EMS World

OCT 2018

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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20 OCTOBER 2018 | EMSWORLD.com COVER REPORT: UNIQUE JOB SETTINGS and care plan in place that involves local systems is critical. And while Hudson's a self-admitted adrenaline junkie who is mesmerized by the power and beauty of these 20-foot, 2000-pound apex predators, he is acute- ly aware of his role both on-deck and as a representative of his profession. "I'm a fanatic about safety, and I'm surrounded by people who are the same," he says. "If I act irresponsibly and get hurt, my friends' lives are at risk. I'm also casting [EMS] in a negative light. I don't take the responsibility for granted." The money can be good—as can the accommodations. Hudson is often put up in four-star tropical resorts. Rubbing elbows with A-list guest stars such as Guy Fieri, Shaquille O'Neal, and Michael Phelps is just another day on set. Hudson has compiled so much experience and respectability that he's even executive-producing his own epi- sodes of the series, to air later this year. "I'll be doing this until I physically can't make the grade any longer," laughs Hudson. "And even then I'll probably be in consulting or producing. This is where I belong." From Zero to 100 The world of high-speed auto racing, where conditions can go from routine to havoc in seconds, seems acutely suited for EMS work. "It's a rush for sure," says Lisa Kaplan, paramedic and crew chief for AMR and a member of the AMR NASCAR Safety Team, which covers all races on the NAS- CAR Monster Cup circuit with a 7–8-person EMS crew. In 2017 Kaplan, who works in Roches- ter, N.Y., received a call from her general manager, who was looking to staff a safety team to cover the events at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) Speedway. "I think they actually liked that I wasn't a fan," says Kaplan, who travels to most of the events on the East Coast—Char- lotte, Atlanta, Bristol (Tenn.), Talladega (Ala.), Day tona Beach (Fla.), and other storied racing venues. "They don't want a fan. They want competent professionals who can handle their business." A series of interviews culminated in her being named to the team in January 2018. A typical race weekend begins with a Thursday "track walk" with a race official, followed by three days of racing culminat- ing with Sunday's Monster Cup main event. Kaplan sits in a chase vehicle with a physi- cian during the race and monitors activities such as driver extrication, fire suppression, and clearing debris in addition to caring for the driver, who can be disoriented or uncon- scious. The safety crew is responsible for stabilizing drivers and removing them from the track—if transport to a medical facil- ity is called for, the local on-site EMS crew from the track's jurisdiction steps in. Crew members communicate with the tower and coordinating physician in the infield care center through headsets. Unlike Kaplan, AMR paramedic Brandon Carroll has breathed asphalt and rubber his entire life. A child of the racetrack, Carroll's uncle raced against NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Childress, and his father was the jack-man at local tracks around his home in Martinsville, Va. In his 20s Carroll began working as a paramedic at events at Tal- ladega and Martinsville Speedway. When AMR was looking to assemble a traveling safety team two years ago—negating the cumbersome need to assemble individual crews at each event—Carroll was a natural fit. The operations manager of Martinsville Speedway contacted Carroll, and he was named to the team following a series of interviews. Training takes up a significant part of serving on the safety team, he says—NAS- CAR has practice vehicles at its Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C. to hone extri- cation and fire suppression skills. In the event of a crash, upon arrival at the car the crews operate under the mne- monic Go WEST—for window net down, electric shut off, steering wheel removed, and toggles to shut off all car controls. Each track has a tool truck, a fire truck, and an ambulance, says Carroll. Cars are equipped with on-board heat-activated fire extinguishers. Drivers have an additional Water World Twists and turns, spraying and splash- ing—life at a water park is fast-paced, high-energy, and fun. For the EMS team at Wild Waves Theme Park in subur- ban Seattle, safeguarding the health and safety of the 7,000 daily visitors to the 70-acre water park means responding to everything from heat illness to river-ride collisions to bee stings. Josh Pelonio, NREMT, (left, with EMT Kevin Taylor) is a full-time train- ing coordinator at Skagit County EMS. During the summer he also works several shifts per week at Wild Waves. The park's EMS staff operates out of two separate first-aid offices and responds on foot and on specially outfitted golf carts, explains Pelonio. EMTs communicate through hand-held radios and an interpark phone system acces- sible to all employees. Calls are triaged through a dispatch base. "Teamwork and integration with the aquatics staff are key points of the job," Pelonio says. "We work very well in tandem." Risk management on water safety and avoiding hazards in and out of the water ensure a safe and fun day for families at the park. But the EMTs at Wild Waves are just as likely to get questions about the location of the rest rooms or how to open a stuck locker as they are about how to treat sunburn. "We're here to provide a good experience," says Pelonio. "You need to be a people person and carry yourself as a professional. This is EMS, but at the end of the day you're an employee of the park."

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