Friday, February 24, 2012

Luck Is NOT a Strategy

The title is a quote from former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.  I am invoking it at a new critical point in providing EMS.  Recently I have noticed a return both locally and nationally to a deeply ingrained but detrimental concept in our care regimen, that of high vehicle speed.

Four minutes, the Platinum Ten, and the Golden Hour are but a few of the time tests we are judged by on a daily basis.  Articles that begin with "studies have shown," or "a relationship has been documented" associating arrival speed and reducing time between the scene and the hospital are always discussed and dissected in excruciating detail.  Each leading both the lay public and EMS providers, at least tacitly, to the realization that speed is a major factor in providing a positive outcome for EMS care.

Why are we still succumbing to these antiquated stereotypes?  Are we truly returning to our days of First Aid and Ambulance Drivers with nothing to offer but a kind heart, a few bandages, and nerves of steel as we break or bend every traffic law and rule of physics?  This is NOT the road that we ought to be driving.  This is not the short cut to professionalism.

Let's all show off in another way.  Let's do a skill demonstration at every call.  Pop on a splint.  Assist with a med.  Work as a team.  Bring everything into the house that you will need.  Stow the attitude and show the care.  There's always someone watching let them see us at our best.

Lady Luck is a fickle partner just when you need her she craps out on you.  Coupled with the way people just point their cars and go, while texting, talking, primping, and eating.  It's easy to see that we already use up much of our luck just arriving at work.  Don't press Luck.  Don't depend on Luck.  Don't hope for the Luck of the draw.  Stay focused, stay safe, and stay alive.