Thread: ems supplies
06-04-2001, 01:46 PM #1ndf2908Firehouse.com Guest
does any one carry anything more then those stupid little ems kits on the fire line? they are soooo inadequate. ya, for little cuts they are fine but for something more serious they just dont cut it. any ideas?
06-13-2001, 11:48 AM #2monteFirehouse.com Guest
Good question, since there is a national issue dealing with fireline ems. Right now, nationally, there is no particular standard other than EMTs (state cert.). There are big limitations on what these folks can legally do, much less be limited by fireline quals. to get to firefighters injured on the fireline. There are a couple of geographic areas (northern rockies, pacific northwest, alaska) that have an Incident Medical Specialist Program that has greater standards than a state cert. EMT. These programs are also guided by a liscensed pharmacist, MD, and RN. Consequently, participants meeting all qualifications can administer other treatments and protocols a state cert. EMT cannot. They also play a stronger pre-emptive role in prevention to lessen a lot of the impacts that grab firefighters in camp as well as the line. This is a more comprehensive program but is equally a high maintenance program, that has shown great results for many years.
06-14-2001, 10:34 PM #3Dutils791Firehouse.com Guest
I'm a nationally registered EMT-Basic, a Maine state licensed EMT and a certified wilderness first responder. I'm a seasonal wildland FF with the National Park Service. After realizing the limitations of the standard fireline EMT kits I spent a little time to set up my own kit in my line gear. being a wilderness first responder I set it up to wilderness standards to deal with the prolonged times before difinitve medical care found on some fires. I also focused on several areas, including: Trauma, Burns, and especially the nagging problems encountered on fires (ie. lots of moleskin). It takes up quite a large portion of my jumper-style line pack, but is well worth it. This functions not only out on fires, but in-park for small medical issues with the crew and first-response to other incidents.
The legal stuff is shaky ground. Does anyone know if there is any written agency (NPS or NWCG) policy on this sort of thing? or does it defer to state levels? There's a lot of things in a wilderness setting that i can/would do that I can't/won't do in a front-country setting (ie aspirin, reducing dislocations, etc.). On the fire line I'd make my best effort to go through proper channels to try and reach medical control, but wouldn't hesitate to use my training.
Stay safe out there.
06-18-2001, 11:31 AM #4ddavisFirehouse.com Guest
I am the spec engineer that maintains the requirements for these kits, I am also a vol FF and EMT, as well as an active Red-Carded Federal Wildland FF. I have watched this posting with great interest hoping to gain some insight.
The current kits are the results of an agreement between Forest Service management, OSHA, several Drs, and the government employee unions (so you can imagine how easy that was) and meet ANSI requirements. The requirements have not changed since 1994 so it may be time to look at them again.
Understand that these are purely for first aid, and usable by untrained people, they were intended for use by crews that should have communication with a higher level of care. Yes, an EMT would be able to use other items, but those cannot be provided in a general use first aid kit.
What would you add to/subtract from the belt kit to make it better?
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