It's been quite a while since the last BlazingBricks entry. College and work are a deadly combination in the world of Lego, or other hobbies for that matter.
Open Letter to EMS
I'm sure you have all heard about the most recent terror attack in Nice, France. In this blog entry, I'll be discussing what that and other recent attacks mean for us in the world of Fire/EMS. The following copied from a personal post I made several months ago.
"Open Letter to EMS"
Now more than ever, we may be called into service off-duty, or even on-duty, around the world, at incidents that years ago we would never have to think about in our daily lives. When we go about our day in our own countries or traveling abroad, we run the risk of being involved in or being witnesses to large-scale incidents like those we have seen in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, and others. We as emergency responders must be prepared.
We must be ready to respond and act where and when we are needed, regardless of the circumstances. And to be ready, we must study. We absolutely have to read articles, read our textbooks, watch videos. Review our protocols, train hard and thoroughly. Attend classes and seminars, go beyond just what the job requires as the minimum. Train for MCIs, terror attacks, mass shootings, bombings. There is no such thing as being too prepared in today’s world. Someday, perhaps someday soon, one of us may be a bystander or victim who becomes a first responder to a major incident. And we must be ready.
"Open Letter to EMS- Orlando Addendum"
We, as emergency responders, are living in a new reality. A reality where we are not safe and must be prepared for, quite literally, anything, at any time. To all the first responders in Orlando, my thoughts are with you. For my colleagues in Fire, EMS, and PD: In short time, they could be us. At any minute, of any day. And we absolutely have to be prepared. San Bernardino, Orlando, Paris, Brussels. This is our reality. This is our job.
Learn, Train, Survive, Save. No excuses.
Now, these may paint a pretty grim picture of the world we live in. But remember, our likelihood of being caught in a terror attack or other major incident is still pretty slim. Higher than ever, but still pretty unlikely. Regardless, we as EMS providers have to keep a heightened situational awareness both at home and abroad.
The world of Tactical EMS is changing every day. Partially as a result of the San Bernardino terror attack, protocols are beginning to change around the United States for "hot zone" EMS. There is currently a push to get Rescue and EMS into the "hot zone"- an active scene- to provide care and extraction of patients as quickly as possible. Obviously, this is extremely high risk. Nothing is set in stone yet, but be aware of the paradigm shift that may be implemented in coming years.
In a post from a Dallas police officer, he quotes, "Fire did NOT get enough credit...they were moving with us in ambulances toward Market St towards the gunfire. Every single time we told them to get out of the shooting zone the driver would just keep yelling "Just tell us where they are," referring to our downed Officers.". Protocol, no. Probably not. But this is the start of the shift discussed above, on a personal level. When it's one of our own, or our brothers or sisters in blue, red, or otherwise, treatment takes on an increased sense of urgency. Keep your wits about you, and treat the injuries just as you would any other patient. Don't get flustered, and do your job.
What Do I Do?
Train. Practice. Know your protocols. Learn new skills. Keep your underutilized skills sharp. Keep your situational awareness up- we are a target too. Bolded, underlined, and italicized to instill just how important it is to remember that. The more knowledge and practice you have, the better you will perform in crisis- On duty or off duty. Additionally, practice using equipment you have at hand. You're out and about, without your rig or EMS bag, and an incident occurs- terror attack, mass shooting, etc. You have just the everyday things you carry on your person- make them work and know what you'd do with each item if the worst case scenario occurs. What do you or I do in that scenario? We do our jobs. Time to go to work.
"Learn, Train, Survive, Save. No excuses"
Capt. K out
James is a 6-year member of the LFC, and currently studies Natural Resources Management at SUNY-ESF in Syracuse, NY. James is a certified Type 2 Wildland Firefighter and Hazardous Materials Technician. James is also a New York State EMT-Basic, and a pending National Registry EMT. James has worked for three fire departments and one EMS agency in his 5 years in emergency services. James is entering his 6th year in Fire & EMS in November 2016.