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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

BLS Before ALS

In the December 2009 issue if JEMS there was an interesting article about how we are now inundated with paramedics in EMS. On the surface most people would think this is a good thing. If one is good, two are better, right? The numbers are not backing this up. Basically we medics need to make sure that we cover the BLS stuff.
I work on an apparatus with 3 other paramedics. A complete ALS unit. As you can imagine it would be very easy to forget the "little" stuff (which are actually major things) such as patient positioning. At my station we've kind of sorted it out by making assignments. As the low man on the totem pole, I am patient man. I get to ask all the questions and run the call. The other firefighter is my BLS man. He gets me vitals and does everything a great EMT would (patient positioning, oxygen and such). My engineer just kind of stays out of the way unless I need him. For example, it's nice when giving medications, when I don't have to open the box and draw up the medication. I just do a quick once over to make sure that everything is good and administer it. My captain does the paperwork and deals with the family. So far this has worked out well. And, on calls where it's nice to have another medic (such as a full arrest or multiple patient calls) voila! We have more than enough.
Just don't forget the BLS. It's important.

3 comments: said...

Wow, I have never heard of so many medics on a rig. Your citizens are in good hands.

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

It's unusual, even at my department. We just all happen to bid at station 1.

EMT-A/FF said...

great article and its very true the basics like pt positioning are very important and are sometimes over looked at the service we have here its an integrated system with usually 2 EMT-A/Fire fighter's and 1 EMT-P/Fire fighter which i think is great because the paramedic runs the call pushes the meds interprets 12 leads while the EMT's do vitals IV starts position

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