It seems some very difficult decisions needed to be made today in the selection of the new HART Training Manager.
An outstanding field of candidates but with a worthy appointment for @HodgesGiles Giles. Congratulations Giles on your new post, all the very best in your new role. You have come a long way in a short time
A PARAMEDIC and EMT crew clocking-on at 6am for a Christmas Day shift might be forgiven for having a little less festive cheer than many of us.
But minutes into their 12-hour working day, Callum Sloman and Darragh Coghlan were filled with joy after helping a Newport mum deliver her baby son at home.
29-year-old Stacey Scawthorn, from Sorrel Drive, called 999 after going into labour and with the help of the call handler and the arrival of her mum and the Welsh Ambulance Service crew, she was soon celebrating the arrival of her third child, baby son Kastro-Luke.
Callum said: “It was our first call of the day. We were stood down from one call and then moved onto this, and it was brilliant. What a great way to start Christmas Day!”
There were no complications although both mum and baby were taken to Royal Gwent Hospital as a precaution, and are now doing well.
Stacey said: “My little girl was opening her Christmas presents and I was thinking, oh God, where’s my mum? It all happened so quickly!
“We ended up having our Christmas dinner and celebrating Christmas on Boxing Day, but it’s been an amazing few days and the baby’s brilliant.”
Lieutenant, crew lead, captain, senior medic – they’re all titles floating around the EMS community – but what do these titles really entail?
For some agencies, they’re exactly that; titles. For others, however, they signify accomplishment, accountability, responsibility and investment within the organization.
Those in the fire service, or military for that matter, are accustomed to rank and structure in their daily work life. One does not simply overstep his or her company officer to go straight to a chief officer unless there’s an emergent issue a superior needs to address. There’s a chain-of-command … a structure … a flow.
Quite honestly, many EMS agencies are lacking this chain of command (and it shows!).
Yes, there’s an EMS director or chief sitting at the top of the food chain in every organization (or at least I hope there is), but considering all of the many facets that compose running an EMS agency, all of these roles can’t simply sit in the hands of one individual. There needs to be delegation.
Organizations like the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA) have recently introduced credentials that recognize the background and abilities of such supervisory, managing and executive paramedic officers, just like the National Fire Academy and many state fire service entities have done for fire officers. Some private training companies and thought-provokers within our industry have even developed courses and workshops to address this paradigm shift.
Implement EMS training for officers in these skills
Creating a certification or credential is one way to address this need within our industry, and so is building a training program to introduce and implement it as part of your agency’s culture.
Identifying a training need as an EMS company officer can be accomplished in many ways. Programs can reflect existing courses that focus on incident management, incorporate leadership development and can even slide-in some basic-level management curriculum. In order to build this type of program, however, we need to look at the roles of an EMS company officer (which can certainly differ slightly in each organization):
One of the strongest attributes of the fire service, and fire-based EMS for that matter, is their chain-of-command.
Now, having a command presence is by no means synonymous with micromanagement. In any working environment – especially an emergency scene – there needs to be a clear path for:
Overall EMS operations.
This is where the EMS company officer can step in.
EMS company officers don’t necessarily need to be in their own SUV hidden at an intersection down the street. They can be “ordinary” field providers. In any event, someone still needs to be in charge, someone needs to take command and someone still needs to provide daily oversight.
Your director, chief, field training officer, medical director or compliance officer can’t be on-duty or in the field every day, but an EMS company officer can. Acting in an oversight role provides continued direction for the agency when administrative staff can’t be present (or don’t need to be present). Company officers can resolve clinical issues immediately, or document them accordingly and notify the next person in line to handle these events; acting as a resource.
This isn’t to say that only older providers can be company officers, but it does imply that those filling this role should be a wealth of knowledge. Whether it’s knowing the agency’s historical perspective, having greater insight into the system as a whole or simply having more of a clinical background in the agency’s scope of practice, company officers should be seen as a resource – a “go-to person” that can either provide an answer, or knows where to find an answer. They can help to guide you, like a mentor.
Another component to the resource role is the drive to set up others for success. Being a mentor to an individual, a crew or an entire on-duty shift is a powerful responsibility. Having a command presence demands authority; being a mentor earns respect.
For instances where there’s an oversight issue, or a clinical clarification is needed, someone needs to close the communication loop to provide follow up, or advocacy, for the crews as a whole. Company officers need to act as a buffer – a middleman – when it comes to the relationship between line staff and administration. They need to act, at least in theory, like our elected representatives … our advocates.
At the end of the day, a company officer not only needs to be seen as a resource and mentor, but also as an equal; as a partner. They need to be clinically competent, skilled in their trade and cognizant of the agency’s operations. When push comes to shove, they need to be able to step in right next to you (not over you) to do the same job … to walk in your shoes right alongside you.
PLANO, Jan. 15, 2019 – QinFlow, the manufacturer of the Warrior, a modular blood and IV fluid warming solution for the entire continuum of emergency care, is proud to announce that its Warrior solution was recently acknowledged for its superior performance in comparison to other battery-powered blood warmers in the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) recent update of its Advanced Resuscitative Care (ARC) Guidelines.
Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) is the standard of care in Prehospital Battlefield Medicine. The TCCC Guidelines are routinely updated and published by the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care, a component of the Joint Trauma System. The TCCC committee recently released Advanced Resuscitative Care Guidelines. Download the full Guidelines here (.pdf).
TCCC suggests that whole blood infusion and Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) be used to address Noncompressible torso hemorrhage (NCTH), the last remaining major cause of preventable death on the battlefield, that often causes death within 30 minutes of wounding.
For blood warmers, the study states “whole blood should be warmed during transfusion” and that “a recent review of battery-powered blood warmers found that the Warrior device (QinFlow, Tel-Aviv, Israel) performed better than the Buddy Lite and the Thermal Angel“.
“We are very proud with the TCCC acknowledgment”, said Ariel Katz, CEO QinFlow Inc. “The Warrior’s superior performance is derived from its underlying state-of-the-art, highly efficient and patent protected warming technology, which allows it to safely warm near-freeze fluids and blood products to body temperature extremely fast, even at high flow rates, thus allowing first responders, critical care transport teams, and emergency care professionals within the hospitals to focus on what they do best – saving lives”, he added.
For more information on QinFlow and the Warrior modular system, visit www.QinFlow.com or submit a request for a free trial for your agency by filling out your information here.
About QinFlow Since 2009 QinFlow (short for Quality in Flow) has worked to develop and perfect a proprietary fluid warming technology (patented) that delivers unparalleled levels of warming efficiency. The company’s flagship product – the Warrior – provides front end rescue teams, first response teams, critical care transport teams, and emergency care professionals within various hospital settings with a high performance, reliable, simple to operate, and completely portable blood and IV fluid warming device that operates flawlessly in all environmental conditions in order to fight hypothermia and save lives. QinFlow is headquartered in Rosh Ha’ayin (Israel) and Plano TX (USA). TCCC acknowledgment refers to an independent study performed by Amit Lehavi, MD, et al, that was published by the Emergency Medical Journal (BMJ; Download the full study here). QinFlow is not affiliated with the companies mentioned in the study. For more information on QinFlow and the Warrior modular system, visit www.QinFlow.com or submit a request for a free trial for your agency by filling out your information here.