Columns, Equipment & Gear

Hands On Product Reviews January 2018

Issue 1 and Volume 43.

Pen for Your Pants Pocket

Pens are one of those items EMS folks always need to have on hand. Providers often fall into two groups regarding pens: One group carries high-quality pens which get deconned when needed, and the second group carries cheap pens which are disposed of when soiled. Yet another concern is the volunteer who often responds in jeans and a T-shirt coming from their local civilian job. The new Pokka Pen is specifically designed to be carried in a pants pocket and provide a high-quality writing experience. Measuring at a compact length of 3 3/8″ when stored, the Pokka Pen won’t jab you in the leg during your day-to-day activities. When you use the Pokka Pen, it opens to 5 1/2″, fits well in your hand and provides a smooth writing experience.


Colors: Black, brown, orange, yellow, blue (additional colors/patterns available)

Ink color: Black, blue

Price: $8.45 (pack of 3, most solid colors)

Retractable Pediatric Tape

How often do you administer medications to pediatric patients? If you are the average EMS provider your answer is likely “not very often”. The major difference between adult and pediatric medication administration is weight based dosing for children. Since most ambulances do not have a scale, (Do any?) we rely on a color-coded, weight-based, measuring tape. Some models have common medications included on the tape, but these lists may not be as comprehensive as your department protocols. The new Mini Retractable Pediatric Tape by Dose by Growth puts the basics of length-based weight color-coding in a compact, retractable tape measure which can be used with a comprehensive dosing guide. Normal pediatric vital signs and a standard metrics and English tape measure are also included.


Diameter: 2.75″

Height: 0.75″

Weight: 2 oz.

Price: $24.00


Basic Pediatric Assessment

EMS providers sometimes feel less confident treating pediatric vs. adult patients. That’s why continuing education classes like Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) are popular. Many of these courses are ALS driven, leaving a knowledge gap for BLS providers. The American Heart Association (AHA) attempts to fill that gap with an updated and revised Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition and Stabilization (PEARS) course that meets the 2015 AHA Guidelines. PEARS focuses on critical assessment points to determine if a child is sick or not. The course uses videos of actual patients. It’s one thing to speak about an increased work of breathing and intercostal retractions, but it’s much easier to comprehend when you watch a video of a child with that exact respiratory pattern.


Provider manual: $34.50

Instructor manual: $46.50

Instructor DVD: $78.50


Con Ed Where & When You Need It

Keeping an accurate record of all of your continuing education (CE) classes makes recertifying your EMS credentials much easier. Some states have a learning management system that tracks this data, but not all do. JEMS CE powered by Medic-CE offers a free web-based tracking tool that stores your state and national certification information and allows you to organize your CE in one place. And when you need additional CE credits, JEMS CE powered by Medic-CE offers affordable, high-quality CAPCE-accredited self-paced learning modules and virtual instructor-led training. You can also track external learning opportunities, such as conference sessions you attend at EMS Today. Create your free account and track your CEs for free—forever!


OS: Web-based

Price: Free CE tracker



Safety Light & Triage Marker

Ambulances have a finite amount of storage space, so it’s important to find products that have multiple uses. Although your basic reflective vest does a great job of making you visible on highway scenes, adding an LED marker light will enhance your visibility. Originally designed for runners, the new Nite Ize TagLit Magnetic LED Marker can be easily added to any uniform vest, coat or shirt to make yourself more visible at night. Available in both red and yellow colors, these lights can also be used to identify triage areas or even mark vehicles by triage category. Powered by a standard 2032 coin-sized lithium battery, the TagLit can run for 70 hours. A magnet allows the TagLit to clip to clothing, triage tarps or to ferrous metal surfaces.


Colors: Red, yellow, pink

Dimensions: 4.7″ x 1.6″ x 0.3″

Weight: 0.45 oz.

Price: $9.99