EMS

FoxFury Announces a Rugged, Go-Anywhere Light for Drone Inspections & Public Safety

JEMS - News - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 18:18

OCEANSIDE, Calif. – FoxFury Lighting Solutions, LLC., a manufacturing leader of innovative, premium, portable lighting tools, introduces the Rugo; a rugged, go-anywhere light. Ideal for public safety markets, this light is compact enough to fit on an action camera, and powerful enough to illuminate the user’s immediate field of view. The Rugo has the ability to be mounted to a GoPro, a DSLR, a drone, a tripod and many other devices.

This product is meant to assist public safety agencies that are in need of a stable camera or drone light. Having four different intensities (up to 700 Lumens) with three interchangeable lens settings (Tri-Lens™) makes it a powerful tool for things like bridge inspections, situation assessments, search and rescue, and more. Its removable diffuser lens allows for it to be used as a 120° flood light, 55° area light, or 18° spot light in a matter of seconds.

“This product is impact resistant, submersible, and has a lens technology that can project wide, flood and spot settings.” said Marketing Director, Antonio Cugini. “The fact that it can be used underwater or in the air, makes it that much more valuable and adaptable.”

The Rugo comes with a detachable Quick Swap™ Power Pack allowing the user to change out the battery pack for on-the-go, impromptu video or other application opportunities. Also included is a USB Charging Cable, (2) thumbscrews, (2) Standard Mounts with Knobs, ¼”-20 and Cold Shoe Mount, for use with multiple different products including action cameras and drones.

The design of this unit was made to accommodate public safety users in the field, and to provide a highly reliable light to take with the user on land, in air or underwater. In addition to its diffuser lens, the Rugo has the capability to toggle between dim, low, medium and high power settings.

Categories: EMS

DXE Medical, Inc. Announces New Name

JEMS - News - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 18:11

DUBLIN, Ohio – DXE Medical, Inc., a Sarnova company specializing in cardiac products, services and solutions, announced today that it is changing its name to Cardio Partners, Inc. The new name, effective today, is meant to reflect the company’s newly expanded cardiac preparedness service offering.

DXE Medical specialized in distributing new and recertified emergency equipment and refurbishment services when Sarnova acquired the company in 2013. Since then, Sarnova has facilitated two more strategic acquisitions that expanded DXE’s cardiac care offering to include emergency preparedness consultation, nationwide CPR training services and proprietary emergency program management services. This new and comprehensive offering has changed the way DXE interacts with and serves its customers, which the company wanted to convey in its new name and brand.

“DXE, and our parent company, Sarnova, have held a vision of delivering a fully integrated cardiac preparedness solution to the marketplace,” said Reuben Dickenson, vice president and general manager of Cardio Partners. “Following recent acquisitions, we have fulfilled this vision and believe that rebranding is an important step in this transformation. With our new name, we want customers to quickly understand the breadth of our services and our leadership in the category.”

The company’s new logo and brand can be viewed online at www.cardiopartners.com.

“We’re excited about the name change and even more excited about the direction of the company,” said Jeff Prestel, president and CEO of Sarnova. “Our expanded capabilities and services help our customers, and most importantly, support them with saving lives.”      

About Cardio Partners, Inc.:

Cardio Partners is a national leader in emergency prevention and an ardent advocate in the fight against Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Cardio Partners provides consultation, equipment and end-to-end training, offering a complete cardiac solution to customers. As an authorized master distributer of all FDA-approved defibrillator devices, the company provides customers the best-in-class value for new and recertified equipment. Customers’ emergency preparedness needs are met via Cardio Partners’ nationwide CPR training courses and state-of-the-art program management services. For more information, visit www.cardiopartners.com.

Categories: EMS

GD Named to the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies in America

JEMS - News - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 18:07

Ridgefield, NJ Inc. magazine ranked GD 2503 on its 36th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small and midsized businesses. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000.

“As one of only about 50 digital health companies recognized, we are extremely proud. This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Team GD – a fun diverse group that embraces Responsive Innovation and is all-in”, says Curt Bashford, GD’s President & CEO. "Responsive Innovation is in our DNA. It defines GD's culture - who we are and what we do. Our solutions for Emergency Medical Services and hospitals help save lives, and our innovative spirit continues to push the envelope with an eye to the future of healthcare.” 

The 2017 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year average growth of 481%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $206 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 619,500 jobs over the past three years.

"The Inc. 5000 is the most persuasive evidence I know that the American Dream is still alive,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “The founders and CEOs of the Inc. 5000 tell us they think determination, risk taking, and vision were the keys to their success, and I believe them.”

About GD (General Devices):  Based in Ridgefield, NJ, GD is a medical device and technology solution company. Its Core Purpose is to improve the health and wellbeing of the public at large by providing Responsive Innovation for public safety responders and health care providers. For more than three decades, GD has been the leader in EMS & hospital communications and mobile telemedicine systems, connecting care providers nationwide and handling over 10,000 calls daily.

Categories: EMS

ZOLL Announces Call for Presentations for Summit 2018

JEMS - News - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 18:00

CHELMSFORD, MASS.— ZOLL Medical Corporation, an Asahi Kasei Group Company that manufactures medical devices and related software solutions, today announced the call for presentations for SUMMIT 2018, which will take place in Denver, Colorado, May 8-10, 2018.

Fire and EMS professionals who are interested in speaking should visit the Summit Presenter Page to review the guidelines and submit their presentation proposals. Submissions must be received by September 30, 2017 to be considered.

This three-day conference offers opportunities to learn from and network with like-minded fire and EMS professionals from across the country. The focus of this event is to offer insight for business decisions.

Rick Clyne, Vice President of Digital Marketing at ZOLL Data Management Products, says, “Topics being considered for the agenda will tackle the practical issues that need to be addressed in order to deliver on the promise of maximizing operational efficiency and improving patient outcomes in the pre-hospital setting.”

“Having integrated data management solutions is just the beginning,” he added. “You have to be able to understand and analyze the data collected to make impactful decisions that will grow your organization.”

Topics for consideration include best practices, compliance, technology innovation, case studies, integration, mobility, and safety. Available presentation opportunities include 45-minute discussions, panel discussions, and keynote presentations.

Hundreds of presentations are submitted during the call for presentations period, so it is not possible for ZOLL to accept all proposals. The conference committee will review each submission, and speakers will be notified by mid-November if their session is selected. Approved speakers are required to meet ZOLL’s provided guidelines. Visit the Summit Presenter Page to review the guidelines and begin the submission process.

All questions regarding speaking may be directed to Bethany Welsh at bwelsh@zoll.com.

Categories: EMS

Resuscitation Ventilation with CCSV – Experience the Innovation at ERC Congress in Freiburg

JEMS - News - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 17:55

(Hamburg) – Medical device manufacturer WEINMANN Emergency has developed a ventilation mode specially designed for resuscitation, Chest Compression Synchronized Ventilation (CCSV). CCSV applies a pressure-controlled mechanical breath synchronously with each chest compression, avoiding the disadvantages of conventional ventilation forms during resuscitation, while simultaneously improving gas exchange and hemodynamics. For the first time, mechanical breaths with a regulated peak pressure are delivered synchronously with chest compressions – a revolution that could replace volume-controlled ventilation as the gold standard for resuscitation! Be curious and learn more about CCSV at this year´s ERC Congress, 28th to 30th September, in Freiburg.

With CCSV, WEINMANN Emergency introduces a ventilation mode for the emergency medical device MEDUMAT Standard² that can be fully integrated into today's resuscitation process and is compatible with existing automatic chest compression devices.

During chest compression, the heart and the pulmonary vessels in the lung are compressed, which also results in gas volume escaping from the lung below. Surrounded by soft tissue, the heart can thus compress only to a limited extent. The CCSV ventilation mode revolutionizes this decades-old procedure. CCSV modifies the principle of resuscitation as follows: The synchronized stroke causes the thoracic pressure to additionally increase during the compression phase. As a result, no gas volume can escape, increasing the circulation of the blood. In the subsequent decompression phase, the device switches to exhalation so as to not hinder the venous return flow to the heart. The medical effectiveness of CCSV can be scientifically proven by studies!

If the resuscitation initially appears successful and ventricular fibrillation occurs again on the way to the hospital, MEDUMAT Standard² is the first respiratory device that immediately recognizes the thoracic pressure of the new chest compression and automatically switches to CCSV resuscitation ventilation. User support at the highest level – a unique feature!

Categories: EMS

Houston Medic Contracts Deadly Infection During Harvey Rescue

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 14:43

HOUSTON (KPRC) - Necrotizing fasciitis is the clinical term for the infection J.R. Atkins got while trying to rescue people from floodwaters after Hurricane Harvey. We've commonly heard that referred to as "flesh-eating bacteria,” and it is deadly.

Atkins caught the signs early enough to survive, but he warns others what to look for, since he knows many more Houstonians will come in contact with it during hurricane cleanup.

Atkins is a former firefighter and a medic. During the major flooding, he was in trying to save his neighbors in Missouri City by boating through his neighborhood. He did not anticipate he would be the one who needed saving.

“I knew what I was getting into which is the scary thing. I was fully aware that this could happen,” he said.

Since he's trained in floodwater rescues, Atkins said he recognized the signs that a terrible infection was in his arm. Read more...

Categories: EMS

So young. So positive.

EMScapades Cartoon - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 13:18

Categories: EMS, Syndicated Columnists

NREMT Announces Launch of Recert 2.0

JEMS - News - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:48

COLUMBUS, OH  — The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians is excited to announce today’s launch of Recert 2.0, the largest update ever of the NREMT’s recertification system.

Along with popularly requested features, such as an expanded certification dashboard and the ability for EMS personnel to affiliate with multiple EMS agencies, Recert 2.0 also introduces the EMS Education Transcript, a powerful tool for tracking, storing, and managing continuing education.

A secure hub for all of an EMS professional’s educational achievements, the EMS Education Transcript allows a user to add and import an unlimited number of continuing education entries and create an individualized, comprehensive professional record.

"Emergency Medical Services is a rapidly-evolving profession, and a provider’s ability to always provide safe and competent care in the out-of-hospital setting often depends on robust continuing education," said NREMT Interim Executive Director Drew Dawson. "Recert 2.0 was developed with the importance of career-long development and learning in mind."

Whether taken online, at a conference or at a university, courses on any EMS topic can be easily added to the EMS Education Transcript. Users can upload supporting documentation (including PDFs and images of course certificates) and add important data such as the location and date of the course. To make each transcript uniquely personal, users are also able to add custom notes on each course.

Courses, certificates and other credentials entered in the EMS Education Transcript can then be easily mapped to a provider’s NREMT recertification application. In most instances, the NREMT.org system will apply transcript entries to the correct recertification category automatically.

"It is our hope that Recert 2.0 will become an invaluable tool for EMS professionals both during their NREMT recertification periods and on every other day of their career," said NREMT Chief Information Officer Donnie Woodyard.

Categories: EMS

Residents Cough, Rub Eyes in Harvey Pollution Spike

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 09:57

GALENA PARK, Texas (AP) — Cindy Sanchez began to feel ill while barbecuing just before Harvey's torrents started pelting this city just east of Houston, along a corridor with the nation's highest concentration of petrochemical plants.

"I started getting really, really bad headaches," said Sanchez, a 32-year-old housewife. "I never get headaches."

"My husband's eyes were burning," she said. "He actually had a napkin that was wet over his eyes." The sewage-like stench chased the couple indoors and Sanchez, sick to her stomach, lay down.

People complained of headaches, nausea, itchy skin and throats — classic symptoms of industrial chemical exposure — as plants and refineries raced to burn off compounds that could combust in extreme weather or power loss.

Petrochemical corridor residents say air that is bad enough on normal days got worse as Harvey crashed into the nation's fourth-largest city and then yielded the highest ozone pollution so far this year anywhere in Texas. The Houston metro area was ranked 12th in the nation for worst ozone pollution by The American Lung Association this year, although its air was better than the Los Angeles and New York regions.

Plants owned by Shell, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil and other industry giants reported more than 1.5 million pounds (680 metric tons) of extraordinary emissions over eight days beginning Aug. 23 to the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality in Harris County, which encompasses Houston. That amounted to 61 percent of this year's largely unpermitted emissions for the county and five times the amount released in the same period in 2016. Of the known carcinogens released during Harvey, more than 13 tons were benzene. Inhaling it can cause dizziness and even unconsciousness and long-term exposure can trigger leukemia.

Categories: EMS

Residents Cough, Rub Eyes in Harvey Pollution Spike

JEMS - News - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 09:57

GALENA PARK, Texas (AP) — Cindy Sanchez began to feel ill while barbecuing just before Harvey's torrents started pelting this city just east of Houston, along a corridor with the nation's highest concentration of petrochemical plants.

"I started getting really, really bad headaches," said Sanchez, a 32-year-old housewife. "I never get headaches."

"My husband's eyes were burning," she said. "He actually had a napkin that was wet over his eyes." The sewage-like stench chased the couple indoors and Sanchez, sick to her stomach, lay down.

People complained of headaches, nausea, itchy skin and throats — classic symptoms of industrial chemical exposure — as plants and refineries raced to burn off compounds that could combust in extreme weather or power loss.

Petrochemical corridor residents say air that is bad enough on normal days got worse as Harvey crashed into the nation's fourth-largest city and then yielded the highest ozone pollution so far this year anywhere in Texas. The Houston metro area was ranked 12th in the nation for worst ozone pollution by The American Lung Association this year, although its air was better than the Los Angeles and New York regions.

Plants owned by Shell, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil and other industry giants reported more than 1.5 million pounds (680 metric tons) of extraordinary emissions over eight days beginning Aug. 23 to the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality in Harris County, which encompasses Houston. That amounted to 61 percent of this year's largely unpermitted emissions for the county and five times the amount released in the same period in 2016. Of the known carcinogens released during Harvey, more than 13 tons were benzene. Inhaling it can cause dizziness and even unconsciousness and long-term exposure can trigger leukemia.

Categories: EMS

Massive Earthquake in Mexico, Many Dead, Injured

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 09:38

MEXICO CITY (AP) — One of the most powerful earthquakes ever to strike Mexico has hit off its southern Pacific coast, killing at least 15 people, toppling houses and businesses and sending panicked people into the streets more than 650 miles (1,000 kilometers) away.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake hit off Chiapas state near the Guatemalan border with a magnitude of 8.1 — slightly stronger than the magnitude 8 quake of 1985 that killed thousands and devastated large parts of Mexico City.

National civil defense chief Luis Felipe Puente told the Televisa network that at least 15 people had died, 10 of them in Oaxaca, also close to the epicenter.

Hundreds of buildings collapsed or were damage, power was cut at least briefly to more than 1.8 million people and authorities closed schools Friday in at least 11 states to check them for safety.

"The house moved like chewing gum and the light and internet went out momentarily," said Rodrigo Soberanes, who lives near the Chiapas state city of San Cristobal de las Casas.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded at least 20 aftershocks of magnitude 4.0 or greater within about five hours after the main shake, and the president warned that a major aftershock as large as magnitude 7.2 could occur.

The USGS said the quake struck at 11:49 p.m. Thursday (12:49 a.m. EDT ; 0449 GMT Friday) and its epicenter was 102 miles (165 kilometers) west of Tapachula in Chiapas. It had a depth of 43.3 miles (69.7 kilometers).

The quake caused buildings to sway violently in Mexico's capital more than 650 miles (1,000 kilometers) away. As beds banged against walls, people still wearing pajamas fled into the streets, gathering in frightened groups.

Chiapas Gov. Manuel Velasco said that three people were killed in San Cristobal, including two women who died when a house and a wall collapsed. He called on people living near the coast to leave their houses as a protective measure.

Categories: EMS

Massive Earthquake in Mexico, Many Dead, Injured

JEMS - News - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 09:38

MEXICO CITY (AP) — One of the most powerful earthquakes ever to strike Mexico has hit off its southern Pacific coast, killing at least 15 people, toppling houses and businesses and sending panicked people into the streets more than 650 miles (1,000 kilometers) away.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake hit off Chiapas state near the Guatemalan border with a magnitude of 8.1 — slightly stronger than the magnitude 8 quake of 1985 that killed thousands and devastated large parts of Mexico City.

National civil defense chief Luis Felipe Puente told the Televisa network that at least 15 people had died, 10 of them in Oaxaca, also close to the epicenter.

Hundreds of buildings collapsed or were damage, power was cut at least briefly to more than 1.8 million people and authorities closed schools Friday in at least 11 states to check them for safety.

"The house moved like chewing gum and the light and internet went out momentarily," said Rodrigo Soberanes, who lives near the Chiapas state city of San Cristobal de las Casas.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded at least 20 aftershocks of magnitude 4.0 or greater within about five hours after the main shake, and the president warned that a major aftershock as large as magnitude 7.2 could occur.

The USGS said the quake struck at 11:49 p.m. Thursday (12:49 a.m. EDT ; 0449 GMT Friday) and its epicenter was 102 miles (165 kilometers) west of Tapachula in Chiapas. It had a depth of 43.3 miles (69.7 kilometers).

The quake caused buildings to sway violently in Mexico's capital more than 650 miles (1,000 kilometers) away. As beds banged against walls, people still wearing pajamas fled into the streets, gathering in frightened groups.

Chiapas Gov. Manuel Velasco said that three people were killed in San Cristobal, including two women who died when a house and a wall collapsed. He called on people living near the coast to leave their houses as a protective measure.

Categories: EMS

Inside EMS Podcast: When can an EMS provider disobey an order?

FR1 and EMS Podcasts - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 08:03
Inside EMS Podcast: When can an EMS provider disobey an order? by FR1 and EMS1 Podcasts
Categories: EMS, Podcasts

Medics, Law Enforcement Sue Over Illness From Chemical Plant Fire After Harvey

JEMS - News - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 23:26

HOUSTON (AP) — Seven sheriff's deputies and medical emergency responders who say they were sickened by a chemical fire at a plant outside Houston that flooded during Harvey sued the owner Thursday for gross negligence, seeking $1 million in damages.

A state judge granted a temporary restraining order to prevent plant owner Arkema Inc. from removing evidence or altering the scene, said Kimberly Spurlock, the attorney for the plaintiffs.  She said a hearing was set for Sept. 22.

The suit alleges Arkema failed to properly store the estimated 18 tons of chemicals that burned or prepare for a major flood even though it was a foreseeable event.

Record rains from Harvey flooded the plant 25 miles northeast of Houston with six feet of water, according to a report Arkema filed with the state. The storm knocked out power, and therefore the refrigeration needed to keep the chemicals stable.

Spurlock called Arkema's preparations "woefully inadequate" and questioned why the first responders did not know what chemicals were blowing up or the risks.

"They weren't told to wear masks, They weren't told to go in there with safety equipment and they're suffering as a result," Spurlock said.

Arkema said in a statement that it will "vigorously defend" the lawsuit.

"We reject any suggestion that we failed to warn of the danger of breathing the smoke from the fires at our site or that we ever misled anyone," the company said.

The chemical compounds — organic peroxides used to make a gamut of products from plastics to paints — became unstable and exploded in flames more than 30 feet high early on Aug. 31, spewing an acrid plume of black smoke.

The Harris County sheriff's deputies who sued were manning the 1.5-mile (2.41-kilometer) perimeter of an evacuation zone set two days earlier after plant workers abandoned the facility, warning of impending disaster.

Categories: EMS

Planning, Training & Asking Questions Can Help EMS Prepare for MCIs

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 15:39

The day has been fairly quiet. No calls so far. Jacob, the new EMT on shift starts with some questions: "How many times a day does the train go through town, and what does it carry? It doesn't stop for passengers—at least not in this town. Does silo dust really explode?"

Rick, the senior EMT, looks at Jacob and asks, "Where did these questions come from?" The new EMT looks back at his seasoned partner and explains he was just thinking about potentials for mass disasters in their district.

Rick responds by saying that there hasn't been a disaster in town since he started 25 years ago. "It's a quiet little town with not much going on. No one would want to set off a bomb here," he explains to Jacob. "There's no subway system, the largest venue for people to gather is the high school football field and everything in town closes by 9:00 p.m. It's doubtful there will be a mass casualty event here."

Asking Questions

Rick is correct that the likelihood of a large disaster occurring is low, but Jacob is also correct in his questioning about the "what ifs."

A mass casualty incident (MCI) is defined as an event that overwhelms the local healthcare system, where the number of casualties vastly exceeds the local resources and capabilities in a short period of time.1 Given this definition, the smaller the EMS system, the less of an event it takes to create a MCI.

In a large city with multiple transporting ambulances and multiple hospitals, it may take an event of dozens or more injured people to completely overwhelm local EMS and EDs.

In many small communities, however, there may only be one or two transporting ambulances that will all transport to one local ED. In a small system, an event involving as few as 10 people could completely overwhelm EMS and ED.

Categories: EMS

Five Tips for Being Safe in an MCI

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 15:29

Mass casualty incidents (MCI) can be very difficult situations to deal with from both the safety and patient care viewpoints, and in today's world we can't rule out the possibility that terrorism was the cause of the incident. EMS practitioners must be vigilant about the safety of all responders as well as the victims and potential victims. The key is to maintain a high level of situational awareness by constantly looking around for anything out of the ordinary. Scene safety and the protection of responders is always the top priority in MCI response.

Of course, our first duty is doing whatever is necessary to access, assess and properly treat the patient. We should exercise that duty with the understanding that the MCI may also be a crime scene where evidence preservation is also a responsibility.

An important aspect of our duty in an MCI response is evidence preservation. This includes not just preserving physical evidence and avoiding its disruption, but also preserving mental evidence: our observations of the scene and what others tell us on scene.

As initial responders, EMS practitioners are often among the first on scene and may be the only ones with access to potential evidence before it's moved or disrupted. Our actions or inactions can have a significant impact on the outcome of the investigation.

Here are five tips to help ensure preservation of evidence in an MCI, while at the same time maintaining safe operational practices.

Five Tips

1. Constantly look up, down and side to side. We often convert to tunnel vision when we see potential patients and our peripheral vision shuts down. As you approach the scene, verbally remind yourself and your partner not to let this happen. Good situational awareness for any incident, especially an MCI, means you do a 360-degree assessment of the scene as you approach. Look around carefully and mentally note what you see. Anything out of the ordinary, like a large backpack sitting next to an apparent victim, should activate caution alarms and should be immediately reported. This constant 360-degree approach to working at the scene allows you to observe things that you may not otherwise see.

Categories: EMS

Staying Ready for a Fast-Moving MCI

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 15:26

Today's reality of terrorist attacks and fast-moving mass casualty incidents (MCIs) now dictate changes to the way we set up and operate at MCIs because we're being drawn into scenes under hostile or dangerous circumstances. This quick review highlights some of my observations and recommendations to keep your system up to date with—and ahead of—current MCI trends.

Communications is Still #1

Solid communications yield solid results. You need early scene reports, resources requested and a coordinated and functional work area set up and maintained. (See Photo 1.) The use of multiple radios tuned in on separate frequencies (uninterrupted by a priority scan frequency lock-out) works best to monitor different channels.

You also need to use remote microphones and headsets to be able to hear in a noisy environment. Checklists have been proven to keep scene commanders organized, on track and prevent them from overlooking important areas. (See Photo 2.)

Early Staging & Hospital Notification

Early selection and set-up of ambulance, fire and specialty vehicle staging areas help you begin to load and move patients early and rapidly at active shooter and other fast-moving MCIs with high-acuity patients.

As soon as you go into MCI mode, pick good staging and loading areas, assign a staging officer and work with police command to secure the access and egress routes. (See Photos 3 and 4, pp. 8 and 9.)

Side-by-side ambulance staging allows you to load patients faster and transport more patients in less time than a single file staging pattern. (See Photo 5, p. 9.)

You also have to realize that patients who've been shot or stabbed won't wait for you to arrive to care for and transport them. They often flee, find transportation on their own and go to the closest hospitals via bystanders, personal vehicles, police vehicles and other means—so it's important that you alert all nearby hospitals as soon as possible that there's a fast-moving MCI underway near them. This will allow them to be ready for "early arrivers."

Categories: EMS

Mentally Surviving a Hurricane

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 15:09

There's one belief I hold to be true: It's always reassuring to set out on a mission, and then achieve that mission.

As a member of  Israel Rescue Coalition’s (IRC) mission which sent members of United Hatzalah’s (UH) Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit to Houston last week, I think that's what happened with us.  

Our Mission

Looking at the pictures from the trip might give someone the mistaken impression that we were there just to listen to people tell their stories and to give the hugs afterward. We certainly did a fair amount of that, but any caring person can do that.

Our job was to help people process their traumatic experiences and dislodge them from the shock that they felt so that they could plan their next steps, figure out how best to care for themselves and their families and feel empowered with the little they had left.

Our unit has been trained to search for the resilience in each individual, and highlight it for them. The hugs and gratitude we received from the survivors were a response to feeling better and calmer when the intervention was over. We're trained to make these interventions in a brief and directed way so that we can help as many people as possible in a short time.

We didn't have the luxury of holding long, drawn-out therapy sessions, but we were equipped by the IRC and UH with more than just a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder and a smile. We had tools to use in the field.

One of the things we are taught is to determine the immediate needs of the survivor, and that's what we were constantly doing in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Categories: EMS

A Review of Chemical Warfare Agents and Treatment Options

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 14:17

Chemical warfare agents (CWAs) are defined as "any toxic chemical or its precursor that can cause death, injury, temporary incapacitation or sensory irritation through its chemical action."1

CWAs include five primary categories: nerve agents, asphyxiants, blistering agents, toxic industrial chemicals and blood agents. Non lethal incapacitating agents are sometimes included in this category; these chemical agents won't be included in this review.2

In this article, we'll discuss a brief history of CWAs and the critical importance of personal protective equipment and decontamination. Additionally, we'll review the primary categories of CWAs, clinical symptoms of exposure and recent updates in treatment.


Turkish emergency personnel carry a victim of alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria. AP Photo History of Use

Historians cite one of the earliest dedicated, targeted uses of CWAs in warfare as World War I. The French military used tear gas and acetone-based compounds for crowd control; chlorine gas was placed in capsules and released at the Battle of Ypres in 1915, and was used as an alternative weapon after the German military exhausted materials for explosive weapons and began to investigate and use CWAs.3

Later, other agents such as phosgene and cyanide were considered for military use, because these chemicals had more toxic
pulmonary effects.3

Nerve agents developed in the 1930s and 1940s were stockpiled during the Cold War. More recently, nerve agents have been used in the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s, the Japanese terrorist attacks by the Aum Shinrikyo cult in 1995 and attacks in Syria in 2017.

Categories: EMS

EMS Preparation and Response to Complex Coordinated Attacks

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 14:03

Active shooter incidents, defined by United States government agencies as "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area,"1 have had a significant impact on preparedness efforts within the first responder community.

The FBI defines terrorism as, "The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."2

Although "complex coordinated attack" hasn't been explicitly defined, it can be described as several terrorist actions occurring in close succession.

Actions may include the use of firearms, explosive devices or other methods to inflict injury and death upon a population.

The multitude of incident locations—and the resulting confusion among both responders and the public—can quickly overwhelm response capabilities. A significant challenge associated with a complex coordinated attack is determining if evolving events, which
may initially seem unrelated, are linked to a larger terrorist plot, potentially involving multiple locations.

The emerging threat of complex coordinated attacks, such as those that have occurred in Mumbai, Paris and Brussels over the last 10 years, puts the safety and security of the public at risk, and will have a significant impact on EMS preparedness and response.

Mumbai, India, 2008

Beginning the night of Nov. 26, 2008, 10 men associated with the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba terrorist group conducted multiple attacks in Mumbai, India. The terrorists traveled from Pakistan to India together, and then divided into four tactical units.

The first team of two terrorists initiated an attack at approximately 9:21 p.m. at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station. By firing into the crowds present at the station, the terrorists were able to kill 58 people over the course of 90 minutes. After exiting the station, they killed six police officers in an ambush attack. They killed 10 more people before law enforcement was able to kill one of the terrorists and capture the other.

Categories: EMS

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