Recently there has been talk about changing from white uniformed shirts to navy blue uniformed shirts. The poll has shown that 70% were in favour of the blue shirts, so there will be a move to change the uniform colour. The main reason was the difficulty in keeping the uniform clean and professional (clear of stains, blood etc). Which I think is a fair reason, I can remember the hours I try getting the stains out of my shirt (although it’s nice to be able to see that your shirt is dirty or does have a spec of blood on it etc). However, is navy blue a good choice of colour?
There is one reason why I would prefer white over navy blue:
Differentiation Between Other Emergency Services.
With the shift to navy blue, there is no longer a differentiation between Fire, Police, EMS or Security. Often times, even when I’m in my white uniform, people mistaken me for police or security. With the change in colour, it’ll be even harder for the public to differentiate the services, unless they can read our badges. Normally that is not a problem, but it could be if a hostile patient mistaken paramedics as cops, how would they react, what if they have a gun that the crew was not aware of? In BC, the glaring white shirt worn by paramedics easily identifies paramedics as part of the medical service and not as police officers.
However, one can argue that when paramedics have on their jackets and vests, they look very much like police officerse too (since the jackets are navy blue). But there is one visible difference between the jackets and vests from the uniform shirts is the fact that there is a massive word: “Paramedic” on the back and there is often also a very visible label on the front as well.
What are your thoughts about uniform colour? Do you think colour really matters?