked here for years and still have no clue where half the calls are, it's not a bad thing, just the problem of covering 2500 square miles and lots of unnammed roads.

As you run calls, you will get used to the other smaller streets, and you'll quickly learn how to get to the places of regular riders quickly.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
7,589
2,550
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When you're posted listen to the radio and map yourself to each call that's dispatched. From the place the truck started and from where you start.


Pay attention when people are telling stories and look up the addresses. Linking a place with a story helps you keep it in your head.

This is excellent advice. Helps immensely. Aside from that, go get yourself thoroughly lost. Then figure out how to get to the hospitals from there. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Drive the major roads. Figure out how to get north south and east west quickly. From there you can learn smaller streets and shortcuts.
 

LACoGurneyjockey

Forum Asst. Chief
778
437
63
When I first started working in a new area, the day I got off Id just take my own car and drive around town, paying attention to street signs, dropping a pin on my phone in some random location, drive out there, and back to the hospital. A couple hours at a time and I had the major parts of the area down pretty quick.
 

rugbyguy

Forum Crew Member
35
0
6
I bike alot, so when I moved to my new area, I biked all over it, it was alot of work as it is a more rural FD so I got in great shape, but that's a great way to learn it. That being said between my GPS and map book, I have yet to get lost.
 

Ewok Jerky

PA-C
1,400
738
113
I started with hospital addresses. When you are going to a call you have your partner to help you navigate there, but when returning it's just you so you need to know where the hospital is. Certainly use GPS as a backup or to help you out of a neighborhood.

Hospital addresses first. Major north south roads second. Third are major roads leading into neighborhoods/developments. Oh also know local landmarks like big buildings and well-known businesses. Sometimes you get a call with no address other than "rt 2 just south of dead-mans curve" or some such.
 

johnrsemt

Forum Deputy Chief
1,496
215
63
IF you working FD (so one area) Take significant other with you and a list of addresses (hospitals) and drive from your fire response area to each hospital. and back a different route.
Then do the next one, and back a different route;

While doing it, find a nice place to eat, and take the SO to lunch or dinner.

If you work IFT: Do the same, but get a list of ECF addresses, and go from 1st one, to hospital, then to the next one and to the hospital, etc.

Learn how to get from point A to point B without using the freeway. If you are working IFT, ask permission to go to 2 or 3 different ECF's on the way to your posting location.

Either ECF or Fire; listen to dispatch and look up every address you here someone else dispatched to; figure out how you would get there from where you are now; and how to go from there to each hospital you transport to.
 

Fire51

Forum Lieutenant
194
17
18
I going to be starting my internship in a huge city where I don't know my way around, so I am trying to learn where the main roads are and all the hospital locations. I have about 15 different hospitals where I am going so I have a lot to learn.
 

chaz90

Community Leader
Community Leader
2,735
1,270
113
I going to be starting my internship in a huge city where I don't know my way around, so I am trying to learn where the main roads are and all the hospital locations. I have about 15 different hospitals where I am going so I have a lot to learn.
But as an intern you won't have to drive at all right? My internship area was incredibly confusing and I only ever really learned my way to the station and home...
 
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