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We Deserve Answers Not Just Anecdotes

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It certainly appears that suicide among EMS providers is on the increase. All too often we read articles like this one from Canada citing anecdotes and making promises. We know that the work is demanding and routinely exposes providers to critical incident stress. It is also no secret that all too often, the providers who face these […]

Intolerance is Not a Black and White Issue

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Of course “Black Lives Matter.” Just like white ones, red ones, blue ones, and every other color that we place as a ‘label’ on a life. All. Lives. Matter. But that isn’t the end of the story. Martin Luther King, Jr’s vision was not just about ending racism, but about stopping every form of intolerance […]

We’re More Like Police Than Fire

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When EMS professionals complain, the justification often includes an appraisal of how our family in the ‘big red trucks’ do (or sometimes, don’t do) things instead of comparing ourselves to our brothers and sisters that make up that ‘thin blue line’. The choice of comparison is most likely swayed by the fact that somewhere around half of us working in EMS do […]

On the Shoulders of Giants

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As we go about our routine business each shift, it can be easy to forget that we are involved in a field of healthcare that is still relatively young. Our history as a unique discipline has only recently been documented through the efforts of  the National EMS Museum, which is itself just in its infancy. […]

EMS as the Halloween of Healthcare

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Just as each year transitions at harvest from abundance toward its inevitable end, we in the prehospital field often usher lives fraught with medical disorder or trauma from normalcy toward a cold, strange world. We wear uniforms with our stoic masks and find nature’s trickery affecting strangers who beg us for treatment. Beyond the surface, the history of Halloween also […]

Stop Dissing Response Times and Start Dissecting the Argument

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It is not hard to find an article that bashes the industry’s insistence on measuring response time as a performance goal. The latest one I saw was published just today in “Don’t let response times overshadow the role of EMS” by the respected author Arthur Hsieh. The flow of his article follows the traditional pattern of […]

We Need Some New Stories

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We always hear that EMS is still a relatively new discipline. And in the scheme of medicine, or even public safety, that is certainly true. But we shouldn’t let the fact of its youth keep us from acknowledging that it has already been around long enough to accumulate some of its very own antiquated dogma. If you […]

Could Busier be Better?

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There is plenty of talk about “evidence-based procedures” in EMS lately. Well, today I read an interesting article that shows a link between being busier and better patient outcomes. Okay…, now after reading that statement, what just happened to your heart rate? Was your automatic response to click the link in order find fault so you can dismiss the finding, […]

Is ‘SSM’ Still a ‘Bad Idea’?

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Ideas often take time to saturate a market. Even if the idea is generally recognized as a good one, complete with compelling evidence, change can still take time.  As a current example, how many agencies still have a protocol for complete spinal immobilization on a long spine board for “any fall” or “significant impact”?  On that very […]

Second Thoughts on ‘Scene Safety’

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Take the recent events that have happened and let them make you more aware, not more afraid. Work with others to help them understand the real-world of “scene safety” and practice it in every call.

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