Missiles in the Ambulance

Some time ago… when I was on one of my EMT-I student ambulance ride-outs, I was observed in my usual practice of belting the cardiac monitor and the trauma bag to the cot.

"You dont have to do that," the EMT-Basic told me. The third rider was consigned to the rear-facing Captain's chair. From that vantage it is easy to predict where a 30 lb. medical bag and 17 lb. monitor would end up in a rollover -- or maybe just a quick stop.

"Easy for you to say," I said, strapping it down tighter.

If EMS Won the Lottery…

Over at EMS1.COM Editor-in-Chief Greg Friese has been thinking nice thoughts.

He has been pondering how he would administer the winnings of the $700M Powerball jackpot and has come up with an eleven point list. But, EMS usually doesn't remember the punchline where the booming voice from the clouds says, "Meet me half way. BUY a ticket!" While some personnel may invest in tickets, as their "retirement plan", EMS -- itself is not in a position to buy a ticket. Dave Statter would be all over that story, like a cheap suit.

But, good job. Nice thinking, Greg.

By all means, read his column. His bullet points are below.

If it costs, we can't afford it.

At REHABSECTOR.ORG, we're not spoiled with gold-plated budgets. Our slogan might as well be "If it costs, we can't afford it"

If that sounds like your agency, why not explore what can be done to advance some of these by applying some gratis leadership. If you are leading from behind -- and you look around and think, "Clearly, I am not in charge here", you may need to secure permission, or perhaps, ask forgiveness.

What can be done for free, or next to it?

I'll take on a couple these. The first and third, today.

Hands-on training on escaping violent encounters for every EMT, paramedic and medical first responder.

Who has this training available in your area and what can your agency offer in trade? Can you approach your local Police Department or Sheriff's Office and swap deescalation, open-handed defensive tactics, sound and light discipline, cover and concealment, clandestine drug lab recognition and street survival in exchange for teaching self aid/buddy aid, CPR, medical causes of altered mentation and whatever else you can teach?

Fitness equipment for every EMS station in the land.

Local employers in-house fitness centers and commercial health clubs may have used equipment that they might donate. There are local Citizens who bought exercise equipment with the best of intentions, but now have very expensive clothes racks instead and feel guilty, every time they walk by them. You may find enough donations to start a pilot program or set up your entire agency for the first round. Older gear might be gradually replaced in future budgets -- paid for by the savings that a fit workforce will generate. Things such as reduced turnover, injuries, absences and improved morale and cardiac health.

Permit-Required Confined Space Incident and Response

A flash fire erupts in a permit-required confined space -- a hydro-electric plant tunnel. Painters are trapped by fire and smoke from the burning solvent and coatings.

Local FD responders are not equipped or trained to enter the space and those who are, are an hour away.

CSB Safety Video: Half an Hour to Tragedy - Little Giant Explosion - Ghent, WV

We have previously shared this video. It is important enough to feature it again.

Mistakes were made, and they cost human lives. We offer this video, not to lay blame, but to widen the sharing of the expensive lessons learned.

It is with hindsight and an observer's perspective that we can quickly see how things went wrong, so quickly. If you were dispatched to the scene of an, as yet, undetonated fuel-air bomb, how would you deploy?

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