How Emergency Workers Can Stay Prepared During Fire Season
If you live and work as a first-responder in an area prone to lots of wildfires, home fires and commercial business fires, you need to keep up with the maintenance of your equipment.
It’s easy to get home after a call and toss your bag into the corner and forget about it. But get into this habit and you could be responsible for failing to provide adequate treatment to victims on your next call.
Here are a few tips to stay prepared during fire season, whether you experience a uniquely busy season or you’re uncharacteristically sitting around, waiting for a call.
A great way to ensure that all your equipment is up to par is to use it often. Set aside a little bit of time each week to brush up on your skills, whether you practice applying a tourniquet to a pretend patient losing blood or you set up your triage tent in your back yard.
This is a great time to make sure your firefighter tools aren’t broken or damaged. Since you caught a problem early on, you’ll be able to replace or fix the problematic piece of equipment before you need to use it in a real life-threatening situation.
Mind Expiration Dates
Check your emergency medical supplies each month and remove anything that shows signs of wear and tear, as well as medications that are expired or dried up. Bandages, tape and other types of gauze are generally good to use for a long, long time, so it’s okay to keep those things around if the box shows an expiration date that has since passed.
However, pay attention to certain medical tools that use batteries. Defibrillators, for example, need to be taken care of so that they’re actually useable when it comes time to apply that all-important electric current to a victim or patient.
Stay Neat and Tidy
No matter how often or how little you use your equipment, it can collect dust and dirt that can damage mechanical and electronic devices, sour medical equipment, and ruin the integrity of cloth and other synthetic materials. Wash and dry your clothing often, including the bag you use to carry all your equipment.
If you don’t pay attention to the wet spots on your items, they could easily grow mold and need replacing before you know it. Save money, time, and lives by ensuring all of your equipment is well taken care of before the next emergency call comes in.