Innovative Rescue Training
In June 2012, a one-of-a-kind vehicle rolled into the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute. Their new grain engulfment rescue training vehicle is a custom 35′ trailer that includes a grain bin, grain hopper and a metal cutting station that allows them to replicate (to the extent possible) the “real world” environment in which grain rescues occur.
The grain engulfment rescue course is delivered in local communities throughout Kansas and is unique for a state fire and rescue service training organization. Participants from the local fire department and the local grain facility are encouraged to train together.
“The philosophy used recognizes that during grain emergencies, employees of the grain handling facility are an integral part of the rescue,” explains institute director Glenn Pribbenow. “By training together, firefighters and grain facility employees will be able to form a true team working to accomplish the rescue.”
Institute staff has used the vehicle to teach more than 750 students in 47 grain engulfment rescue classes. An additional 42 classes are scheduled through the remainder of 2013 and into 2014, notes Pribbenow, with more requests being received daily.
A big thumbs up to the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute at the University of Kansas Continuing Education for their collaborative and inclusive training approach as well as for the design of their unique simulation vehicle.
In January, ZOLL Medical Corporation made a pledge that will facilitate the 360-degree patient data sharing that will help EMS agencies improve their quality assurance programs—ultimately improving overall patient care.
The company made the pledge to allow data-sharing between ZOLL defibrillators and non-ZOLL data systems at the Masimo Foundation Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit. An example, they stated in a prepared statement, is when EMS services transit 12-lead ECG data to a receiving hospital and each system uses data systems made by different manufacturers.
ZOLL Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Packer said in the statement, “It’s all about connecting our devices to everyone’s devices to help improve patient care. From a patient perspective, providing data from ZOLL devices and integrating the information to other devices is doing the best we can for the patient.” We applaud ZOLL Medical Corporation for taking the first step in breaking down the walls of data ownership and making medical devices interoperable for the sharing for patient data, and we encourage other medical device manufacturers to take the leap as well. EMS providers and patients everywhere will benefit.
Police Officer AEDs
On Super Bowl Sunday, San Diego Project Heartbeat received great news. An Oceanside Police Department officer saved a civilian in cardiac arrest outside a Starbucks.
Oceanside (Calif.) Police Department is one of the agencies in the San Diego County area that provides its officers, who are so often the first responders on scene, with the opportunity to check out an AED for their shift. “They’re on scene first. They’re there before EMS is there,” San Diego Project Heartbeat Community Relations Specialist Loralee Olejnik says. “We’ve really been pushing to get AEDs out in law enforcement vehicles just because we have had so much success.”
The officer credited with the Super Bowl Sunday save got to the Starbucks within five minutes of the initial call, she says. By the time EMS providers arrived on scene, the patient didn’t need any more shocks.
“The officers are moving. They’re already on their way when the call comes in,” Olejnik says. Oceanside police officers aren’t required to check out AEDs, but an AED is standard equipment for San Diego Harbor, which has the highest save rate out of the law enforcement agencies in the county. Olejnik says San Diego Project Hearbeat uses this information to go after grants that will help them provide more AEDs for officer vehicles, which she says officers can use on patients or even on each other if necessary.
“It’s just another tool,” Olejnik says, adding that the program just received an initial grant to put at least one AED on a San Diego Police Department vehicle in each division.
We congratulate law enforcement agencies like Oceanside Police Department and San Diego Harbor Police for pairing up with EMS agencies to ensure their officers are equipped to save lives of sudden cardiac arrest patients.