Charged Up
This month, an October article by Wayne Zygowicz, BA, EMT-P, which discusses the key role batteries play in EMS, generates some positive feedback. Though it may seem like common knowledge, providers don’t always consider the value of keeping spare batteries fully charged in the most critical moments.

I thoroughly enjoyed Wayne Zygowicz’s article, “Leading the Charge: Keep your batteries functioning optimally for best patient care.” I hope many JEMS readers will echo similar sentiments and, as colleagues with mutual interests of improved patient care and saving more lives, encourage you to contribute more of these types of articles.

I have one small comment, which arises from my personal knowledge of lead-acid batteries. They’re one exception when it comes to storage (in a discharged state). They should be fully charged for storage, and, as you point out, need a refresh charge from time to time.

There can’t be too much information or too many reminders brought forward in the EMS community about the significance of understanding and caring properly for primary and secondary batteries. No doubt your article, together with A.J. Heightman’s editorial that discussed a similar issue (“Power: Staying charged when it matters,” October JEMS), will have a profound and positive impact on JEMS readers who care for patients who desperately need those EMS equipment batteries to work.
Ronald L. Weyhrauch, RAC
Granite Springs, New York

Author Wayne Zygowicz responds:
Thanks for your nice words about my battery article, and thank you for reading JEMS.

I write all of my articles from personal experience, and here at Littleton (Colo.) Fire Rescue, we have had lots of ups and downs with battery issues from our automated CPR boards to our communication equipment.

I hope my article is a wake-up call for all EMS managers and providers on the liability we face when using battery-powered equipment. We are only as good as our batteries.

The salary data in the first five rows of Figure 3 in the ‘JEMS 2010 Salary & Workplace Survey’ in October 2010 JEMS is incorrect. The correct data can be found in the article’s online photo gallery at
In the October supplement on carbon monoxide and CO detection, “The Silent Killer,” we only listed Advance EMS, the ambulance transportation provider for the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, and omitted the Corpus Christi Fire Department, which deploys

RAD-57 CO monitors on their units. We also listed the wrong state for Aurora, which is actually in Illinois, not Colorado.

We apologize for the errors. JEMS

This article originally appeared in December JEMS as “Letters.”