Bringing ALL the EMS equipment in...
Hello. I am an explorer with a large career fire department and one of the expectations that they expect of us it to grab the EMS equipment when we pull up on a call.
Our department does not have prioritized dispatch (as in EMS calls being designated as "Priority 1/2/3/4/etc"). In fact, when there is a run...the call is sent to the MDC. All that is on there is the incident type along with basic information (caller's location, phone number, etc).
We were dispatched on a "Breathing Difficulty". When we were at patient, we found that it was actually a CPR. Unfortunately, the only thing we had was our ALS bag and oxygen bag. The Lifepak 12 was still inside the Medic-Ambulance. The thing is...when we pulled up...I went ahead and grabbed the ALS bag, oxygen bag, AND the Lifepak. However, the medic said not to worry about the Lifepak and just to "leave it there".
This was an eye-opener for me as it has taught me that any call can turn out to be more serious/life-threatening than you think. Having to run back tot he Medic-Ambulance is just totally inappropriate.
So...with that in mind...
What should I bring when riding on the ambulance? We have a Lifepak 12, an oxygen bag, and an ALS bag.
Since there is no call information...the only thing we know is that it could be anything. I'm thinking about from now on just putting everything on the stretcher and just bringing it all in at once regardless of the call type.
I'd just throw the equipment on the stretcher and when we pulled up to a scene, take the stretcher out and just wheel it in with everything.
I did get stuck on whether to put a backboard on the stretcher, however. I mean...is it really necessary to bring a backboard on a breathing difficulty? Is it necessary to bring a backboard on a burn victim or choking?
With that in mind...what do you think of my idea of putting everything on the stretcher and hauling it in?
For the backboard part...I'm thinking of bringing it in on fall patient, unconscious person, injured person, and medical emergencies (no additional details...just..."medical emergency"...could be anything). Is that a reasonable idea?
Also...I do have to say that unfortunately, some of the medics around here are a little ****y and what not when it comes to having to actually help an explorer to bring the equipment in. They seem to have the mindset that it is 100% our responsibility. But the thing is...there's no way I can manuever a stretcher myself...somebody's gotta help.
I'm just afriad that if I do put everything on the stretcher and bring the stretcher out they might just tell me next time to "just bring the ALS bag"...or..."don't worry about the Lifepak". Would disobeying these type of orders actually be wrong? I can't see myself being disciplined for bringing in the AED on a breathing difficulty or whatever. How can you blame somebody for bringing all the equipment in? You have absolutely nothing to lose especially considering the fact that you have no call details.
What do you think?
If you don't know what to bring...
...then you shouldn't be making the decision.
And if you want to learn what to bring...learn with the stuff does...then you'll know.
We EMT's, FF's, Paramedics...we know what the stuff is for...and who needs it. When we don't have enough information on the patient or patients...we take what we know...assume the worst...add ten...and bring our stuff. And remember too...half the time (especially non medically certified) dispatcher info isn't correct, either because of dispatch or the caller.
Unless its not far to the truck and the dispatch info is pretty cut and dry...I bring the stretcher...the aid bad (its the one with the ALS/BLS meds and stuff), the airway bad (its got o2...BVM's...NRB's...etc) and the monitor...EVERY MOTHER F-ING TIME! And amazingly enough...all the stuff sits quite nicely on top of my stretcher...
Hey...you wanna be a firefighter...you want to be a hero? You want to pull some victim out of a building one day? Then you can carry three bags in to your calls. I mean really...if you're going to don 75lbs of gear...go on air...and drag a charged 1.75" line in to a house that is on fire...you can carry a blue, red, green, orange and god knows what other color bag in to your difficulty breathing call.