Engine Company, Fire EMS, Firefighting, Health & Safety

National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System: Allergic Reaction

Information gathering and sharing is a critical component of all incident management. Dissemination can be a complicated scenario as the number of units arriving increases and the accountability of who knows what is assumed is then taken for granted. Below is an excerpt of this week’s featured report:

“Engine (X) was dispatched to an assist to Engine (XX) at the scene of a utility trailer fire…Engine (X)”s Driver (reporter) approached the trailer after assisting Engine (XX)”s Driver with the water supply. All personnel working on the trailer were wearing structural PPE except for hoods. When I approached the trailer, Engine (X)”s Officer asked if I could pull the particle board side of the trailer down to expose the seat of the fire.

To access the trailer, I moved a doghouse which was standing on end. After about one minute, I felt a sting to my neck. As more bees swarmed around me, I moved away from the trailer, removing my helmet and coat, which by now were covered in bees…”

The chain of command (and chain of communication) must maintain constant contact with everyone “needing to know” so injuries and hazards can be avoided. Once you have read the entire account (CLICK HERE), consider the following:

1. Is anyone on your shift or crew allergic to insect bites or stings?
2. How quickly can you provide advanced life support to a member suffering an allergic reaction to any exposure?
3. Is EMS a standard asset on the first alarm assignment for your department?
4. Are there any additional steps you can identify to ensure all on scene members are aware of and avoid known vector hazards on the incident scene?
5. How many stings does it take before an individual experiences an anaphylactic reaction?

Have you experienced a near miss involving animals or vectors? Make somebody else”s morning go better by sharing your story on www.firefighternearmiss.com  today so everyone goes home tomorrow.

Note: The questions posed by the reviewers are designed to generate discussion and thought in the name of promoting firefighter safety. They are not intended to pass judgment on the actions and performance of individuals in the reports.