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What to bring to the Party

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  • What to bring to the Party

    A female responder from Kansas write asking for suggestions for a personal response kit. What suggestions do you have for her?

    Her question:
    Dear Mr. Moore,

    I am a volunteer firefighter and first responder (EMT level), only with the department since July 2005. There are many calls on which I am the only responder available during the day, when most of our volunteers are at their jobs. I perform both fire and accident/medical response services for my area, which is a minimum of 30 minutes from EMS arrival from town. Given this circumstance, do you have a recommendation for a tool or tools I can carry which would enable me to gain entrance, especially via windows of cars and buses? (I am a 5'3" woman, so I don't have the strength to use some of our fire station's tools on my own!)

    My reply:
    Some things I can think of that would be valuable to you include;

    a spring punch for tempered glass breaking

    paramedic serrated edge scissors for seatbelt cutting ( more versatile than a seatbelt cutter)

    a small pry tool, like a Stanley Wonder Bar, for peeling away things such as interior trim

    a small pliers-type tool for cutting battery cables

    a fire-resistive blanket for covering a patient ( I use the Pyro Shield here in McKinney)

    something to write with (permanent ink Sharpie magic marker)

    a forcible entry tool for prying (Halligan bar or something like the Pry-Axe tool)

    ANSI-approved safety glasses and leather-palmed work gloves that you can wear latex gloves underneath

    a California-style brush / wildland jacket for upper body protection

    a flashlight (LED-type bulb)

    a rock climbing-type helmet with chin strap that is low profile and has a small brim
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

  • #2
    an adjustable c-collar


    • #3
      If you are going to carry those items, maybe at some point you might want to consider a tool like a sawzall too (just make sure you have the batteries charged). Its light-weight and is very versatile. Possibly also an extinguisher.


      • #4
        As I've been in this situation myself (1 vehicle rollover in a rural district while passing thru in a moving truck while moving back home to NY...fortunately I had my POV on a trailer behind me), here's some thoughts I have...

        *Contact Paper - for containing any windows you may need to pop that are
        near the pt. (a 2 door hatchback rollover with the only window accessible
        being above the driver's head) - having had a window dumped on my head
        (yes, I was wearing a helmet), I speak from experience when I say this is
        not a fun experience.

        2) Kitty litter - to absorb any leaking fluids/reduce flashfire potential.

        3) Fire Extinguisher - even a small ABC is better than nothing.

        4) ANSI Vest - you want to be visible out there!!!

        5) Full Bunker Gear - personally, I prefer full TOG but depending on where she
        operates (i.e. AZ in the summer), lighter weight gear might be appropriate.

        6) Duct or Medical Tape - useful for securing loose items but even more so,
        you can write a pt's info/vitals on it, slap it on their shirt/pant leg and
        it provides other EMS providers with a homegrown triage tag (used it
        many times myself).

        7) Webbing - small maybe 10' loop, useful for tying off loose items, have
        used it myself on the above mentioned incident for tying the driver's side
        door (facing towards the sky mind you) open so I could access the pt.

        There's probably plenty more things but since she's on her own, I'd try to keep it simple, lightweight & affordable (sounds like she's buying this herself)...if she's an active member, I think her dept. should step up to the plate and supply these basic necessities in a bag for her to carry in her POV.

        Just my 2 cents...curious to hear what others suggest...Stay Safe...

        P.S. - Ron, looking forward to your seminar here on Long Island next week...


        • #5
          I guess you have to be a little careful where you draw the line, eventually you will get to the point where you may as well go to the station and get the truck.

          But most things in the list seem ok, perhaps not a sawzall, got to draw the line like I say.


          • #6
            Originally posted by rmoore
            ...I don't have the strength to use some of our fire station's tools on my own!
            Hit the gym.

            to be so blunt, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
            Nobody ever called the fire department for doing something smart.


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