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EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

Collaborate with your community on special needs treatment

Research additional resources that could provide helpful techniques to your department

By Arthur Hsieh

Editor's note: An Ohio nonprofit addresses the emergency scene needs of individuals with special needs.

While the current National Education Standards reinforce the need for education in accommodating the unique challenges of special needs populations, it's generally true that we rarely receive enough initial training in this subject area.

It's great to see a collaborative effort between community supporters in boosting the level of care on the EMS scene.

Chances are that the rest of us have encountered a special needs patient, whether the challenge is clinical, behavioral or communicational.

Resources like the one described in this article are of great help in closing the gaps in knowledge and equipment.

Rob's Rescue, the organization featured in the article, has several documents that address some of the concerns that arise when treating special needs patients, including a "quick tips" FAQ sheet of useful information for EMS providers.

Consider researching additional resources within your community that could provide helpful techniques to your department. 

About the author

EMS1 Editorial Advisor Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P currently teaches at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. Since 1982, Art has worked as a line medic and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook author, has presented at conferences nationwide, and continues to provide patient care at an EMS service in Northern California. Contact Art at
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