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How to get emergency medical training?

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by Moshe, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. Moshe

    Moshe -

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    Tonight on my way to the mall I drove by a pretty gruesome scene. A guy about mid 40's was lying face up on the pavement with a pool of blood surrounding his head. This was on US1 in South Florida.

    I thought fast, my first thought was to turn into a nearby street and see if I could somehow help, but I immediately realized, I'm not at all trained to help in such a situation and I would just be getting in the way possibly and/or causing more harm than good.

    I'm thinking this as I'm calling 911. The dispatcher said that a call had just come in about 30 seconds earlier reporting the same thing - "Did you see the accident?"

    I hadn't seen anything except for a guy laying in the street and cars going around him.

    The dispatcher told me that police and paramedics were being sent out just then and I left my name and number in case they had any questions.

    The situation has bothered me for the last few hours since seeing it. I've seen plenty of gruesome things before, I've seen people get hit by cars before (what I assume this was), I even saw a guy high on something who got hit by a car going 40 mph, go flying up in the air breaking plenty of bones, and then land on his head, being so high though that he either didn't feel pain or didn't care - and he was trying to get up afterwards. In that case it was in a really bad area and I would literally have been risking my life by getting out of the car.

    In this case though, it bothered me that I couldn't help. I got a CWP to not feel helpless when it came to protecting myself and my family.... I have a ham radio license to not feel helpless during hurricanes by losing total communications, but I felt just as helpless today knowing that a guy was laying on the ground literally dying - and I wouldn't even know where to start to help. To make matters worse, I knew where people were being dispatched from, it was near the mall in tons of traffic, and I knew it would be at least 15 minutes if not more before so much as an officer would arrive.

    I was hoping that everything would work out and that the guy was just unconscious - would go to the ER, spend some time in the ICU and get better.

    It didn't work out that way. On my way home 2 hours later, I drove back the way I came and this time the road I had come in on was blocked off, about 10 PD cars were there, and a body bag was laying where the guy was (with I assume him in or under it).

    Had I known what to do, who knows. I feel terrible about this. I don't know if I could have potentially saved the guy or not had I been trained properly.

    Now I am thinking I really would like to get some training to be able to help if at all possible in the future. Especially if something like this happens involving a family or friend I am with.

    Where would I go to receive such training?
     
  2. eng23ine

    eng23ine

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    You could always start by contacting the American Red Cross and taking a CPR and/or first aid class.



    If you're looking for more in depth training, most volunteer rescue squads will put you thru EMT-B class in exchange for some of your time running calls.;)
     

  3. jeager

    jeager

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    a diabetic case.

    Check your local Community College. The EMT course is once or twice a week for a semester. Good group of people and a lot of hands-on training after a thorough lecture. My course had several hours emergency room and an ambulance ride-along.

    If you want something most excellent in an 80 hour / 10 day experience, there is nothing better than wilderness medicine institute via

    http://www.nols.edu/wmi/courses/

    jm
     
  4. Moshe

    Moshe -

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    Really?
     
  5. DScottHewitt

    DScottHewitt EMT-B

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    Truly.....



    Scott



    If the OP is coming to VA, we have a FR class and an EMT-B starting in a few weeks.....
     
  6. hotpig

    hotpig IAFF Local 4766 CLM

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    Community Collages, Volunteer Fire, Rescue and Ambulances as well as some Hospitals all offer classes.

    I have taught or assisted in teaching 1 First Responder,ten EMT-B, 2 EMT-I and two EMT-P classes at the hospital that I work per diem at.I have a basic class starting in a few weeks again. I'm in the process of trying to dump the class on someone else because I have no desire to mess with teaching anymore.I really just do not have the time like I used to.
     
  7. Lynn D

    Lynn D Bullseye?

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    What bullseye?
    This is exactly what I'm doing right now.....signed up with a volunteer agency, and cost of my EMT-B is picked up by them. Their requirement is that I work 12 hours a MONTH. Think that's a pretty fair trade.

    My class is currently in progress (started in Oct.; ends in Mar.) and meets twice a week for 4 hours. Good mix of folks in there as well. Some 20-ish folks who are in EMS program, some guys my age (mid 30s and older) who are vollie FF and have to do it for work, and folks like me who just want to do EMS at this point in our lives.

    Hope this helps on your quest, Moshe!
     
  8. Moshe

    Moshe -

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    Thanks Lynn. :)

    btw - 12 hours a month for how long? Just out of curiosity.
     
  9. FirNaTine

    FirNaTine

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    Basic Breakdown of EMS Training based on National Registry designations. For further info see Here The exact scope of practice of these levels varies from state to state but I will list some of the generalities.

    First responder - 40 - 60 hrs first aid type care and basic stabilization of sick and injured individuals. This level is waht many polic officers are and some firefighters. Medical affiliation is not always mandatory. This also can include the use of an automated AED or automated external defibrillator. This is what can shock a person out of a lethal heart rhythm.

    EMT-B Emergency Medical Technician Basic 130-140 hrs. This is what most people simply refer to as BLS care and this usuauly the minimum for providing care and transport on an ambulance. They provide additional assessment and mostly non invasive care. Some local jurisdictions expand the level of EMT-B to include IV training and limited invasive care. This level and above generally require affiliation with an EMS service to maintain certification and or licensure.

    EMT-I Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate requires time as an EMT-B and then a few hundred more hours of training. Where I am these are college based or affiliated programs. This is also the first level considered advanced life suuport. This include all skills of lower level and additional invasive care such as insertion of breathing tubes, defibrillation (shocking a person manually) and the administration of medications.

    EMT-P Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic requires time as an EMT-B and probably 1000 hrs more training. This is approaching an associated degree in a lot of places, and is actually offered as a baccalaureate at least one state university near me. This is the highest level of prehospital certification. This level is also considered ALS or advanced life support and is allowed more skills and medications than the intermediate level.

    Again check your local regulations and training for further specifics.
     
  10. Walking Softly

    Walking Softly

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    Moshe,
    That was quite an experience you had. I'm glad to hear that it motivated you to do something positive. Your desire to learn how to provide medical care in an emergecy is great, but lets figure out what your goal is, and that will determine what training you need. I don't want you to sign up for a class that's beyond your desire and lose interest.

    First, that scene you witnessed was terrible. But I doubt there was anything that anyone could do for him. Cardiac arrest from trauma has a very low survival rate >1%. If there was any chance of saving the patient they would have been transpoted to a hospital, since the patient was left on-scene for the investigation we know that they were beyond medical care.

    Now what is your goal?
    If you take an American Heart Association Heartsaver CPR/AED class which can be as shout as 2-3 hours you will lean when to call 911 and how to provide CPR.

    If you take an American Heart Association Heartsaver CPR/AED class you will lean: How to recognize the early signs of a heart attack or stroke, how to provide CPR, treak a choking patient and use an Automated External Defibrilator.
    This is a great class to begin with, it takes about 6 hours and should be refreshed every 1-2 years. There is also an optional first aid module that takes 3-4 hours. This class teaches how to manage a sick or injured person until professional help arrives and is recommended for workplace responders.

    If you take a First responder or EMT class you will learn how to be a professional responder. You should join an ambulance/first aid/rescue squad before taking one of these classes. They will usually sponsor you and will utilize your training.

    All police officers recieve First Responder training: CPR, oxygen, AED, first aid and childbirth.

    Ambulance personnel are typically: Emergency Medical Technicians who provide Basic Life Support(BLS), or Paramedics who provide Advanced Life Support(ALS). An earlier post gave a good description of these levels and their training.

    If your interest also includes disaster prepardness, have you considered
    C.E.R.T Training.
    It teaches people to to respond to disasters to assist neighbors and includes some medicial training.

    I don't want to discourage you, I want to encourage you to recieve the right training for your needs. Not everyone needs to be a professional responder.
     
  11. Lynn D

    Lynn D Bullseye?

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    What bullseye?
    They don't have a requirement, though given the need for volunteers, I expect I'll stay for quite a long time....Here in upstate NY, we have a shortage of nurses, as well as volunteer FF, EMS, etc. So, the longer the better for them and for me.

    The agency I've signed on with is suburban, but gets a high number of calls, as well as mutual aid. There are a large number of "bedroom community" type tracts there as well as a large number of nursing homes and large intersections. And the folks I met there are wonderful. Nothing like good folks to make you feel welcome and comfortable. I look forward to spending a long time there.

    :)
     
  12. chuckman

    chuckman

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    Truly stinks to run up on a situation to which you want to or need to respond but cannot. Unless you want to be in EMS or really want the EMT level of knowledge, focus on a first aid course, maybe even first responder, but no need to go any further. Any training is better than nothing. FWIW, I am a paramedic and an ER nurse, former corpsman with USMC, and keep nothing more than a basic first aid kit in my truck.
     
  13. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    Go with the First Responder class offered by many hospitals. If you don't think you'll have the time to do actuall rides with a service, why spend EMT-B class hours on airway adjudants, O2 administration and IV etc. since you'll not be carrying this stuff in your car. Learn scene safety, self protection from infectious goo and how to establish airway, breathing and circulation and you've got a great start. Good Luck! HH
     
  14. Glockenbang76

    Glockenbang76 Glockaholic

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    Moshe,
    I don't know where you live in South Florida, but PBCC offers the EMT course at their Lake Worth Campus. It's around 1k for the course, but it may give you the skills you're looking for.
    http://www.pbcc.edu/x3223.xml?id=21
     
  15. BillyHarris

    BillyHarris

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    alot of community colleges offer emt-b or emt-p classes in most states you have to first go to emt-b or iv calss then go to paramedic school.
     
  16. 4095fanatic

    4095fanatic

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    +1 on that. I keep a little more, but its important not to go overboard after you get training... I was tempted to throw a combitube, BVM, IV set, o2 bottle, and the kitchen sink in my car as soon as I got trained... then I remembered I was Mr. Joe Public, not the ambulance. While it's good to be prepared, the key is not to over do it. Most places are within 5-10 minutes of an emergency response station (fire/ems/rescue/etc), and if they're bad enough to require a PASG, they're bad enough to either require extrication or at least 5-10 minutes of BLS procedures first (side note: we actually phasing the PASG out of most of our protocols as of Jan 1., 2007).
     
  17. DScottHewitt

    DScottHewitt EMT-B

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    PASG is pretty much gone here, too. Last thing we used it for was pelvic injuries. And not really taught for that any more either.....


    Scott
     
  18. Moshe

    Moshe -

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    My fears were confirmed.

    I got a call the other day from the police asking me questions about what I saw, etc etc.

    It was a hit and run as I thought and the ambulance was not able to get there in time. The guy was DOA.

    It is so sad that we have to worry about liability when we think about doing the right thing. The right thing would have been for me to have had training, pull over, and do what I could do to help.

    And unfortunately, in this case, if I had done that, and the guy still died, I'll bet his family would try to find a way that it was my fault..... and I'd be in a world of legal trouble.

    When will this society we live in figure out the damage our country is suffering?
     
  19. chuckman

    chuckman

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    The only time I worry about liability is in the ER...sadly, many people like to turn the tides of misfortune into a financial fortune. But, if I have to stop in my truck at a scene or use my personal kit for an emergency, my 'worries' about liability go right out the window. If you do the right thing, do what you are trained to do and use what you have been trained to use, there should be no worries.

    Regarding the use of MAST, I think I used them twice, maybe 3 times in 13 years. We carried them in our bus because the state said we had to. My personal kit is scaled WAY back from what I carried as a paramedic or a corpsman; you are right when you say out on the street you are "Joe Public." Besides, life saving (esp. in trauma) starts and ends with solid BLS...all of the other stuff is icing on the cake.
     
  20. ClydeG19

    ClydeG19

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    Moshe, I don't know what state you live in, but many states have good samaritan laws which protect you from liability as long as you act within the limits of your training. If you are worried about getting sued because you didn't "do" anything, don't. You did what was within your current level of training which was call 911.