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Safety Tip

Everyday EMS
by Greg Friese

Safety Tips from Industrial Responders

I recently taught a medical first responder refresher course to a group of industrial first responders. Many of the students in the class had more than 20+ years of experience as medical first responders in food processing plants or paper mills.

During patient assessment drills, case reviews, and class discussion, I took away some of these workplace safety lessons from the students:

1. Repetition creates complacency about risks and hazards.

2. Doing something dangerous without consequence does not change the odds of a negative consequence.

3. Everyone is reliant on others for taking safety responsibilities seriously.

4. Safety equipment needs to be easily accessible, and frequent reminders of its importance is needed.

These lessons are applicable to EMS professionals. Safety is more than mindlessly mumbling "Scene Safety/BSI". Assess and monitor for danger at all times. Follow workplace safety practices. Finally, challenge and confront unsafe practices in your workplace. Your health and safety is at risk from the unsafe actions and choices of others.

About the author

Greg Friese is Editor-in-Chief of He is an educator, author, paramedic, and marathon runner. Ask questions or submit tip ideas to Greg by e-mailing him at

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