Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Don't Reinvent the Wheel

How often have we heard that statement?  Sure all of our organizations are special, diverse and autonomous but we all fight fire, respond to haz-mats, and even make EMS calls.  That makes us more alike than we ever consider.  We all need vehicles, equipment, supplies, and people.  It might just be that we deal with these in a different way than our neighbor or the larger or smaller department across the country.  But we all must meet both our needs and requirements to make things work in the best interest of our communities.This deals with all of that.

If we personally want to buy something new we can check at local merchants, ask our friends, or cruise the internet.  During the information gathering phase we get tips and tricks that help our cause and some that divert our attention from its original focus.  Yet all of it helps with our knowledge base and comfort factor and have some bearing on our final decision making process.  Why not take advantage of that process and availability of information  if we are having trouble with a specific part of our job?

I'm sure that others have faced many of these same problems or opportunities that we are now staring down.  Possibly they have posted their findings or decision making process on the internet for our review.  Or better yet they are willing to share directly with us by phone, e-mail or letter.  This shortens our process builds on our community and allows us insight into how others operate and face their own issues.

Use what's available.  Give credit to those that saved you time.  Honor the wishes of your resource if they are reluctant or unwilling to share their information.  There are often compelling reasons for their unwillingness.  Most importantly complete your due diligence and confirm the information that you find.   Along that same line, one of my favorite quotes is "You can't trust everything that you read on the internet."  by Abraham Lincoln. Although Honest Abe probably never said that,  using a trustworthy source is paramount in looking for and finding good helpful material.

What does this have to do with anything?  Well I am using my own advice to write our next installment.  Now that you have the background please check back for the real story.  Stay Safe.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I'm Just Sick. Hello Flu

Well in this case brown is not good.  The picture is from the CDC update of flu across the USA.  It indicates that it is widespread across over 80% of the country.  Get the Flu Shot!  It is one of the principle ways to fight against this annual onslaught.  I don't care what you heard about getting sick from it or somebody's second cousin's ex-wife's, child's friend that died.  Without the shot you just get to spread the disease.  Nice way to help.

What else can I do you ask?  Well how about returning to PPE and hand washing?  Great suggestions!  That may include a mask over those with a cough.  Why take a chance bringing the flu back to your family?

In addition you can clean and sanitize your equipment and ambulance.  Yeah, it's a pain in the butt, but it slows or stops the spread of the flu and many other germs.  If you can't remember the last time you wiped down the cot, seats, and walls now's a good time.  Flu can live from 2-8 hours on surfaces so cleaning and disinfecting is a big deal- even when you are busy.  Maybe especially when you are busy!

If you get the flu?  Stay home.  Drugs can slow it or mitigate the symptoms but you have to let it run its course.  That's probably about a week.  During that time every time you cough you share a little with others. Wait until you can't spread it any more.  Or better yet Get the Flu Shot!