Friday, November 07, 2008

Four Key 'Points to Ponder' for Your Safety

Safety Zone
Rick Patrick
2008 Oct 19

Point I
Safety is personal. Regardless of the tools and training provided by your organization and/or employer, only you can make the choice of being safe. Where do you place safety in the scope of your daily duties? Nothing super cedes your safety -- NOTHING!

Point II
Seatbelts work. Do you wear your seat belt? Do you wear it when responding to emergency incidents in the fire truck, ambulance or other vehicle? Do you wear it in the back of the ambulance? If you answered no to any of these; ask yourself why? Could I have done and should I do anything different? Every time you don't wear a seat belt equates to a near-miss situation -- every time.

Point III
Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be provided by emergency service organizations for all applicable tasks warranting a risk of injury.

EMS providers performing tasks indicative of the risk of injury (extrication, patient removal from a vehicle, rescue activities in general, risk of fire, etc.) and functioning in any capacity in the danger zone of an incident, such as motor vehicle collisions, should be protected by wearing PPE. This includes coats, pants, helmets, gloves, eye protection and protective foot wear. Nothing super cedes personal safety -- NOTHING!

Point IV
Responding safely, functioning safely at the scene and returning safely are essential for everyone's safety on every incident … period.

Read more articles by Rick Patrick

Richard W. Patrick
Richard W. Patrick, MS, CFO, EMT-P, CHS III, FF, is the retired Deputy Fire Chief of Estero Fire Rescue District in Estero, Fla. He has more than 29 years' experience in emergency services. He's the former Director of EMS Programs and Emergency Service Initiatives for VFIS, a division of Glatfelter Insurance Group, York, Pa., where he remains as a consultant. Rick is a nationally known leader, educator, lecturer, author, speaker and consultant in EMS

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