Boot from the Bayou
Ahmed Maloum Sidi Aleywa, a 33-year-old Mauritian national in the U.S. on an expired tourist visa,was working at Quicky’s convenience store in downtown New Orleans when a 9-1-1 call came in for a chest pain patient at the store. A New Orleans EMS crew arrived, parked and left the emergency lights active. They went inside and took quick action, transporting the patient to the back of the ambulance and treating him while parked in the lot.
Apparently, Aleywa took his duties of “booting” cars parked in the lot without paying so seriously that he ignored the flashing lights and crew occupying the emergency vehicle and placed a boot on the ambulance.
Unaware the boot had been placed on the ambulance, the prehospital crew attempted to start the vehicle to transport the patient to a local hospital when they discovered the front tire was locked. They then had to call for backup and wait until another crew arrived to transport the man.
We chide Aleywa, who was later fired, for his lack of situational awareness. Doing one’s professional duties is indeed important. However, in this case, it went against common sense and respect for an ambulance crew and patient.
We understand Quicky’s needs to provide their customers with adequate parking. But we give their management a thumbs down for not equipping employees with the knowledge needed to properly enforce such a policy.
Thankfully, the patient’s outcome wasn’t compromised by the delay Aleywa’s poor judgment caused.
Nationwide, one in 88 public school students have been diagnosed with some form of autism. In Howard County, Md., that number is one in 73. That translates to 700 students in the county with an autism spectrum disorder.
Past president and current board member of the Howard County Autism Society Beth Benevides Hill said the county has higher-than-average numbers not because of more children with autism being born in the county but because people move to the county because of the services offered to those who need them, according to a news report in the Baltimore Sun.
Capt. Tony Concha of Howard County’s Department of Fire and Rescue Services agreed, and now his department provides online autism awareness training for its personnel.
“When developing our continuing education program for Howard County, we needed to consider the demographic needs of our community. Howard County exceeds the statewide percentage of autistic persons by more than twice the state average,” Concha says. “Working with the Autism Society of Howard County, we were able to put together a training program that enables our providers to recognize autistic persons and apply specific techniques to provide appropriate care as needed.”
This online training program will include a pre-course knowledge check with critical thinking questions about autism facts and emergency response challenges. After firefighters and paramedics complete the training, a post-course quiz will be given to reinforce content comprehension.
This expands county-wide efforts to train first responders in autism awareness. Another joint program gives residents the option to voluntarily flag their addresses with dispatchers so first responders can know prior to arrival that a resident may be nonverbal, oversensitive to sirens, unaware of danger, or prone to elope or exhibit other noteworthy behaviors.
We applaud Howard County Fire and Rescue for taking note of a need in the community and doing its part to form this innovative partnership to meet the needs of this patient population.
Keeping the Beat Going
The Memphis Fire Department (MFD) purchased 17 LUCAS chest compression systems, manufactured by Physio-Control, Inc., thanks to a $240,000 grant from the Assisi Foundation of Memphis.
“We believe this technology will allow us to provide even better care for our patients,” said Fire Director Alvin Benson in a news release. “Providing manual CPR can be difficult, inconsistent, and tiring. The LUCAS system will give the patient high-quality, continuous and consistent compressions without interruption.”
The electrically powered devices are hoped to increase Memphis’ 16% survival rate from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.
The Assisi Foundation of Memphis serves nonprofit organizations that work to improve Memphis and the mid-South. It addresses pressing challenges while also searching for root causes with the goal of creating community-wide transformation.
We give a thumbs up to the partnership between MFD and the Assisi foundation in awarding this grant. Hopefully, placing more devices in ambulances can help increase CPR survival rates in the area.