Columns, Commentary, Equipment & Gear

Hands On Product Reviews April 2018

Issue 4 and Volume 43.

Compress the Heart, Save the Brain

We know that the best outcomes for cardiac arrest have the patient return home neurologically intact. We also know that if bystander CPR isn’t in progress upon our arrival, the odds of that positive outcome are incredibly low. The new BigRed CPR Manikin from the American Red Cross provides visual feedback on correct compression depth, rate and release. When the student compresses correctly, a series of red LEDs illuminates along the path of the carotid arteries and the forehead reminding students that restoring and maintaining blood flow to the brain is the ultimate goal of high quality CPR. An audible clicker also reinforces correct compression depth. Realistic nose pinch, head tilt, chin lift and chest rise provide accurate landmarks and feedback for airway, ventilation and rescue breathing.


Dimensions: 24.74″ x 14.5″ x 9.75″

Weight: 9.5 lbs.

Power: 6 size C batteries or AC plug

Price: $495.00

Emergency Protection & Instruction

Although many EMTs and paramedics perform CPR on a regular basis, civilian students and non-critical care personnel may go years without needing to perform CPR. Invented by a mom whose child went into cardiac arrest, the new CPR Wrap is a compact, portable, rapidly deployable plastic cover that’s laid on top of the cardiac arrest patient’s face and chest and includes instructions for performing CPR. Students simply deploy the CPR shield for instant reminders on CPR performance while they’re being protected from any direct patient contact. AED pads can be easily placed underneath the CPR shield and won’t delay defibrillation.


Weight: 3 oz.

Price: $15.99

Plug-&-Play Fleet Management

Technology has been finding its way into almost every area of EMS. One key area of technology has been fleet management. Thanks to cellular networks and GPS, managers now have the ability to see exactly where every vehicle in the department is located, how long the engine has been running and how fast the vehicle is traveling. Samsara takes fleet management technology to a new level by introducing easy plug-and-play modules to monitor vehicle operations, driver activity and dash camera use for added safety. The ease of installation makes Samsara ideal for both small and large emergency vehicle fleets.


Power: 12-volt DC

Price: Call for pricing


Phone Dispatch & Station Integration

Many agencies get notified of calls through a public safety access point (PSAP) that dispatches EMS via a radio pager or two-way radio. The Bryx Emergency Alert Platform enhances 9-1-1 dispatch with two components. The first, Bryx 911, provides alerts directly from your computer-aided dispatch system to your smartphone. It also provides data about past jobs, site survey data, and has a team communication that allows group texting for all responders. The second component, Bryx Station, is a station-wide alerting platform that features volume ramp-up tones, color-changing safety lights, the ability to open bay doors, start vehicles, arm security systems and more.


Operating system: iOS, Android (Bryx 911); Web-based (Bryx Station)

Price: Call for pricing


Variable LED Penlight

Since we never know where our calls will lead us, it’s important to always have a reliable flashlight available when we’re working. Large, multi-cell lights are great for lighting a room, but not so great for examining pupils—they may even be dangerous and potentially damage pupils. The new MT06MD Flashlight from Nitecore is a rugged, pocket-sized light that defaults to four lumens of output for checking pupils and can increase 180 lumens, which is enough to examine a patient in a dark room or see down a dark staircase. The LED meets the IEC/EN62471 standard for photobiological safety, eliminating blue-light hazard optical safety issues.


Output levels: 4; 45; 180 lumens

Length: 5.03″

Diameter: 0.55″

Weight: 0.7 oz.

Power: 2 AAA batteries

Price: $31.95

Antimicrobial Backpack

Ambulances aren’t the cleanest environment but they pale in comparison to the germ load found in many industrial sites, abandoned crack houses and residences featured on the TV show Hoarders. The new Shield—First Aid/Small Trauma Pack Backpack from New Gear Medical does more than organize your supplies. It’s made from antimicrobial 1680D ballistic polyester to provide an extra preventative layer of germ protection. The interior is laid out to allow you to see all your gear when it’s fully opened, so you won’t waste time rummaging through a dark bag. There’s also a sturdy compartment for a laptop or tablet.


Dimensions: 13″ x 17″ x 5″

Weight: 3 lbs.

Price: $130.00


>> Prestan AED UltraTrainer

>> Rescue Essentials Mutual Aid Trauma Kit

>> Stryker Sidekick Disinfecting Wipes

>> Pelican Cell Phone Cases

>> HenryDarling Child Seatbelt Alert Tags

>> WISER 5.1