Columns, Equipment & Gear

Hands On Product Reviews March 2017

Issue 3 and Volume 42.

Comfortable Protection

EMS can be hard on your feet. We need a comfortable shoe that can handle walking through snow, ice, rain and hot sun while providing ankle support when carrying a patient down a rickety staircase. The new Airpower XR2 from HAIX is designed for the EMT, paramedic and first responder to be easy to don and doff so you can get dressed quickly during your 24-hour shift. The laced-in front zipper allows you to adjust the fit for your comfort level. The ultralight composite toe provides protection as well as a high degree of comfort with a roomy toe box. The Crosstech inner liner makes these boots both waterproof and blood-borne pathogen compliant. The addition of Sun Reflect technology in the leather prevents your boots from heating up while standing in bright sunlight. This can make an incredible difference when standing by at an outdoor summer event.

EMS boots

Sizes: 5–15
Widths: Medium, wide, extra-wide
Price: $279.00

Keep Your Tourniquet Handy

We know that the use of tourniquets saves lives by quickly stopping arterial bleeding. In cases of mass casualties with multiple extremity injuries, as occurred in the Boston Marathon bombing, rapid deployment of tourniquets is crucial. The new Rigid TQ Case from 1110 Gear provides you with rapid access to this lifesaving device. The hard plastic case uses friction to secure either a CAT Gen 7 or a SOF Tactical tourniquet. Mounting options include either a Tek-Lok belt attachment or MOLLE pack attachment system, which allows you to carry your tourniquet in a vertical, horizontal or inverted position. An optional case cover is also available if you prefer a fully covered tourniquet.

EMS tourniquet

Colors: Black, wolf grey, basketweave, blue,
coyote, orange, ranger green, training blue
Price: $39.99–$44.99

Protect Your Comms

Although there are still systems that use the medical telemetry radios popularized on Emergency! when Johnny and Roy called Rampart, many systems and individual providers rely on cellphone technology for hospital communications and ECG transmission. An electronic device this critical needs to be protected from the drops, bumps and bangs of everyday EMS use. Cell Phone Cases from Urban Armor Gear are designed for rugged use and meet military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6). To achieve this certification, the device must function properly without any damage to the touchscreen after being dropped from a height of 48 inches on each face, corner and back for a total of 26 times. Available in many different colors for a wide variety of phones including iPhones 5–7, Samsung Galaxy S6, S7 and Note, HTC, Google Pixel, LG, Microsoft and more.

EMS cellphone case

Price: $34.95–$59.95

Improved Bleeding Control

One of the best ways to control massive arterial hemorrhage in an extremity is the rapid application of a tourniquet. The Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) from North American Rescue is the official tourniquet of the U.S. Army and recent improvements mark the current model as the 7th edition. Changes include a new single routing buckle for faster application, which results in decreased blood loss, more effective slack removal and fewer windlass turns. The windlass has been reinforced and the writeable windlass security strap is now a subdued gray for the black model CAT. The signature red elliptical tab provides additional visual clues during application.

EMS tourniquet

Dimensions: 6.5″ x 2.4″ x 1.5″ (packaged)
Open length: 37.5″
Weight: 2.7 oz.
Price: $29.99
Colors: Orange, Black, Blue (training)

Professional Female Fit

In case you missed it during an anatomy lecture: men’s and women’s bodies are different. For too long, women have had to try and fit into the closest men’s size uniform and casual duty wear when working in EMS. Not anymore! The new Women’s Performance Polo from First Tactical helps maintain a professional look but with a more casual, non-uniform-like design. The polo is curved and tapered for a woman’s torso, with a roomier chest, narrow shoulders and slim sleeves. An underarm gusset provides a wide range of unrestricted motion and the longer length is designed to stay tucked in. The design also features microphone and pen loops at the shoulders and at the bottom of the front, three-button placket.

EMS women's polo

Sizes: XS–XXL
Colors: Black, dark grey, light grey, tan, navy
Price: $29.99–$34.99