Topic: Personal Safety Awareness for EMS Personnel
The emergency medical service is constantly exposed to danger in the form of an unsafe scene, patients who become violent, or exposure to contagious diseases. Each member of the emergency medical services community has the responsibility to protect their crew members as well as him/herself. Personal safety must be considered before patient safety.
Student Performance Objective (SPO): Given information from discussion, handouts, and reading materials, describe and recognize personal safety concerns related to emergency medical operations that may require corrective action.
Enabling Objectives (EO):
EO 1-1-1 Identify certain emergency medical services personal practices that could be considered unsafe and result in injury or death.
• Safety Awareness Checklist
I. SAFETY AWARENESS CHECKLIST (EO 1-1-1)
This drill is intended to be conducted as an interactive discussion between the discussion leader (instructor) and the participants rather than a safety lecture. Everyone is expected to actively participate. This should be used a more of a brain-storming session with the possibility of getting new ideas to increase safety awareness in the department. Care should be exercised to avoid criticizing any comments since this may inhibit participation.
The list is by no means all inclusive and in only limited by the knowledge and expertise of the members.
The outline is presented in the form of a personal safety checklist or a series of questions with no specific right or wrong answer. During the discussion, the reason for each item being considered unsafe should be explained along with some suggestions of actions that could be taken to make the action safer.
1. Do you hydrate on a regular basis so that you are ready for the next incident, work activity, or
2. Are you in good health and physical condition when you are on duty?
3. Do you get sufficient rest so that you are ready to perform when the need arises?
4. Are you careful about following instructions when taking medication, especially medication that may
induce drowsiness or impair body or mental functions?
5. Do you listen to the dispatch when receiving an alarm so that you will get all the information that is
6. Are you current in your immunizations against hepatitis?
7. Do you avoid running to board the ambulance?
8. Are you complacent on certain types of alarms or alarm locations?
9. Do you observe presence of vapors or clouds as you approach the scene that may indicate the
presence of a hazardous substance release?
10. Do you observe the type of occupancy as you approach the scene to gain a better understanding
of the type of incident?
11. Do you look out for placards or other indications of hazardous materials as you approach the
12. Are you seated and wearing a seatbelt whenever the ambulance is in motion?
13. Do you watch for traffic conditions as you respond to the scene?
14. Do you make sure that the scene is safe as you approach the scene especially where weapons
may be involved?
15. Do you wait for the ambulance to come to a full stop before entering or exiting?
16. Do you watch for traffic as you exit or work around the ambulance at the emergency scene?
17. Do you make sure that the scene is safe before you exit the ambulance?
18. Do you watch out for other arriving apparatus when exiting the ambulance or working on the
19. Do you establish or observe the safe work zone at an incident?
20. Do you practice body substance isolation that is appropriate for the incident?
21. Do you wear clothing appropriate for the incident (medical emergency, vehicle accident, fire,