Valentine For a Co-Worker
In case you missed it.
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In case you missed it.
"What is the objective of this ride-out?", the Deputy Sheriff asked me.
"At the end of the shift... you and I are going home."
Sure, it's the law that you have to move over (and/or slow down) when emergency vehicles are stopped at the roadside. But lives are still being lost while we're trying to save others.
There ought to be a law. And there are. Plenty of them. But why is that not enough?
The sea Captain bites his tongue until it bleeds, when juniors are learning to handle the ship. And, I imagine there has been some serious commentary about fictional patient care on the TV show 9-1-1 Lone Star, over at the Office of Medical Director for Austin-Travis County EMS.
If you don't know, the Medical Director is a very important part of the delegated practice of Emergency Medicine in the field. As in many EMS systems, providers must be familiar with and proficient with their scope of practice under clinical operating guidelines established by the OMD.
When I arrived on scene, I helped package the last patient who would be going by ambulance.
I would tell you the details, right now. Except that somebody's father might read them.
I talked with one such father, in particular, and it was not my place at the time, to tell him what I knew. In a mile's travel, he would know. He would probably insist that he see, as I had seen.
There was someone else on scene, who caring and competent men had determined had no need for the services of an ambulance.
“We see this as an ongoing issue. It’s related to a lot of different factors – everything from the amount of runs and the types of situations that our folks encounter to fatigue and fatigue management,” Davis said. “External pressures that they have in their own lives. Folks that bring live experiences to us that might be stressful.” The issue affects all levels of firefighters from rookies to veterans. There will also be a focus on retirees and those preparing to retire – helping them plan a life away from firefighting.
A number of states and local jurisdictions have restricted the use of hand-held devices, while driving. And, while exceptions for operators of emergency vehicles may be incorporated, Ambulance crews are still being recruited from the human race and can still be distracted while driving.
DC's 9-1-1 center is part of the Office Unified Communications (OUC). But, I sit here thinking how it should be reacronymed to OUCH. Residents, visitors and people who work in our nation's Capitol call them on the worst days of their lives.
To understand the story, you have to read Dave Statter's article (linked below) and watch the videos that are referenced there. He's been doing the heavy lifting on this story for some time now. And, he proposes a comprehensive external audit to help find the way forward.
Each victim is assessed, triaged -- categorized. Who is beyond help? Who needs immediate Care? Who can wait? Who just needs a ride? Finding body after body after body.
Here's a story where AIr Traffic Control (ATC) cleared a pilot to a safe altitude. The pilot read back an incorrect (potentially unsafe) altitude -- and, ATC failed to notice. It turned out ok.
What can EMS learn?
You can readily see some parallels. Multitasking, high stress, life and death, vital communications...