April 26, 2018 | View as webpage
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Our thoughts are with our Toronto paramedic colleagues in the wake of Monday’s vehicle attack. The frequency of vehicle attacks is a striking and worrisome development for chief officers and field personnel. Art Hsieh, EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board member wrote about the importance of planning, preparation and practice for responding to these horrific events.

Keep emailing your feedback, suggestions and replies about the debut of the Paramedic Chief Leadership Briefing, a bonus to our monthly Paramedic Chief eNews.

Greg Friese, MS, NRP
Editor-in-Chief, EMS1

In this issue:

By Greg Friese

Deputy Casey L. Shoemate was killed in a head-on collision in central Missouri last Friday.

What happened: The crash report said Shoemate, 26, driving a 2014 Dodge Charger, struck another vehicle head-on while going south. Shoemate, responding to a 911 call at 5:50 p.m., had his emergency lights and sirens on and was attempting to pass a fire truck on the highway when he hit a northbound SUV.

According to Missouri State Highway Patrol, Shoemate was trying to go around the fire truck, which was responding to an unrelated call and did not have its emergency lights or siren on.

Emergency vehicle response reminders: There is much I don’t know about the tragic death of Deputy Shoemate and the serious injury to the SUV driver, including the weather and road conditions, the nature of the police and fire response, and if there was communication between the deputy and the fire apparatus driver.

While waiting for a full investigation what reminders would you give your emergency vehicle drivers? Here’s what I would discuss with EMTs, paramedics and other emergency vehicle operators:

  • Follow state traffic laws and local emergency vehicle policies to operate with due regard.
  • Never assume any driver, even another emergency responder, has seen your approach and is pulling to the right.
  • Be very cautious about hand signals or radio communications - actual or implied - to or from a fire apparatus or police cruiser that’s overtaking the ambulance.
  • Lights and sirens have a minimal impact on patient outcomes.

En route collisions: Two firefighters were killed and three were hurt when their fire truck crashed en route to a fatal vehicle crash scene in late March. This crash is also under investigation. En route collisions with fatalities or injuries reported on EMS1, FireRescue1 and PoliceOne have most or all of these characteristics:

  1. Red lights and sirens activated.
  2. Driving above posted speed limits.
  3. Inexperienced driver.
  4. Fatigued, distracted or impaired driver.
  5. Vehicle leaves the roadway.
  6. Unrestrained driver or passengers.

Train-the-driver trainer resources:

Every second matters for EMS providers when it comes to caring for stroke patients. Join our educational webinar from EMS1 and Medtronic Neurovascular, where Dr. Peter Taillac, MD, FACEP, a clinical professor in the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine, will discuss how you can save more lives from stroke through effective prehospital stroke management.

By Catherine Counts, PhD

Every MCI has a before, during and after. Don’t overlook the importance of the post-MCI phase for helping personnel return to service, equipment maintenance and replacement, financial reimbursement, and communication within the organization and to the public through the media. Catherine Counts, EMS1 columnist, shares Dr. Stefan Poloczek’s 10-point post-MCI resiliency checklist.

Poloczek, medical director for the Berlin Fire Brigade, based on his experiences after the 2016 Berlin Christmas Market vehicle ramming attack built a 10-point checklist focused on post-disaster resiliency.

“I completely underestimated the work after a terror attack and I think [being prepared] is a very important part of resiliency,” Poloczek said in his presentation at the 2018 Gathering of Eagles meeting.

Here are the 10 items that should be included in a post-MCI checklist for resiliency.

  1. Preparation for the next MCI – Cleaning is also psychosocial hygiene
  2. Defusing and debriefing of all responders
  3. Care about commanders – They dictate the decisions
  4. Rumor prevention – Talk about what happened
  5. Take part in memorial ceremonies – Be aware it increases the workload
  6. Prepare for communication with press and politicians
  7. Inform colleagues and other professionals about your lessons learned
  8. Prepare for the question: Do you need more money?
  9. Ask what’s next?
  10. Be aware of the anniversary

Resiliency resources from EMS, fire experts:

Quick Hits, Links & Downloads
  • Make great field supervisors: A critical link between executive leaders and field providers is field supervisors. Share John Becknell’s timeless advice to prevent ruining your EMS field supervisors.
  • 50,000 diabetic emergency calls: Data from 1,000 EMS agencies was examined to understand response to and treatment of hypoglycemia. How does your agency compare?
  • Book recommendation: For the patient, EMS response might be a lowest in life moment, but because of the care we provide it can be a peak moment. Read the “Power of Moments: Why certain experiences have extraordinary impact” to understand how moments can be intentionally programmed into EMS education, employee training and patient care.

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You are welcome to share the Paramedic Chief Leadership Briefing. Forward this email to your command staff or field personnel, print and post in the day room or training lab, or reprint in your organization or regional EMS association newsletter.

Got a leadership tip, management question, commercial use inquiry, or an article idea? Send me an email, greg.friese@praetoriandigital.com.

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