Tuesday morning, Los Angeles firefighter/paramedic Charles Anthony MacDougal received multiple stab wounds while treating a patient in front of a hotel in the area formally known as “Skid Row.” LATimes article HERE. Blogdowntown article HERE.
MacDougal has nine years on the job and works out of Fire Station 9. Before the stabbing MacDougal was to receive “Paramedic of the Year” award from County-USC hospital, where he was treated for his injuries. (LAist article HERE)
Urban EMS has always been tough, with a higher percentage of assaults and attacks on ems providers than in the suburbs.
JUST READ THE CHAPTERS
Street sense, defined as situation awareness and personal survival skills, is not one of the main topics in the National Curricula or a National Registry test station.
I used to teach the “Operations” block in the paramedic curriculum. Covered ambulance operations, (heavy) rescue awareness, incident management, hazardous materials and crime scene etiquette in four to six class contact hours.
It was at the end of the paramedic program, when both students and lead instructors are suffering from “senioritis.”
I did my best by using local information, student role playing (MCI tabletop) and vivid case studies, like the 2003 Epitome2 stampede in Chicago (21 dead, 65 seriously injured).
LITTLE MEASURABLE CHANGE IN BEHAVIOR
But the four module, 130 slide, three video presentation with hands-on activity was, at best, entertaining.
For the firefighter with two or more years on the job, it was a review with a strong EMS twist. For the 19 year old, it was trivia to regurgitate for an exam. The inexperienced has no reference or incidents that hold a deep personal importance.
Should ems providers get the same street survival skills our law enforcement colleagues receive?
Mike “FossilMedic” Ward
Also on FireGeezer…
- Blurring the ALS/BLS distinction – March 19, 2013
- Zero to Hero: EMT street time does not impact success as a paramedic – September 12, 2012
- EMS Future is HERE – March 14, 2012
- EMS Education Evolution – November 8, 2012