Prehospital ambulance work is a healthcare arena hitherto neglected by sociologists of health and illness. This is unfortunate because it is an interesting and dynamic area, and in contrast to most healthcare sectors, it is male dominated. Via ethnographic fieldwork, this article examines the particular caring practices and socio-emotional skills that ambulance staff use in practising prehospital care work. The empirical analysis outlines six recurring prehospital practices: medicine work, machine work, scene management, becalming work, communication work and bodywork. Each practice represents a different element of prehospital care practice and is best understood as a repertoire, as many different assemblages of these care practices can work effectively in prehospital situations. The article concludes that despite institutionalised blue-collar masculinity, numeric dominance and scarce formal education in ambulance psychology, male ambulance staff are generally proud and reflexive care practitioners.