EMTs battle winter storm Nemo to help those in need

EMTs battle winter storm Nemo to help those in need

The winter storm known as Nemo may be long gone, but those who were in its path are unlikely to forget this nor’easter any time soon. Although weather warnings and driving bans kept many people safe throughout the blizzard, rescue workers did not have the luxury of staying indoors and watching the snow pile up outside.

According to USA Today, Nemo dumped more than 30 inches of snow in Portland, Maine, while areas like Hartford, Connecticut, Concord, New Hampshire, and Boston, Massachusetts, received at least 22 inches each. No matter what conditions they faced, many of the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in the storm’s path likely found themselves drawing on their EMT training to do their job despite the dangerous weather. Here are a few examples of how these professionals overcame Nemo and provided assistance to those who needed it most:

EMTs help deliver blizzard babies
Most expecting mothers would probably prefer to give birth at a time that is most convenient for them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as evidenced by the babies who entered the world in the middle of the blizzard.

On February 9, two women in Ashland, Massachusetts, went into labor, WCVB NewsCenter5 reported. While emergency crews managed to get one of the women to the hospital in time for the birth of her child, the second woman gave birth in an ambulance en route to the hospital.

Of course, delivering a baby in an ambulance is far from ideal for both EMTs and mothers-to-be, but those who go through EMT training should be prepared for this type of scenario.

Rescue workers adopt a new mode of transportation
As snow piled up on the roadways of Connecticut, it became harder for rescue workers to do their jobs. For this reason, Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed an emergency order that allowed emergency workers to use off-road vehicles, the Valley Independent Sentinel reported.

Thanks to the emergency order, emergency responders were able to use off-road vehicles like the 6×6 Polaris Ranger to get to people in need and bring them to the hospital.

“This is the first time we’ve had to hold back calls because of snow,” David Lenart, chief of Derby Storm Ambulance and Rescue, told the news source. “Usually we can coordinate with [the Department of Public Works] and the fire department. But this was different.”

Online Emergency Services Training Company, Critical Information Network, Receives Outstanding Review on CECBEMS Accreditation Site

emt training

“This is truly an honor and a significant achievement for CiNet,” noted Lonny Wilder, CiNet’s Vice President, of Public Safety.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) January 30, 2013

Critical Information Network (CiNet), a leading online training and record-keeping provider for public safety professionals, is honored to be accredited by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS). After a two-day visit by two CECBEMS auditors, CiNet was recognized for its needs assessment, course development and implementation and evaluation processes.

In the results, CECBEMS noted that it…“found clear evidence that CiNet not only adheres to CECBEMS standards and policies but embraces and employs them. We are thoroughly impressed with the efforts you take to build quality into your educational processes.”

“This is truly an honor and a significant achievement for CiNet,” noted Lonny Wilder, CiNet’s Vice President, of Public Safety.  “We are dedicated to building a curriculum that not only addresses both the personal and public safety demands of Emergency Medical responders, but also helping these professionals stay current with the most accredited training possible.  CECBEMS recognition clearly demonstrates that we’ve made that achievement a reality.”

This accreditation is for CiNet’s PULSE Emergency Medical Update content and encompasses the entire Emergency Medical curriculum training library. CECBEMS was interested in how needs assessment, program committee processes, medical direction/oversight, concept, production, delivery, evaluation and end-user reporting all come together for the benefit of the individual EMS provider.

The audit report by CECBEMS of CiNet’s PULSE Emergency Medical Update content outlined specific findings, including:

-CiNet’s Program Committee, whose members all have long histories of EMS management and education, has oversight of all coursework. -The Needs Assessment; a worksheet is given to users so they may provide feedback to CiNet, is reviewed and used by the committee in ongoing course development. -CiNet’s Director of Education works closely with the Program Committee and production, and  is a full time fire fighter and paramedic. -Course content authors often use the CECBEMS policy and guidance, ensuring course attendees receive standardized courses and testing every time.

About CiNet Critical Information Network (CiNet) has been training Public Safety personnel for over 23 years. Established in 1986, CiNet’s unique approach to online training has enabled us to be a true industry leader. CiNet’s eLearning Performance Center collects and organizes data from across the public safety, healthcare and industrial operations industries and transforms it into learning solutions that produce results. CiNet is home to one of the largest libraries of eLearning content in the world, merging voice and video data together to create interactive learning experiences in real-time, providing the right training information to organizations when they need it.

About CECBEMS CECBEMS was chartered in 1992 by the following sponsoring organizations for the purpose of developing consistent criteria for the review and approval of EMS CE activities nationwide:

  • American College of Emergency Physicians – acep.org
  • National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians – nremt.org
  • National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians – naemsp.org
  • National Association of State EMS Directors – nasemso.org
  • National Council of State Emergency Medical Services Training Coordinators – nasemso.org
  • National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians – naemt.org
  • In 1998 the National Association of EMS Educators – naemse.org –  became a sponsoring organization
  • In 2003 the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians – acoep.org –  became a sponsoring organization

Video laryngoscope improves patient care

Video laryngoscope improves patient care

Video laryngoscope improves patient care

When emergency medical technicians (EMTs) respond to calls, they need to be prepared to handle any type of situation. Not only can EMT training provide these professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to do a better job, but it may also educate them about technological tools they can use to save lives.

The King Vision portable video laryngoscope is one piece of technology that is making it easier for the emergency crews with New York’s Thousand Islands Rescue to find out why patients have trouble breathing, YNN reported. This device, which is manufactured by King Systems, comes equipped with a video screen and allows EMTs to complete indirect laryngoscopy, as well as routine and difficult endotracheal intubation, according to the company’s website.

In the past, workers with Thousand Islands Rescue had to position themselves to get the best look at patients’ airways, and identify the cause of any obstructions. With the King Vision, they can efficiently position the device and quickly find the source of the problem.

“It will give a faster, more accurate visualization and proof that the endotracheal tube [has] actually been placed correctly in that very critical situation,” Rolly Churchill, Thousand Islands’ EMS chief, told the news source.

Newtown EMTs continue working despite grief

Newtown EMTs continue working despite grief

Newtown EMTs continue working despite grief

Whether emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are responding to a car accident or a burning building, they never know how bad the situation will be until they arrive on the scene. EMT training can certainly help first responders better manage their reactions and keep their cool, but certain scenarios can truly test EMTs’ mettle.

This was the case for many of the EMTs who arrived at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14 – the date on which 20 children and six adults were killed in a deadly shooting at Sandy Hook. For those who currently hold EMT jobs or hope to one day, the men and women who did what was expected of them, despite whatever emotions they were feeling at the time, serve as an example of the sometimes harsh realities of this important line of work.

Feelings of helplessness
Members of the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps responded to a call at Sandy Hook, not sure if there was one or more gunmen still at large on the school grounds, NBC News reported. As time passed and more information came to light, these rescue workers soon realized their knowledge and skills would not be of much use.

“We’re waiting there with a triage area set up to take care of all of these patients … and when the call came over the radio to release all of these ambulances from surrounding towns and just hold the Newtown ambulances at the scene, that was when I think it hit most of us that our services were not going to be utilized at that point,” James Wolff, an EMT who responded to the call, told the news source.

Wolff and his fellow volunteer EMTs were in a difficult position, as they did not have an opportunity to put their skills to good use with the majority of those injured in the shooting already dead. Seeing the emotion on the faces of those on the other side of the police tape at the crime scene only made the rescue workers feel worse about their inability to do any good.

Coping with tragedy
In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, several of the EMTs are still torn up over the fact that there was nothing they could do help the 26 victims of the school shooting. According to WPIX-TV, 90 percent of Newtown’s volunteer ambulance corp is now in counseling.

“You wish you could do more,” EMT Sharon McCarthy told the news outlet. “You have all this training.”

Despite whatever troubling thoughts they may be wrestling with, Newtown’s responders are still prepared to respond to calls, as they typically receive around 2,500 a year.

New York City emergency workers call for EMS chief’s resignation

New York City emergency workers call for EMS chief's resignation

New York City emergency workers call for EMS chief’s resignation

Rescue workers, such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), understand the important role high-quality EMT training plays in keeping themselves, their colleagues and the people in their communities safe. A lack of knowledge regarding proper procedures during emergencies, like severe weather, could lead to disaster.

According to New York City EMTs and emergency medical services (EMS) officers, this is exactly what happened as Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the Big Apple and its surrounding areas, the New York Post reported. In fact, these individuals believe the response to Sandy was so poorly managed, they are demanding the resignation of Abdo Nahmod, the chief of Fire Department New York’s Emergency Medical Service Command.

The case against Nahmod
Just because extreme weather can cause chaos does not mean mankind’s approach to dealing with severe storms should be just as chaotic. However, this is how opponents of Nahmod viewed conditions in New York as Sandy pummeled the island.

“Many personnel feel as if they were left to fend for themselves…nobody was steering the ship,” an EMT wrote on the Rant message board,” as quoted by the news source. “People have questions. Hopefully, they will get some answers.”

During the superstorm, EMS stations took on so much water, ambulances became useless. In some cases, medics had to climb to the roofs of these vehicles to prevent themselves from drowning, CBS New York reported. This is far from the only scenario in which rescue personnel had to be rescued themselves. Due to a late evacuation, one EMS chief needed to be carried out of a flooded station.

“The decisions that were made and non-decisions that were made are unacceptable and someone needs to be held accountable,” Israel Miranda, president of the Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Union, told the news outlet.

In defense of Nahmod
While the voices against Nahmod may be loud, there are those who are standing by him, including Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. In a statement, Cassano said that he has the utmost confidence in Nahmod’s performance before and after Superstorm Sandy. The fire commissioner explained that he was the one who ordered city firefighters, paramedics and EMTs to remain in service for as long as they could, not Nahmod.

Whether or not Nahmod steps down from his post, emergency workers nationwide should see what lessons they can take away from New York City’s response to Superstorm Sandy. Those who hold EMT jobs may even find that they could benefit from further first responder training

Fire chief believes EMTs would be safer carrying guns

Fire chief believes EMTs would be safer carrying guns

Fire chief believes EMTs would be safer carrying guns

When emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, are responding to a call, they may have a sense of what they will find at their destination, but not know the full extent of the situation until they are in the thick of it. While these professionals learn how to navigate potentially dangerous scenarios in EMT training, there are those who believe EMTs should go one step further and be allowed to carry handguns.EMTs may be responsible for saving other people’s lives, but sometimes these professionals can become victims themselves. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 52 percent of today’s EMTs have been assaulted on the job, WDTN reported. Furthermore, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that mentally unstable or combative patients may attack them

.Carrying guns may save EMTs’ lives
Tim Holman, the fire chief in German Township, Ohio, told the news source he believes paramedics could benefit from carrying concealed weapons. Holman’s personal experiences have shaped his views on this issue, as he has had a gun pulled on him twice in his 37-year career.

“When we go into a fire we’re fairly well protected,” Holman said. “We have equipment on that’s going to protect our breathing. We have turnout gear that’s going to protect us to a certain temperature. I make sure they are safe when they go to a fire, but I can’t guarantee that safety when they go to an EMS run.”

In Holman’s opinion, carrying a concealed weapon could reduce the number of future attacks on EMTs. He went so far as to say data has shown that states that allow people to carry concealed guns have seen a decrease in their crime rates.

Carrying guns may put more lives in danger
Not everybody is on board with the idea of arming EMTs. Kip Teitsort, a former police officer and EMT, is among them.

“Let the guys with the hundreds and hundreds of hours of training, the tools, and the pepper spray handle that guy,” Teitsort told the news source. “Then medical care can be applied.”

Teitsort does not see how fire departments could provide EMTs with the amount of  training they need to safely carry weapons. Without the proper training, there is always the chance that EMTs could do more harm than good with a handgun that is meant to keep them safe.

EMTs brave Hurricane Sandy to help those in need

EMTs brave Hurricane Sandy to help those in need

EMTs brave Hurricane Sandy to help those in need

When emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, are on call, they have a responsibility to get to those in need and provide them with the best pre-hospital medical care possible. As calls will vary in their level of severity, quality EMT training for these professionals is a necessity.For EMTs, providing emergency services to those in need is challenging enough on its own. Recently, professionals who work in the Northeast had to contend with the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy as well. However, despite the obstacles the superstorm blew their way, many EMTs proved their dedication to their line of work.

Matters of the heart
For more than 30 years, Easton, Pennsylvania-native Jack Vaughn wrestled with heart ailments, The Express-Times reported. Vaughn’s severe congestive heart failure was so serious that a heart transplant was a necessity. Fortunately, a call came in that said a healthier heart was waiting in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, this news came in just as Sandy was bearing down on the East Coast.

As senior citizens, Vaughn and his wife Nancy were unwilling to make the 75-mile trip to Philadelphia during the hurricane alone, and the Easton Police Department could not provide assistance with the storm approaching. The Vaughns were finally able to track down EMTs who were willing to brave pouring rain, heavy winds and flying debris just to get Vaughn his new heart.

The drive was no walk in the park, and a strong gust of wind nearly pushed them off the road, but the EMTs managed to get Vaughn to Philadelphia in one piece.

“To me, this was truly a miracle,” Nancy Vaughn told the news source. “We thank God every day for sending them to us. Nobody could get us in to get this heart.”

A delivery to remember
When newborn baby Liam Alexander Schleppy was in his mother Christine’s womb, he was not aware of the damage Hurricane Sandy was about to do to New Jersey. He was also not aware of how difficult it would be for his mother to deliver him in the middle of a storm. However, EMTs answered Schleppy’s 911 call and played a role in bringing Liam into the world, ABC News reported.

As New Jersey residents, Christine Schleppy and her husband David were aware that trees were down and roads would be closed, ensuring that the trip to the hospital would prove challenging. Poor road conditions caused the ambulance to get stuck in the mud. Fortunately, the Schleppys were transferred to a fire ambulance, which then brought them to the Hackensack University Medical Center’s Mobile Satellite Emergency Department shelter, where Liam was eventually delivered.

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