Columns, Equipment & Gear

Hands On Product Reviews July 2016

Issue 7 and Volume 41.

Comfort, Safety & Support

Fortunately, it’s a rare shift for many in EMS when you’re on your feet the whole time. But it’s all too common for us to have to deal with rugged terrains, rickety stairs and slippery surfaces. In order to work safely in these conditions, you must have footwear that offers comfort, protection and support. The new Side Zip Duty Boot from First Tactical has a wider forefoot that feels more like an athletic shoe than a duty boot, making them comfortable right out of the box. The boots are available in 6″ and 8″ heights and offer a composite safety toe or a waterproof membrane lining as customizable options.

Side Zip Duty Boot from First Tactical


Height: 6″ and 8″
Width: Regular, wide
Sizes: Men’s: 6-12, 13, 14,15
Women’s: 5-10
Color: Black
Price: $79.99-99.99

Compact, Rapid IO Access

Circulation, the “C” of the basic ABCs of EMS, includes gaining vascular access when medications or fluids need to be administered. Often, our sickest patients have compromised circulation, which makes establishing IV access extremely difficult. However, even when the most skilled phlebotomist can’t find a vein, it’s often easy to find a bone. The NIO (New Intraosseous Device) from PerSys Medical lets you establish vascular access in as little as 10 seconds. The lightweight, single-use device is sterile in-package with a five-year shelf life. You simply place the NIO on the appropriate IO insertion landmark, turn the handle, then squeeze to activate and insert the needle.

NIO (New Intraosseous Device) from PerSys Medical


Length: ~4″
Weight: 3.5 oz.
Needle: 15 gauge
Price: $125.00

Gloves That Get a Grip

In the early days of EMS, gloves were needed to assist with the delivery of a baby or an incontinent patient. Jumping forward to today, many students won’t even take a patient’s pulse without wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). There are several frequent criticisms of PPE. They’re too hot, your hands sweat, you lose tactile sensation and your grip becomes slippery. The new ResQ-Grip797 Series Gloves from PH&S Products are powder free, 100% nitrile gloves with a raised diamond pattern-improving your grip and providing excellent tactile dexterity. The specific nitrile compound also supplies excellent abrasion resistance.

ResQ-Grip797 Series Gloves from PH&S Products


Size: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL
Colors: Blue, black
Price: $13.88

Single-Handed Multi-Tool

We EMS folks have a number of tools we carry to make our jobs easier. Whether it’s basic trauma shears for clothing removal, an oxygen wrench to open a stubborn cylinder or a center punch to gain access through a car window, certain tasks have to be performed in a timely manner. The new SOCP Rescue Tool from Benchmade incorporates all three functions in one lightweight tool that’s an easy addition to your gear. The sharp rescue hook can quickly cut and remove clothing from a victim. The rectangular opening is designed to fit an oxygen cylinder, and the length of the handle could budge even the most stubborn valves-but be careful not to over tighten. The carbide tip is designed to break a car window and help you gain access to an entrapped patient.

SOCP Rescue Tool from Benchmade


Length: 6.75″; Thickness: 0.18″
Weight: 1.88 oz.; Price: $90.00

Take a Seat, Securely

One of the most dangerous positions in EMS is the unsecured provider in the back of the ambulance. Every year, EMTs and paramedics are injured and killed when they’re thrown against the inside of a patient compartment during a collision. Why? We don’t wear seatbelts in the back. Why not? They impair our movement and we can’t reach the patient while belted. The new Valor Ambulance Seat from USSC Group has a unique, four-point restraint harness that allows the provider to have an extended reach. The inertial locking mechanism activates at 0.7 Gs and holds the provider in place during heavy breaking or a crash. The seat can be mounted on a swivel, has 6″ of travel, and can recline in the event that you want to relax while posting at a public location.

Valor Ambulance Seat from USSC Group


Material: Anti-microbial vinyl
Options: Integrated child seat; arm rests
Price: Call for price

Bright, Dual Power Light

Flashlights have become smaller, brighter and longer-lasting. You no longer have to carry a gigantic, 6- or 8-D cell flashlight to get substantial light output and a runtime of several hours. The new ProTac HL 4 from Streamlight provides a beam with an adjustable brightness and the option of running on rechargeable or disposable batteries. The ProTac HL 4 can be powered by either two 18650 rechargeable or four CR123A disposable lithium batteries. The maximum output of 2,200 lumens provides 1.75 hours of runtime, 600 lumens provides 4.25 hours, and 60 lumens provides 43 hours. A strobe setting for signaling or disorienting a subject can also run for up to 3.5 hours.

ProTac HL 4 from Streamlight


Length: 8.63″; Weight: 1 lb. 1 oz.
Batteries: Two 18650 rechargeable; four CR 123A
Lumens: 2,220 (high); 600 (medium); 60 (low)
Runtime: 1.75 hours (high); 4.25 hours (medium); 43 hours (low)
Price: $119.00