The U.S. FIRE ADMINISTRATION is developing a manual covering the safety and health aspects of fire and EMS construction. The project will focus on reviewing station design regulations and standards to minimize the number of injuries that occur at fire and EMS stations. The USFA is seeking ideas from persons and organizations throughout the fire service. Suggestions may be sent to
Formic acid is a combustible, corrosive, toxic, irritating, colorless liquid with a pungent odor. In its natural state, it is the major ingredient in the stinging chemical of ants and other insects. Its main uses are in dyeing textiles and as an organic chemical intermediate used in the production of other chemicals such as fumigants, insecticides, perfume solvents, refrigerants, and vinyl resin plasticizers. It is also used as an antiseptic, a laboratory reagent, an ore flotation agent, and a
BY CRAIG DeATLEY, PA-C, EMT-P; ANTHONY G. MACINTYRE, M.D.; DEWEY H. PERKS, EMT-P; and JOSEPH A. BARBERA, M.D., FACEP
Working with the media in a large-scale disaster can be a real challenge. The local news media were on the scene of the bombing almost as soon as some of the rescuers. The Oklahoma City Police Department and Oklahoma Highway Patrol were first to establish the media area. The Oklahoma City Fire Department was involved in command control, setting up the incident command system, and rescue operations.
We were just beginning our shift at Station 1 when the explosion occurred. It felt as though something had hit or landed on top of our fire station. A plane crashing into a building in downtown Oklahoma City, a natural gas explosion, or a tank explosion were scenarios that quickly came to my mind.
Ninety seconds after the explosion, EMSA had seven ambulances and two supervisor units staffed with 24 medical personnel (paramedics and EMTs) on the way to the site. Treatment of victims began within three minutes. The first seven ambulances were designated strictly as treatment units; this ensured that there would be enough personnel to begin immediate triage and treatment. (In a typical response, the operational plan would be one ambulance for treatment, one ambulance for transport.) No one
I am a 22-year veteran of emergency medical services; I have been a police officer for 13 years and a firefighter/paramedic for 16 years. I know the pain and sorrow my fellow comrades go through. I know we are our own worst critics. Later, we wonder, "Could I have done it better?" I dedicate the following letter to all who strived so hard to save lives at that massive explosion in Oklahoma City.