#AtoZchallenge: History of Paramedicine – V is Vietnam

Those who know me know that one of the biggest interests is in the area of Fire/EMS (though I am not, myself a Firefighter or an EMT/Paramedic).  I decided this year to do my A-Z Challenge using the theme “History of Paramedicine….


AtoZ-VI was sitting here racking my brain trying to think what to do for the letter V.   At first nothing was coming to me, so I thought I’d start perusing wikipedia and my main stand-by for Historical EMS info (The National EMS Museum) – Suddenly it hits me….  Vietnam – as in the Vietnam war.  It was on the Vietnam War that the “White Papers” were based.  More specifically the fact that soldiers injured in battle had a better chance of survival then did a civilian injured in a car accident.

Vietnam war, as well as other wars, was where a lot of new treatments and technologies were learned. {A little, unrelated, side note – A lot of the treatments and such used to keep my husband (this being before we met actually) alive immediately after the wall fell on him rendering him a paraplegic was learned during the Vietnam War.}  I believe the idea of the ambulance service (ie transportation of sick & injured) stemmed from the usage of “Ambulances” to transport injured soldiers off the battlefield.

I can’t say if this is true or not, but my husband was talking earlier about how many of the medics from Vietnam came home to civilian life with a lot of training and field experience, but no where/no way to practice.  He mentioned (and again I have to way to prove or disprove) that many of the medics got involved in Police and Fire professions because it was the closest to allowing them to use the skills learned during the war (but then this contradicts the whole thing about Firefighters being against the whole idea of doing EMS related work in the beginning).  Perhaps a lot of the disgruntledness had to do with the fact that there really wasn’t much they (the firefighters) could do to actually treat at the time and the fact that often times EMS or ambulance service relate work was seen as a form of punishment or something given to the rookies —  But I digress….

We learned a lot from the early wars (Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam).  A lot that has made it’s way into the civilian sector and has saved countless lives.   As terrible as war is, if it weren’t for that we wouldn’t have the lifesaving treatments & techniques that we have today.


We’re almost to the end of the A-to-Z Challenge and I thought I’d mention some of my fellow bloggers also doing the challenge (many of which I met at last years challenge).  Great Job guys 🙂

I also met a few new ones this year:

And a few new ones I just came across

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