The Right PPE for the Job

Most paramedics and EMTs will go through a physical checklist when preparing for a shift — they check the O2 tanks, the ambulance fuel levels, the stock of meds, and so on. All this is done to ensure that they will be equipped to provide the best care possible for their patients.

But how many providers double-check to see if their supply of gloves is fully stocked? Do they check if protective safety goggles are available on the ambulance? Are uniforms, boots, and bunker gear all clean and intact for the shift?

These are important questions that every EMS provider should answer before stepping into their ambulance. Paramedics and EMTs put themselves near the presence of dangerous and potentially fatal situations everyday. It is important to adopt practices to ensure safety and protection while on the field.

What protective equipment you need depends on your local area. Take into account the type of environment you work in, the ability to maintain flexibility and movement in your gear, and the requirements for the situation you are responding to. If you feel you do not have all the appropriate PPE, ask your officer or director about obtaining the appropriate gear. Make sure that you have all the PPE necessary to perform your job both safely and effectively.

New Revised Requirements for Emergency Medical Protective Clothing by Jeffrey Stull

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