10 Things to know before dating the Female Paramedic

10 Things to Know Before Dating the Female Paramedic

A couple weeks ago I was catching up with a dear friend and fellow paramedic.  As most girl-girl conversations go, we quickly got on to relationships as she was filling me in on the newest love in her life.  Living in a smaller town can wreak havoc on the single person in the dating scene.  The one degree of separation in a small town narrows when you live in the EMS/Fire/LE world, not to mention the rumor mill is more efficient than any social media.


We discussed how difficult it can be dating in the EMS/Fire world.  An outsider would think, ‘Hey, you’re around all of these hot guys all the time, it must be easy to find someone.”  Well, the answer is yes and no.

When you think about the dynamic of the female first responder you can start to see how complex dating for her could be.  Now, sure, there are women who have met their perfect match, dated flawlessly, gotten married, made several babies and lived happily ever after. It happens, it really does.  But for the other 75% (generously speaking) who it doesn’t work out for, this is for you.

1. You have to be “manlier” than she is – This can be complicated. Tread lightly.  We work in a man’s world and she has had to adapt accordingly.  You remember the tom-boy you loved as a kid? We are HER all grown up.

2. She can carry her own gear – though we do love chivalry and make no mistake, we will teach our sons to hold the door for a lady, be polite and treat every girl like he would his mama, but let’s make something perfectly clear.  We spend every day proving how tough, how competent, how determined, how capable and how in control we can be. The sheer thought of doing something perceived as a “man task” for us can quickly get you thrown in the proverbial dog house – which if challenged she can also build.

3. We have guy friends – LOTS of them – We live with them, eat with them, sleep in the same house as them, we have their back and they have ours.  We are a team and a family.  They are our brothers, partners, fathers and best friends.  We laugh, cry and experience mind blowing things together.  You’re gonna have to be secure and trusting or the relationship isn’t going to make it past the next 24 hour shift.

4. You’ve hit the JACKPOT! – You’ve heard the terms, Type A, Controlling and OCD?  Well congrats!  We’re one big tri-pack.  Should you at any point make an attempt to tell her “this is how it’s going to be” – peace be with you.

5. You got a boo-boo and want your mommy? – She’ll dial Mommy up for you.  Unless you are blue, snoring, grossly angulated or have hemorrhaged out more than 1 liter of blood (and trust me, we’re calculating the volume loss), you’re not going to see us get too excited. However, If you do fit any of the above criteria, they you’ve found the right gal.

6. Want the ‘needy girl?’ – You know, the one who calls, texts, snapchats, FB updates her every move, thought and breath?  The girl who will answer your text, call or IM the moment you send it?  Sorry, wrong chica.  You might not get a reply for hours or an entire day.  If the calls are coming back to back, there is a priority system we have in place – Pee, Eat, Chart, Pee again then maybe you’ll get a short response.  Don’t read into it, it will only work against you.  Don’t question it as she will see you as needy. Quick turn-off.

7. You’re gonna need an iron stomach – If you want to be the rock that she can lean on, you’ll have to be able to listen to the details of her calls as she mentally re-lives those moments, playing them back, checking herself, questioning herself, critiquing herself.  Don’t interject, don’t try to fix anything, just listen – and don’t vomit.

8. Don’t try to change her -  We often hear men talk about women trying to change them.  Well, this is a big issue with the female first responder.  Men are very attracted to the strong, confident, independent women of this field, until they get deeper into the relationship. It seems there is this pivotal point in most relationships where suddenly the guy wants the girl to become well, more of a “girl.”  If at some point you anticipate she will transition to the submissive/subservient type, you’re in for an uphill battle – again, peace be with you!

9.  “One time at band camp” - When in our “pack” whether around a camp fire or at your favorite 5-star restaurant be prepared to witness “The medic story challenge.”  You may feel as though you’ve heard one of the most awful stories ever, only to have the next medic pipe in and one-up the last.  Now be prepared to challenge your cardiac sphincter’s ability to contain your food as you listen to stories most would consider inappropriate at the table…  “One time I had this call…”, “we responded to a guy who was drunk and….”, “I took care of this gal who….” You may find yourself, and other patrons around you wondering how a group can be so twisted that they can (in much detail) describe unthinkable traumas, oozing body fluids and unimaginable situations while indulging in a heaping plate of pasta with extra cheese and thick chunky sauce – some even associating the look of their food to something they’ve had to clean up.

10. Partners for life -  As the saying goes:  Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.  Just walk beside me and be my friend.  We live in a world where partners and crews – much like pack animals will die to protect each other.  There is a deep loyalty and bond derived from the unique situations and challenges we share with our partners and crew.  A day at the office for us has no rules.  At any point in our day we have a decent chance of being in a life altering situation, a good chance we will be assaulted, a very good chance we will look in the eyes of someone as they take their last breath.  We understand life is short and take a very close and personal bond to those we allow in our emotional circle.

Consider yourself forewarned and blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy the company of one of the wonder women.  We can’t guarantee you a life of a headache free relationship, but we promise you will never be bored.

~Written by Dannie Myers, EMT-P/RN of many years and a couple relationships to back up #’s 1-10.


  • Kris says:

    This can go for female pilots as well!

  • twila kilburn says:

    Very true sounds a lot like me and my other ems female sisters . Very good article .

  • Ward Hollesen says:

    I agree 100 perceent was in the EMS field for quite a few years and then became a nurse and let me assure you all of this is true !

  • Norvell Jones says:

    This is the most true thing I have read this year…..and forget it if you are a petite black older woman, Lol And Peace be with you, Lol

  • Jonathan says:

    I like that, couple more to think about ( I didn’t say you had too do anything. I live b c I don’t tell you and my EMS GF’s to do anything off calls ) One is from the books ” I love … ” fire/cop don’t expect just to come home from work and be excited about …. We just used all out energy keeping someone or ourselves alive. And something true in all relationships don’t fix just listen.

  • Jackie says:

    This is true for Lady EMT’s also. It takes a special man to be our partner in life.

  • Helen Gordon says:

    Enjoyed your stuff! This is so funny I am going to read it to my Hubby. BTW he listens to all my stuff from work and can accurately diagnose a Pulmonary Embolus now LOL! Keep up the blogs.

    Paramedic Helen Gordon
    Retired Batt. Chief Collier Co. EMS
    Currently Paramedic Assist. Supervisor at LCEMS, SC.

  • Joey DelliGatti says:

    I wish I knew then what I know now. I married my partner, after a previous marriage. We’re 2 birds of a feather, that know exactly when to zig & zag when my better half is doing the opposite.

  • Joan says:

    My granddaughter is such a one in NC. I see how the experiences have matured her. Her comments on her Facebook page reflect the things mentioned in “10 things” and the friends she made are similar to the kind of bond found in foxhole.

  • Karla Zepeda, RN says:

    Hi Dannie! What an awesome blog!! Although I have been married for over 13 years, I as a female and a nurse can relate to almost all of the points you made! I have always said, many times I feel like I’m the guy in my relationship

  • Ruth Hamilton-Wilson says:

    Perfect. You nailed it on the head. Maybe that’s why I was single for so long.

  • Elizabeth says:

    110% True!! And I thought I was alone 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    This is great! Most accurate thing I’ve read in a while! I may be the only one, but I would add one more thing to the list, “You don’t have to be part of ‘the crew’.” This one because my boyfriend isn’t in the EMS/Fire/LE field, and sometimes it’s makes him feel like an outsider for me to come home and tell him about and start using lingo, etc.. But what I try and explain to him is that while many people do date others who are also first responders, which makes sense because we see a lot of the same things and have a lot in common, I don’t want that. I love being able to come home and not have it be an extension of the base or department or firehouse. It’s relaxing to be with someone who isn’t around it all the time like I am. Thank you again for posting!!

  • Donna Syone says:

    Hi Dannie, I married my Advanced Firdt Aid Instructor with Red Cross and then became an EMT. We have had do much fun sharing stories and experiences. We are partners for life even though we didn’t work together on a rig. His situation was that he had finished his didactic criteria in Paramedic school, and then the Government csme slong and made him an “offer” he couldn’t refuse. I learned so much more from him than the average EMT out there, and am very grateful for that.

  • Paul G says:

    Well said, Dannie. Worth noting about 1. Many of my women EMS partners – Basic, Medic, RN, Pilots – are more of a dude than many men I know, with myself included. Kinda awesome.

  • Thanks Dannie for a nice article. I agree with almost everything except one thing. The field of pre-hospital emergency medical services is not a male career field.
    41 years ago my grumpy partner told me it was a male career field and I went on to have what most paramedics would consider a very successful career in the field of EMS never ever thinking it was a male career field. And my grumpy partner? We’ll celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary in two months.

    • dannie says:

      Hahaha… well, Congratulations to the both of you! I’m sure he could write an article on success in marriage to the Female Medic – could be a follow up article to this blog ;). It’s a predominately male dominated field in most parts of the world… but we’re catching up.

  • Nurse tommey says:

    I am both an EMT and an RN and I enjoyed this article, but have one question. Where exactly is the cardiac sphincter? (“now be prepared to challenge your cardiac sphincter’s ability to contain your food…”

  • Scott says:

    True on so many levels. Wish I would have read this before I lost mine. It all makes sense now.

  • Tess says:


    I’m not an EMT, but I am in Search and Rescue. I’m just gonna print this out and hand it to guys when they first ask me out. Oh, and I’m going to frame it and send it to the boyfriend who broke up with me because I didn’t “need” him.

  • Phil Bowerman says:

    Wonder women indeed. Some of us wouldn’t be here without them. Bless them all!

  • Lawrence says:

    Pretty accurate, but it left out some things in each of the bullet points.

    1) Yes, you’ll need to be manlier. Understand that she will compete with you for who wears the pants in your relationship.

    2) See #1

    3) And she’s probably slept with a number of them too. EMS is a pretty incestuous profession.

    4) See #1

    5) No woman will ever love you as much as your mother does, so don’t expect them too. And you’ll never be able to live up to her perception of her dad. Many women are in EMS because they are simply trying to get their dad’s approval. They probably don’t feel like they get it, and you’ll never get theirs either.

    6) Don’t really agree. EMD women are very needy. They just differ with what they are needy for.

    7) Your relationship will be healthier if you both leave work at work. If you don’t work in EMS then you’ll never understand what somebody in EMS goes through and you’ll simply fail by trying to. If you can’t leave work at work, then that is a relationship red flag.

    8) But understand she will try to change you.

    9) See #7

    10) Yes, you need to accept the fact that she will always be closer to her colleagues than to you. This is not a psychologically healthy thing.

    Wonder Woman is a fictional character. EMS women need to remember that, and that they are not, and never will be Wonder Woman. By trying to become Wonder Woman they often lose a big piece of who they really are, because women are not designed to be Wonder Woman anymore than a man is designed to be Superman.

    I’ve dated many women in EMS during my career. Some have fit into these categories, and my points are very accurate additions to those points. Anybody who fits a professional stereotype, like this, you need to be very cautious when entering into a relationship with. There is a reason why the divorce rate in EMS is exceptionally high, and the number of children of EMS providers are under psychiatric care for mental health issues. The profession itself does not promote many healthy qualities in people.

  • Michael says:

    I need to find and EMS job where partners aren’t trying to stab you in the back or even have your back. These descriptions of places don’t seem to exist. So I dunno where all these places are… but bottom EMS females are some of the coolest, smartest, and real people out there. There’s no BS. Never dated a fellow paramedic but i sure would like to.

  • Moira says:

    Great read! I left Queensland ambulance last year, and my husband of 22years still does. I swore early on I didn’t want a colleague as a husband, but he understood me so well. Great points for those trying to understand us.

  • Gary says:

    Being older than most in EMS I witnessed an all male profession that got coed. The majority of the females that work EMS are what we used to joke were “manly”. Very independent and take offense to someone helping them lift or carry anything. The ones that were not out became independent shortly because of working in hostile environments. I had many work wives and went through many pregnancies being around my partners more than their real husbands. Most of them worked up to the day they delivered, one the morning we got off. So if your are dating a paramedic you better not be jealous.

  • Anna says:

    True, ICU RN many years, retired to become medic. my whole family involved in medicine in some way, Good fights and good Thanksgiving table talk.

  • Blake den Hartog says:

    I like #10. I don’t know how many times I have faced this situation. We know what we do and it’s not a competition. After 40 years with EMS, I understand.

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  • Liz says:

    Nailed it, totally right I wish men would look at info like this I mean they hear paramedic and think they can handle it when they most definitely can’t

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  • Sonja says:

    Dannie- you nailed it! – Ada 14

  • Trish cole says:

    I am a female, who is a paramedic, that married a paramedic. We always have good stories for each other, but he understands this field, so it works perfectly…

  • Anna says:


    I’m a volunteer EMT and a first responder. My hubby is a firefighter. He barely shares anything from his job. In 9 years being together he maybe mentioned 5 cases.
    Neither he heard many stories from my shifts.

    The dynamics of being in relationship with another tough person/person working in the same field is different than being with “normal” person. I can tell I would be at times disappointed when I needed my hubby’s ear or just to be there next to me and at the same time someone else from family would need the same, he’d just be with them not with me. The thinking “she is tough, she’ll manage without me” sometimes make easier choices for them. Of course I manage. We female EMTs, nurses, docs, firefighters etc. DO manage and WILL manage. But sometime we also would like to have this someone, who is with us for life, just to BE there for us… Simply like that 🙂

    Dame thing for our families. My in-laws don’t seem to understand that being EMT one can be not only tough but has a right to be tired, sleepy, depressed, upset, fed up with world, or sensitive, vulnerable… we ARE tough when we have to. But we also allow ourselves to be “normal”.

    I agree with every word of the 10 points. I am this grown up tomboy. 🙂 And the food after long and uneasy CPR is a norm. Same with food time juicy stories 🙂

  • April says:

    Wow… you have the facts. I have been FF/Medic for 16 years and my husband as well. We have worked as partners, so we know each other well. There is a lot of promiscuity in EMS – we have both been tested but never failed each other. My husband knows that I have earned my position in the firehouse and would never doubt my fellowship with coworkers as anything else. Very good read, especially from a woman’s point of view.

  • Rachel says:

    You nailed it lady! I’m a Paramedic and I’ve recently married my husband who’s also a Paramedic. Our relationship dynamic is unique and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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