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    Default Seat belt use in EMS

    I have been givien the task of coming up with a seatbelt use SOG in the back of a ambulance. For the life of me I can not imagine trying to intubate a pt or do a decent ongoing assesment of a pt. I hope my brothers and sisters out there can help me with this task. What do you guys do????

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    I don't do transports so I can't offer any practical advice. However I can suggest going William Shattner and pretending your on Rescue 911? Strap someone down to the stretcher and pretend to work on them with and without seatbelts in various ways. There is no better way then realtime trials and this would let you do it without using a real patient as a test rat.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurch3639
    I have been givien the task of coming up with a seatbelt use SOG in the back of a ambulance. For the life of me I can not imagine trying to intubate a pt or do a decent ongoing assesment of a pt. I hope my brothers and sisters out there can help me with this task. What do you guys do????
    I have never worn a seat belt while being the attending in the back of the rig. Our policy requires that riders such as family members or anyone riding the jump seat be required to wear the seat belt. Of course patients are always secured in to the gurney.

    Are they asking you to wear a seat belt while providing patient care? The belts in our rigs would not allow for movement to take BP etc.

    Now while in the front of the rig I cant see why anyone would not wear a seat belt - the cabs are so cramped for taller folks that you need any advantage you can get not to slam in to anything.
    Warm Regards,
    Shawn Stoner
    EMT-B

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    Talking

    Thanks for your input. We are always belted while going to a call or driving to hospital. I think that using some of our guys as test people is a good idea. You know what they say safety first!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire
    I don't do transports so I can't offer any practical advice. However I can suggest going William Shattner and pretending your on Rescue 911? Strap someone down to the stretcher and pretend to work on them with and without seatbelts in various ways. There is no better way then realtime trials and this would let you do it without using a real patient as a test rat.
    But let us not forget, no one dies on "RESCUE 911"...
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    I do recall 'one' episode where someone died and they just ended it like that. "Unfortunately, bob later died at the hospital. Up next on Rescue 911...". It was so anti-climactic.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Is that show on anymore????? I haven't seen that show in so long.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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    They were running new episodes in the late 80's when I was a little kid. I used to watch it religiously every week when there was a new episode, it is probably responsible for me being in this buisness today minus the unrealisic and joyous conclusion to all the episodes. They used to show re-runs on Discovery Health channel earlier this year and I used to watch them once in a while. A few things scared me:

    1. People actually dressed like that??? WTF!
    2. People were allowed to do that?? WTF!
    3. Why does everyone drive a big buick? WTF!
    4. Oh my god this is so old and I watched it when it was new? WTF I feel old.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Lurch....If I am reading this correctly, your Dept is wanting to come up with an SOG/SOP for wearing a seatbelt in the back of the ambulance during Pt Xport??
    I know of a few ambulance accidents near to me that involved the ambulance being hit nearly head on and side swiped to name a few.
    In these cases the units were xporting critical pts and the ambulance was running hot to the hosp.
    There were no serious injuries to the crew except for maybe a sore leg or back from being jolted.
    I can see wearing one when it is a non critical pt that just needs their vitals taken and basic care, but I cannot see having seat belts on while getting IV's, intubation, or CPR.
    You have a difficult task ahead of you. Good luck!

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    In th front I wear it most of the time. In the back its nothing but a pain in the ***.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Default try this on for size....

    Effective immediately:

    All persons ([Your Dept. Here] members or family members) driving and/or a passenger in a City vehicle shall have their seat belts fastened while the vehicle is in motion. This is not only a [Your Dept. Here], but it is State Law. All personnel in the patient care compartment shall have their seat belt on at all times when there is no patient present, and should strongly consider wearing their seat belt any time that patient care is not compromised. Additionally, we are responsible for our patientís safety while they are under our care, so all patients will be securely strapped in with the seat belts provided on the cot.

    The driver of the vehicle is responsible for assuring that all persons have their seat belt fastened prior to moving the vehicle. Failure to comply with the request of the driver will be considered grounds for discipline. Discipline will be handled in a progressive manner.

    I agree about the difficulties of some pt care in the back while belted...but....between the weather (Snow/Ice) in Ohio, and some of these young pups driving....I still manage to find a way to do both...

    Good luck....Andy

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    I'm not even an EMT-B and haven't been able to match my work with the schedule for First Responder classes at my volunteer department but I've heard the war stories about how hard it is to do chest compressions in an ambulance rawhiding for the emergency room and keep your balance.
    I have ridden in the back of one of the local ambulances and though I didn't need such measures,the EMT stayed seated and I do not recall his wearing a seatbelt.He could have worn it and released it when he needed to stand over me,though.
    I can see the need for safety but shouldn't the EMTs be able to move about the cabin as needed to treat their patient en route as they see fit?I am sure someone can come up with a policy that requires safety and understands that the people doing the job accept the risk when they unbelt while the vehicle is in motion.
    I guess I am lucky to live in a rural area where people still understand the need to give emergency vehicles the road when they have their lights and sirens going.The only recent wreck of an emergency vehicle since I've been up here was due to the way the road was built with no shoulder.
    Last edited by doughesson; 11-21-2005 at 12:43 PM.

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    Thanks brothers, I knew this would help me out. There have been some good ideas. Now if the powers are receptive to my draft SOG!!! All of this and we still are below staff......who knew. Thanks.

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    Its been along time since I worked in the back of an ambulance but I am a die hard seat belt wearer and I often did not wear one in the back. I was not comfortable with the bench seat belts, I felt like they were just as likely to cause me serious injury as getting bounced around the back of the rig in an accident. Typically I did my assessment, then moved to the jump seat where I would belt in. Unless it was a serious patient I could to a decent job of monitoring the patient from there, plus I had to be up there for the ring down anyway. For the more serious calls where active Pt care was ongoing until arriving at the hospital I usually wasn't belted in, just had the feet wedged under the gurney which I know wouldn't buy much in a real accident but it helped for the rough driving often encountered during code 3 travel.

    I occasionally wondered why nobody had devised a harness of some sort, kind of like those ones they use for climbing walls, a harness on the EMT / Medic and a cable to the back wall with a kinetic braking device like in modern seat belts. That would allow movement in the back and while not as good as an actual seat belt at least in would minimize how far the medic gets thrown and keep them from being ejected. As a bonus I'm sure you would get some great comedy shots when the new or sleep deprived medic tried getting out of the ambulance without removing the cable.

    There is no justifiable reason for not wearing a seat belt when riding up front or when no patient is onboard.
    Last edited by NonSurfinCaFF; 11-22-2005 at 12:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NonSurfinCaFF

    There is no justifiable reason for not wearing a seat belt when riding up front or when no patient is onboard.

    I can think of one (this happened to me a couple of times going through -P school)--picture this scenario:

    You get a call for a BLS response (drunk guy got into a fight and is bleeding/puking/spitting) at ~0300 when you're the only crew on duty so between Kerlix wrappers, puke, spit, etc... the ambulance is filthy by the time you get to the hospital. Since this is a BLS call and should only take 1/2 hr or so, you don't have the backup crew called in. While dropping the pt off at the ER, the tones drop again for a cardiac arrest/multi-vehicle MVA/et al. So do you sit in the ER lot cleaning up/restocking until everything is hunky-dory and then respond or do you get on the way, cleaning up/restocking enroute? That's about the only scenario where I can justify not wearing a seatbelt in the back w/o a patient.

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