No, we do not all run with EMS units; however, most if not all of us have received some first-aid training, and at any time we could be called on to administer such aid to a fallen firefighter on the fireground or a civilian victim in a confined-space rescue scenario. This week’s drill focuses on one aspect of first aid: splinting fractures.
Arrange a work area and assemble splints and bandages. Assign member to work in pairs. They should assess the airway, breathing, and circulation of the victim. Be sure they take a distal pulse of an injured limb. Then they will demonstrate the ability to immobilize and treat for a fractured forearm, dislocated shoulder, dislocated elbow, fractured pelvis, fractured femur, fractured tibia, and fractured ankle. Be sure members assess the distal pulse after the bandage and splints are in place.
Again, not all of us run with EMS units. But we do work with them often. Not only does this drill provide us with some hands-on skills, but also knowing how fractures are treated will help us when handling victims at vehicle accident scenes or other incidents where we assist EMS.
At the drill’s conclusion, discuss what went right, what went wrong, and what should be done differently next time.
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