It has been a while since I posted. During that time I started a second job. My wife has started the journey that is Paramedic Class. I honestly envy her in this, as her program is far superior to mine. If you have read my posts before you know that I am an advocate for improved education for EMS in Illinois. But there are changes that need to happen on the personal and agency levels as well. Personally, I want to drop at least 80 pounds by June of 2014. I have changed ADD Medication to one I tolerate better, which helps me in this goal.
But this is not my personal blog. This is for my profession and how to improve it. The subject that I am about to discuss is one I have personal experience in and how it can go bad. I am going to discuss Vehicle Operations. When I first started the culture was based on drive fast, seconds count, and damn the consequences. That was wrong. I hit another vehicle while driving non-emergency. There were numerous close calls. I once made a normally one hour and forty five minute trip in 59 minutes. Folks, I was a menace.
You combine this with sleep apnea, multiple 24 hour shifts in a row, and my ADD, well it is a miracle I never killed someone. I tell this as one of the lucky ones. I now have the ADD and the Sleep Apnea under control. I have my shifts scheduled so I usually am able to sleep an adequate amount. These things improve my safety as well as the safety of those around me.
Now I mentioned a second job, it is with a really large EMS provider. I will leave it at that. Their driver’s safety program is not quite as extensive as I think it should be, but it definitely works. Every EMT and Paramedic should be taught low forces driving. Every EMS agency should have an effective driver monitoring and feedback program. This is something that will save our lives. Driving is without a doubt the most dangerous activity EMS personnel take part in, and we forget it.
Remember this if you are operating an ambulance and you kill someone, you might not be held legally liable. Different states have different laws about this, but you most likely wanted to save lives when you started in this. Do you want to be the guy that has to face the fact you killed someone. That person you kill could also be yourself. Do you want your friends and family to live with that loss?
As always I value your comments and opinions,