The world of EMS comes with many potential threats and dangers. So, while trying hard to save other people’s lives, it is important to keep yourself safe too. Prevent hazards and accidents in EMS by following these 8 safety tips. Whether you’re new to the job or have plenty of experience, these tips will help you keep yourself, your partner, and your patients safe.
8 EMS Safety Tips For Newbies and Veterans
The following EMS safety tips will help you save yourself without breaking the laid down rules and regulations.
1. Observe Your Surroundings From Time to Time
As an EMT or paramedic, your primary focus is always your patient. However, taking a second to examine your surroundings every time you’re on the scene protects both you and your patient.
Bystanders may be a threat to your or your patient’s life. So, knowing your environment is one of the most crucial safety tips for EMTs. Look around the residences and general area before leaving your vehicle. Also, before approaching a space, look out for potential risks and suspicious spectators to be extra cautious.
2. Involve the Police in Violent Situations
Don’t try to handle every situation yourself. If you find yourself in a violent situation, call the police. Just like you’re trained to save lives, officers are trained to handle violent situations and rescue people in extreme cases
Communicate with the police openly and respectfully. They can create the safe space you need to take care of your patient.
3. Use Your Safety Gear and Equipment
This may be a no-brainer but it needs to be said.
The essence of having safety equipment is to protect yourself from hazardous substances. So, whenever you answer a call, make sure you have the necessary gear. Always have it at the back of your mind that your safety comes first before you can give help to the people in need.
The protective gear you should have at your disposal includes goggles, vests or overalls, face masks, and other safeguarding equipment. These items are meant to protect you and the people you’re saving. As an EMT, you’d be exposed to blood-borne diseases. So, you should always wear gloves before touching bleeding patients to keep yourself from contracting any infections.
4. Drive Safely
Another obvious one, but still a crucial safety rule. As an EMT or ambulance operator, your driving skills and compliance with road traffic rules and regulations is non-negotiable. You can drive at acceptable speeds and still get to emergency patients in time.
Never drive if you’re tired or under the influence.
EMTs often have very long shifts. But, never get behind the wheel if you’re not 100% sure you’re awake enough to drive.
It’s also dangerous to drink and drive; this is a common driving rule, but many people still violate it.
Driving under the influence of medication is wrong. Some drugs may make you tired or weak. So, let other people take the wheel when you are sick or on medication. This is for your safety and that of other people.
5. Watch Out for Hazardous Areas
As an EMT, you’ll need to provide care in some pretty dangerous circumstances. Fallen power lines, fuel leaks, chemical leaks, building collapses, or industrial wastes pose a great threat to you.
Watch out for hazards that could endanger you, your partner, and the people you’re out to rescue. If you think you may need to leave immediately, have an escape route planned out.
6. Inspect Vehicles Before Driving Them Out
Vehicles need regular checks to get the best out of them. After receiving an emergency call, take a minute to see if the vehicle is in appropriate condition before taking it along.
Also, check the vehicle to ensure you have everything you might need. Don’t be too hasty to conclude on the state of a vehicle without first verifying.
7. Stay Hydrated
Being an EMT means being busy all the time. A bottle of water would go a long way to energize you during emergencies. Water breaks while at work, especially at a fire accident scene, will go a long way in keeping you sane and stable enough to do your job.
8. Avoid Distractions While At Work
Distractions don’t do any good. While working, focus only on your job; chit-chat and playful activities can wait. Avoiding distractions will reduce the risk of administering the wrong pills or injections, for example. Besides, it will also help you prevent other potential accidents on the scene.
Most accidents involving ambulances are caused by moments of distraction. For the patients who need your help, your attention span should be at its best. Avoid making unnecessary jokes while driving or performing life-saving activities like CPR.
Working as an EMT in Chicago
At Elite Ambulance, our top priority is the safety of our team. While we’re passionate about providing emergency and non-emergency care to our patients, we also love to keep our crew safe and valued.
That’s why we equip them with top-of-the-line safety equipment and provide the best EMS safety training for everyone.
Join Elite Ambulance to work in a safe environment in EMS!
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