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Ambulances / Emergency Vehicles Tip

Tips for better management of a chaotic crash scene

Name: EMS1 Staff

The last thing you need at a chaotic motor vehicle crash is to waste time searching for equipment. Preparation is the best way to efficiently cater to the needs of the injured while transporting.

Here are a few tips:

  • If you have room, put your straps on the board. It's much easier to readjust at the scene than to waste time carrying the set of straps and assembling everything at the crux of stabilization.
  • Purchase a c-spine bag. Of course, you can buy an expensive 'Medical Bag,' but an ordinary duffle bag should be fine to begin with. After repeated use, you'll notice that industrial strength zippers work much better than the cheaper ones.
  • Build a c-spine bag. This bag should have ALL the gear (sans backboard) that you'll need to properly backboard your patient. For example, be sure to pack cervical collars (from pediatric to large adult sizes), head blocks (or towel rolls), 2" tape, duct tape, scissors, etc. Each agency should cater the bag to their specific response area and needs. Always put enough equipment in each c-spine bag to immobilize at least two patients.

Imagine the next car crash where, instead of running back and forth between the ambulance and the patients for medical gear, you can simply place the c-spine bag in the center of the working scene for all to use.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Richard C Nix Richard C Nix Thursday, February 16, 2012 8:43:55 PM Saw a clever trick used by River Medical EMS out of Quartzsite, AZ, now absorbed by AMR... Anyway, the crew arrived at an MVA and pulled the usual Bag out of the rig, then proceeded to pull out a milk crate will all their headblocks, c-collars and a box of each sized glove. Very handy for packaging, triaging and treating multiple pts. It made between pt glove changes easy as well. thought it was cool as heck.
Elizabeth Miller Elizabeth Miller Sunday, September 23, 2012 5:56:45 AM The truck I use has two 'crash bags', and we love them! No more collecting all the equipment; we can ask anybody to run to the truck and grab a board and a bag. We used to leave our straps attatched, but we find that they are frequently trapped under the board or the patient. It takes extra time to drag them out where we can hook them up, may cause extra movement of the pt, and damages snaps. There are outside pockets on our crash bags where we keep four sets; three for the board and an extra to replace the one we lose in the chaos.