There is a trend of violence towards responders of all uniforms...and yet we don't seem to take it seriously. We've been reporting on what seems to be a continual stream of attacks throughout 2008 and now into 2009. Yet, I have not seen nor heard of any training sessions or in-services being taught on the topic of scene safety. Why is this not a priority? I know, it can't happen here. (Sarcasm intended)
The fire service is full of scene size-up memory aids, COAL WAS WEALTH, WALACE WAS HOT, and others; none of them addressing personal safety. EMS is notable for teaching new EMT candidates to recite "BSI, SCENE SAFE!" upon entering any testing situation. Again, no translation to the actual assessment of a situation and personal safety.
Once upon a time a uniform, any uniform, would grant you respect and a certain level of protection in the community. EMS providers were looked at somewhat differently and could often move in and out of situations with little concern.
Times are changing. If we don't change NOW and start teaching our people to look at every scene for threats and start to size-up the people rather than the building we will invite more assaults and fatalities.
I'm going to challenge every responder to change they way they look at situations and consider all people a threat until proven otherwise. I'm also challenging instructors to begin cross-training with law enforcement on the topic of recognition of dangerous situations and self protective measures.
My commentary on this weeks Mitigation Journal podcast will be about the futility of BSI/SCENE SAFE/COAL WAS WEALTH.
Here are a few related entries from the archives:
Ready or Not (not even EMS) http://www.mitigationjournal.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=385325
Firefighter shot at fire scene http://www.mitigationjournal.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=362809
Rochester EMT saves Cop http://www.mitigationjournal.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=335844
Line of Duty Planning Series with Dan McGuire http://www.mitigationjournal.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=398987
What are your organizational policies, if any, on the topic. The liability and insurance coverage is another matter. Would you be covered...malpractice...injury...the list goes on.
The first part of duty to act should be to protect yourself at all times. Your first duty is to yourself and your family. We often consider the use of PPE for various activities...but how often do you consider protection from legal issues?
Great blog posting - check it out here: http://blog.usfa.dhs.gov/2009/01/duty-to-act.html
Here is another opinion from Medical News Today about how free antibiotics are not a good idea for public health.
Nice to know you're not alone.
Here is a summary of findings...
- The less a person slept, the more likely he or she was to develop a cold (there was a graded association between infection rate and average sleep duration).
- Participants who slept fewer than 7 hours were 2.94 times more likely to develop a cold than those who had 8 hours or more sleep.
- The more efficiently a person slept (more of the time in bed actually spent asleep), the less likely he or she was to develop a cold (i.e. there was also a graded association between sleep efficiency and rate of infection).
- Participants whose sleep efficiency feel below 92 per cent were 5.50 times more likely to develop a cold than those whose efficiency was 98 per cent or more.
- Feeling rested was not linked to rate of infection.
- These relationships could not be explained by the potential counfounders such as levels of virus-specific antibodies beforehand, demographics, the season of the year, body mass index, socioeconomic status, health behaviours, and psychological variables.
The need for this type of information and protective device are evident based on the stats given by the U of R:
"...Between 2003 and 2007, the Strong Memorial Hospital Regional Burn Center treated 212 children younger than 5 for contact burns. While wood-burning stoves were the most common source, hot clothing irons burned 29 patients."
"Toddlers suffer second- or third-degree burns when they touch a hot iron or knock it onto their hands or face. Some of those burns require skin grafts, a five-day hospital stay and a month of recovery."
"evaluate every trauma patient for hypothermia and every hypothermia patient for trauma"
"life safety, incident stabilization, property conservation"
"confine it to the Zip Code of origin and keep it off CNN"
Extreme low temps and brutal wind chill expected here in next 24 hours due to last through the weekend...high temps predicted to be between 2 and 5 above with sustained 25MPH winds. That means wind chills well below zero.
Even small events take more resources and protection of responders can be difficult. Don't forget Emergency Scene Rehab for cold situations (as important as during hot weather) and often forgotten.
Pumps can freeze, lines freeze turn into iron pipes, and the fire scene can turn into an MCI of responders.
"if there is snow on the roof...it can't be too hot inside"
MVC's on highways can become impossible blizzards...think rapid extrication...minor injuries and illnesses will deteriorate quickly.
Walk-in and retail health clinics are attractive because they are time and cost-effective. There have been questions of quality raised by medical associations in the last year, but no official complaints or awareness of errors have been noted. The trend throughout 2008 has been for these clinics to open and remain stable. That is stable until the shopping season tanked.
This article from Reuters talks about the possibilities of failure and impact on the economy when "big-box" stores decline due to economy and/or recession.
Without any resolutions for the year; I've been deciding how to make a few changes in life and activity. How will I do business, how will I conduct myself, how will I simply do all that I do just a little different...all questions that I'll continue to review throughout the year.
I hope you'll similar steps in your life. That is, any steps you take in 2009, may they lead you to where you want to be!
Best wishes for a happy and safe 2009.