Columns, Equipment & Gear

Hands On Product Reviews October 2016

Issue 10 and Volume 41.

Tools Not Toys

There are certain tools that are identified with a profession. For EMS it’s stethoscopes and trauma shears. If you’ve ever had the chance to get a close-up look at the shears used by a professional barber, you’ll find a precision instrument made from high-quality materials designed to last. The new Heavy Duty 7.5″ Trauma Shear from xShear takes your trauma shears to the professional level. The hardened steel blades are twice as thick as those on stamped metal shears and sharpened to a razor edge. The patent-pending blunt tip and curved blade design make for a smooth surface next to the skin, and the heavy-duty pivot bolt won’t loosen over time. The handles are made from two parts, with a softer inner handle for comfort and slip resistance.

Trauma Shear from xShear

Size: 7.5″
Colors: Blue/gray; pink/gray; titanium black
Price: $34.00 (blue and pink); $39.00 (black)

See & Share What You Hear

Performing an accurate assessment with good auscultation of breath, heart and bowel sounds can be difficult in the noisy prehosptial environment. The Eko Core Electronic Stethoscope from Eko Devices is a high-quality acoustic stethoscope with an electronic amplifier that can be activated when needed. Once you engage the electronics of the Eko Core, you have up to 40x audio amplification with white noise reduction. You can also use the Eko app on your smartphone and view the acoustic waveform, save the file and share with colleagues. This makes for a great teaching tool as well as a clinical double-check for some of the rare, obscure sounds we may hear. You can also insert the Eko Core Attachment into your existing monaural stethoscope if you really like your current set of ears.

Eko Core Electronic Stethoscope from Eko Devices

Dimensions: 4.0″ x 0.75″ x 0.75″
Length (tubing): 28″
Weight: 1.8 oz.
Color: Black
Power: Rechargeable via micro USB
Charge: 9 hours
Price: $299.00; $199.00 (insert only)

Keep Your Hair in Place

There are some problems you can’t appreciate unless you have a gorgeous mane of long, flowing locks. A professional appearance and demeanor go a long way in helping you manage a scene. The last thing you need is hair falling in front of your face. The most basic way to prevent this is to cut your hair short, but this isn’t agreeable to many female, and some male, providers. Ponytail holders, scrunchies and bobby pins are some of the items you may use to keep your locks in check, but they have their own issues of coming out, slipping or otherwise not working. The EMS Headband from paramedic-owned Rescue Chic Apparel is designed to coordinate with your uniform and keep your hair in place, whether you’re running a code or just trying to calm bedhead during a 24-hour shift.

EMS Headband from paramedic-owned Rescue Chic Apparel

Colors: Blue, pink, gray, purple, black
Size: One size
Price: $15.00

MCI, Tag You’re Next!

The ability to quickly prioritize patients during a mass casualty incident is critical. We often don’t have time to get detailed information when faced with potentially hundreds of patients. Transporting and tracking casualties adds further complexity. The STATBand Emergency All-in-One Wristband and Triage Tags from Identisys are made of water- and abrasive- resistant material and are designed for rapid deployment and durability. A patented one-piece fastening system ensures tags go on quickly and stay on the patient’s wrist, and a clip-on belt fastener allows first responders to keep both hands free. Each tag contains unique, sequentially numbered alpha numeric digits and Code 128 barcodes to easily track patients.

STATBand Emergency All-in-One Wristband and Triage Tags from Identisys

Dimensions: 17.5″ x 3″
Tags per bundle: 25
Bar code labels per tag: 11
Price: Call for pricing (customization available)

Dash Cam Forward, Cab Cam Back

What many thought was going to be an intrusive piece of technology has become an important part of a comprehensive vehicle operations risk management program. Dash cameras are able to record the moments before and after a collision and show the road and traffic conditions at the time of impact. Which vehicle had the red or green light? Were the lights and sirens in operation? Was the vehicle involved being operated at a safe speed? These are some of the questions the Dual-Vision XC4 from Rosco Vision Systems can help answer. The XC4 shows the view in front of the vehicle and the view of the inside of the cab. Yes, this means you need to put down the coffee when driving and have your seatbelt secured. The XC4 also has WiFi connectivity so your video files can be automatically downloaded when you back the vehicle in to the station.

Dual-Vision XC4 from Rosco Vision Systems

Video capability: 2 built-in CMOS digital color cameras
Audio capability: 1 built-in microphone
Memory card slot: SDHC (up to 32 GB) or SDXC (up to 512 GB)
Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Price: $979.99

High-Tech Tablet

The increasing evolution of technology is getting closer to seamless integration every day. As software advances, so does hardware. The RX 10 Rugged Tablet from Getac is paced with features that have the potential to increase the functionality of your systems. The 10.1″ full HD screen is part of a sturdy chassis that meets MIL-STD 810G certification. Communications connectivity options, including 4G LTE, 802.11ac WiFi, and dedicated GPS, allow you to connect to a number of wireless hot spots or networks. Built-in barcode scanner and RFID readers allow you to collect data from a variety of field sources. The tablet’s already impressive battery life provides you with a long run time, and a built-in battery cell allows you to “hot-swap” a dead battery with a new one without shutting down the system.

 RX 10 Rugged Tablet from Getac


Dimensions: 11″ x 9.65″ x 0.74″
Weight: 2.65 lbs.
OS: Windows 10; Windows 7
Memory: 4GB LPDDR3 expandable to 8GB
Storage: 128GB; 256GB
Price: Call for pricing