EDC Items You Should Always Have on Your EMS Pants

As an EMT or paramedic, you’ll have a big bag full of essential medical supplies – but there are some supplies you should keep on your person at all times. Good EMS pants let you stay agile and give you the ability to carry lifesaving essentials when you’re on the move. Here’s a rundown of items you might need to put in those roomy, flexible cargo pockets.

Hip Pocket EMS Gear

Hip pockets can be tough to access while you’re moving, lifting or resuscitating someone, so the best gear to keep inside them is personal. Your phone, keys and money clip or wallet are probably safest by your side.

Some medics use hip pockets to store multi-tools, but if you’ve ever squatted down with a multi-tool in your hip pocket… Let’s just say it’s better to secure your multi-tool to your tactical belt, especially if your EMS pants' hip pockets don't close securely.

EMS Gear for Cargo Pockets

All the EMS tactical gear in the world won’t make a difference if you don’t have a place to stash it, so good EMS and EMT cargo pants – the kind with roomy pockets on each thigh – are essential. Cargo pockets are perfect for stashing these and other essential items:

  • Flashlight
  • Gloves, with or without a glove pouch
  • Hand wipes and sanitizer
  • Knives, seatbelt cutters and glass-breakers
  • Masks
  • Medical pocket guides
  • Multi-tool (if you’re not putting it on your belt)
  • Pen and notebook
  • Penlight
  • Rescue hooks
  • Stethoscopes
  • Trauma shears

Back Pocket Essentials for EMT's

Your back pockets are usually easy to access unless you’re a combat medic in the military or on a SWAT team wearing an LBV or tactical vest, but that doesn’t mean you should put your EMS gear in them. You don’t want anything sharp (like a glass-breaking pen) or stiff (like your phone) in them, so use your back pockets for small printed medical guides, dosage cards or your wallet. 

Using Your Belt to Free Up Pocket Space

Some EMS essentials are best stored on your belt using MOLLE-compatible gear. You can keep personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and seals in a small belt pouch. You can also stash your multi-tool and most-used EMS equipment in cases designed for quick access on your dominant side.

You can't really tell how “new” a medic is based on the amount of gear he or she carries. You canpick out a great medic based on their preparedness, and how intelligently they use the hip pockets, cargo pockets or back pockets on their EMS pants. Use our guide to get started, and then experiment to find the perfect location for each piece of EMT gear you carry every day.

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