Accurate precordial electrode placement can be difficult in emergency situations leading either to loss of time or diminished accuracy. A possible solution is the quasi-orthogonal EASI lead system, with only five electrodes and easily defined landmarks to provide a derived 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG). The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that precordial waveforms in EASI-derived ECGs have no greater deviation from those in gold standard ECGs, than do the precordial waveforms in paramedic acquired standard ECGs. Twenty paramedics applied the standard precordial electrodes employing the routine procedure. A certified ECG technician applied the 6 standard precordial electrodes in their correct gold standard positions, and the EASI electrodes. 12-lead ECGs were obtained from the paramedics' standard leads, and derived from the EASI leads, for comparison with the gold standard ECG. In each precordial lead recording, 6 computer-measured QRS-T waveform parameters were considered. Differences between ΔEASI-gold standard versus Δparamedic-gold standard were calculated for every waveform in every lead resulting in 720 comparisons. EASI and paramedic results were "equally accurate" in 47%, the paramedic was more accurate in 31%, and EASI was more accurate in the remaining 22%. The differences from gold standard recording of precordial waveforms in ECGs derived from the EASI leads and those acquired via paramedic- applied standard electrodes are similar. The results suggest that the EASI lead system may provide an alternative to the standard ECG precordial leads to facilitate data acquisition and possibly save valuable time in emergency situations.