EMS Chief: What EMS crews experienced the first day of the Ferguson shooting

EMS Chief Chris Cebollero talks about what his crews encountered in the first minutes on the scene of the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo., which led to looting and riots the next day.


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Pre-hospital airway management – the debate continues

Dan White:

Important overview from Dave on Airways

Originally posted on Dave on Airways:

i-gel O2

In a recent editorial published in Resuscitation, entitled ‘Pre-hospital airway management: The data grows rapidly but controversy remains’, David Lockey and Hans Morten Lossius discuss the results from three studies published in the same issue:

1. An update of out of hospital airway management practices in the United States.

2. Higher insertion success with the i-gel supraglottic airway in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: A randomised controlled trial.

3. The impact of airway management on quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation: an observational study in patients during cardiac arrest.

An update of out of hospital airway management practices in the United States

Digges et al utilised the 2012 National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) Public-Release Research Data Set to examine over 19 million EMS activations. This included 74,993 intubations, 21,990 alternate airway patient care events (confirmed as either a Combitube®, Esophageal Obturator, Laryngeal Mask Airway or…

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New ambulance chassis includes innovative safety improvements

The Type 1 ambulance features innovative enhancements, like mobility seating, designed with provider safety and functionality in mind

During a recent and detailed tour of the new Demers Type 1 MXP 170 ambulance, given by Greg Tucci, regional sales manager for Demers Ambulances, I was impressed by some of the remarkable design features focused on safety and power management.

My single favorite feature is the new Mobility Track Seating, which swivels and slides on an innovative Demers-built track mechanism. It allows you to move in almost any direction during patient care and works so well about the only time you should need to undo your seatbelt is to get something out of the cabinets.

If you need to slide towards the patient’s head it’s as easy as pulling a lever. Ditto if you need to move towards the feet. Once care has been rendered, you can swivel to a forward facing position for optimal safety. Continue


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How a specialized EMS kit can save a professional athlete’s life

It’s March 4, 1990, with 13:34 left in the first half of the basketball game. Loyola Marymount University player Hank Gathers suddenly collapses onto the court. He tries to get up, but slumps back to the floor. Despite efforts to revive him with a school defibrillator, he eventually dies at the hospital.

From his death, two years laterProSportsEMS was born. The sports paramedic program has since spread throughout the U.S. as a way to support local sports franchises and provides remarkable sophistication designed to train, support and equip athletic trainers for advanced first aid. Continue

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Ferno’s self-loading iN/X stretcher eases load on EMT’s

The iN/X is the first of its kind: a powered self-loading stretcher. Watching it being put through its paces at the Gathering of Eagles conference was astounding. Everyone in the room knew they were looking at the next big thing in EMS.  Continue 


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Rescue airways: Where We Are Now

Back in the 1970s, the only EMT-level option besides an oral airway was the Esophageal Obturator Airway or EOA.

It consisted of a facemask with a snap-in protruding member about the same length as an ET tube. You blindly inserted it and then inflated a distal balloon with a syringe. The balloon was usually located in the esophagus and it blocked gastric contents from entering the pharynx.

Once inserted, you attached your BVM or demand valve to the mask and ventilated. Air from the adjunct would be directed through the protruding member that had a closed end and then pass through small holes in the tube into the pharynx. From there positive pressure would force the air indirectly into the lungs.

We’ve come a long way since then. Continued

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It’s Not About Philip Seymour Hoffman

It’s really not just about Philip Seymour Hoffman. It is about the over 38,000 people that die every year from the same condition. Drug addiction and alcoholism is a deadly disease. It takes countless lives. It destroys families and futures.

There has been a lot of talk lately about Philip Seymour Hoffman on social media. Unfortunately I’ve seen some pretty appalling posts by EMS providers.

Some say he deserved to die because he chose to inject drugs. Many use highly derogatory terms. I would like to counter with one sentence.

I’ve never seen a good caregiver who had contempt for patients.

Let’s keep in mind addition is a disease. It’s a deadly and often terminal condition. Do we have contempt for cancer patients or diabetics? Then why would we show contempt for any other sick patient?

The only way we can is if we suffer under a delusion. That delusion is that people who drink too much or are addicted to drugs are bad people of weak moral character. That they have free will and made a conscious choice to die.

Actually they don’t. Once they start it is often nearly impossible for them to stop. This compulsion is hard for those not similarly afflicted to understand. It is however a hallmark of the disease.

Mr. Hoffman was for many years in recovery. He was an amazing and talented actor. Unfortunately he fell off the wagon and in only a few short years died. It is always sad when somebody dies long before his or her time.

Those who cannot accept that addiction is a disease deny accepted medical science. In doing so they also deny that treatment can be effective. Many hundreds of thousands of patients have turned their lives around. By accepting help they can arrest the disease and hold it at bay. Once they do many are some of the brightest and most talented among us.

No, they will never cure it. They cannot go back to using again without risking destruction and death. Once they do in only a short time they are usually right back where they started. That is what happened to Philip Seymour Hoffman

I just want my EMS brothers and sisters to understand that when you are dealing with a drunk in his cups you are dealing with a very sick person. It’s not cool to make fun of sick people.

Just like it’s not cool to load a narcotic OD up with Narcan and watch them suffer. Give them just enough to restore good respiration and stop. It’s not necessary to put them into withdrawals so you can show off.

EMS is no place for cruelty. It’s no place for contempt. It’s no place for those who deny science. If you can’t deliver every patient compassionate medical care maybe you should find a different line of work. You just might not have the head or heart for this one.

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