EMS World

AUG 2011

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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NEWS NETWORK Developing an EMS Culture of Safety Strategy “We need safety to permeate everything we do.” That’s how Dr. Sabina Braithwaite sums up the reason for the National EMS Culture of Safety Strategy Conference held in late June. “Nothing we do here will matter one bit if it doesn’t get down to the street,” she explains. Braithwaite, the chair of the project, said she was pleased with the input received during the sessions. Funded by a National Highway Traffi c Safety Adminis- tration grant, the project involves the development of a culture of safety strategy. The fi rst draft of the strategy should be out by mid-August. Stake- holders will have the opportunity to review and comment throughout the process before the fi nal leased e e y H S r p d d s m h document is delivered to NHTSA in 2013. “What our steering committee has said from day one is they don’t want this to end up sitting on a shelf. That’s why it’s so important for everyone to have a say,” Braithwaite says. Conference participants were divided into several groups to discuss factors that affect EMS provider safety. Among the issues discussed were personal health and wellness issues such as fatigue, obesity and mental health. Participants also said crews need proper training in such areas as lifting and transferring of patients and emergency vehicle operations. One group suggested the EMS community as a whole should “stop glori- fying stupidity”and demand accountability. Braithwaite said that developing databases to track injuries and near- misses is essential to identi- fying issues and adopting the appropriate measures. Sharing near-misses is valuable, she said, because others can learn and possibly prevent injury to themselves and/or their patients. Another conference similar to the one held in late June also may be held next summer. For more information, visit www. emscultureofsafety.org. —Susan Nicol EM1108S For More Information Circle 46 on Reader Service Card 14 AUGUST 2011 | EMSWORLD.com See Us at EMS Expo Booth #2412

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