Staging Ambulance for Safety: Guidelines for Emergency Medical Service Crews
In the fast-paced world of emergency medical services (EMS), ensuring the safety of the crew is paramount. Staging, a strategic approach to scene management, plays a vital role in protecting EMS personnel when responding to potentially dangerous situations. In a recent YouTube video by Jason Jolson and Jimmy, experienced EMS professionals, they delve into the intricacies of staging and provide valuable insights for ambulance crews. Let’s explore their key points in detail.
Staging refers to the practice of positioning an ambulance at a safe distance from a scene until it is deemed secure for the crew to enter. While staging is well-defined for mass casualty incidents (MCIs), staging for violent scenes requires a more adaptive and on-the-fly approach. The main objective of staging in these cases is to safeguard EMS personnel from potential harm.
Identifying Dangerous Situations:
It is the most important recognizing dangerous situations that warrant staging. These scenarios often involve violence, such as bar fights, shootings, stabbings, or domestic disputes. In some instances, dispatchers may specifically instruct crews to stage due to received information. However, there may be times when crews unintentionally find themselves in the midst of a violent scene, highlighting the need for adaptability and vigilance.
Choosing the Staging Location:
Selecting the right staging location is crucial for crew safety. The general guideline is to park the ambulance at least three to five blocks away from the dangerous area. The farther away the staging location, the better. It is essential to ensure that the staging position is not within the line of sight of the scene. Cities can serve as both convenient hiding spots and potential traps, so crews must be mindful of their surroundings.
Considerations for Staging:
To exemplify the considerations for staging, Jason uses a map to illustrate different scenarios. He highlights the importance of being hidden from view and emphasizes that crews should not park their ambulance in the line of sight. The objective is to avoid becoming a magnet for attention, drawing both victims and perpetrators towards the ambulance. By parking a few blocks away, crews can maintain a safe distance while still being ready to respond.
Exit Strategy and Multiple Routes:
Having a clear exit strategy is vital in case things take a turn for the worse. Jason emphasizes the importance of planning for multiple exit routes to ensure a safe retreat. By positioning the ambulance strategically, crews can choose from various directions to escape if needed. It is crucial to avoid dead-end streets and remain aware of potential obstacles that could impede a swift departure.
Communication and Coordination:
Effective communication is key during staging. Crews must inform dispatch and other responding units of their staging location. This allows for coordination and ensures that additional resources are aware of the crew’s whereabouts. In cases where staging locations change due to escalating danger, it is crucial to update the relevant parties promptly. Coordination among EMS personnel and law enforcement agencies is essential for a synchronized and safe response.
Special Considerations for Rural Areas:
While the discussion primarily focuses on urban environments, Jason and Jimmy acknowledge that staging in rural areas presents unique challenges. In regions with expansive fields and long line-of-sight distances, visibility becomes a key factor. Crews must understand their response areas and make informed decisions about staging locations. Even in rural settings, being hidden from view remains important, as some individuals may possess high-energy firearms commonly used for hunting.
Staging is a vital aspect of scene management for EMS crews when responding to potentially dangerous situations. By adhering to key principles outlined by Jason and Jimmy, ambulance personnel can ensure their safety and readiness to provide life-saving care. Understanding the nature of dangerous situations, choosing appropriate staging locations, planning exit strategies, and maintaining effective communication are crucial for a successful and secure response. Remember, prioritising crew safety ultimately leads to improved patient outcomes in the challenging world of emergency medical services.