Crew Reunites With Trauma Patient

By: Battalion Chief Bill Betz
Captain II Wayne Wentzel

On November 28, units from the 1st Battalion, B-Shift, had an opportunity to attend a Trauma Case Review at the Reston Hospital Center (RHC). The cases were presented by the RHC Medical Director of Trauma Services and were focused on three trauma patients that were treated and transported to RHC by our firefighter and paramedics that were in attendance.

This was an excellent opportunity for firefighters and paramedics to see how patient care is managed once the patient arrives at the emergency room through their outcome after the traumatic event. While RHC trauma doctors were reviewing the first case, a significant hand injury, they surprised everyone by having the patient speak to share his experience.

Crews had the unique opportunity to hear from the patient himself about the care he received from the fire and rescue personnel as well as RHC staff. It was rewarding to hear from the patient and how his road to recovery has been progressing.

The patient also had the opportunity to speak with the crew of Medic 404, Herndon, who treated and transported him to RHC. He was excited to meet the crew and was very thankful for all they had done for him in the short time he was in their care.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department paramedic units transport many patients to local hospitals daily and rarely get an opportunity to see how their work impacts the long-term survival of these patients. This was yet another great example of how hard work and dedication of fire and rescue personnel, along with the great partnerships we have with our regional hospital partners, can positively impact those we serve.

Hand Injury

Firefighter Goza (l) and Captain Robb (r) with the patient showing how his hand has healed from the significant traumatic injury he suffered.

 

 

The Play (Training) Is Under Review: Paramedic Students Learn From Real-Life Scenarios And Video

By: Lieutenant Christopher Kroboth
EMS Training Section

Paramedic students closed out the Respiratory section of their Paramedic training with two weeks of real-time, real-life scenarios. One uniqueness to the Fairfax – Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) paramedic program is that the students act as patients while their fellow students “respond” to their emergency. This helps the students appreciate the patient perspective and brings life and new insight into the post-scenario discussion, also known as “the debrief”.

The students who are playing the “patient” have to moulage themselves – figure out how they (as the patient) will present, breathe, act and speak to the “responding” student based on their complaint/problem – as well as know how to respond to the treatment choices and actions of the “responding” crew. The diseases reviewed in the training scenarios ranged from severe asthma and congestive heart failure to pulmonary embolism and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Using live role-players also greatly enhances the student’s learning by allowing students to practice patient assessments and history taking on live “patients.” The student “patients” wear IV pad trainers on their arms so their classmates will have to “start IV’s on them”, draw up and deliver simulated medications, and even hook them up to different airway devices. By requiring the student learners to actually do this in real time, every treatment and action they call for teaches them the power of timely decision-making, crew resource management, and gives them the complete picture of team performance with patient care.

The students who are not directly involved in the training scenario, are tasked with filming it from start to finish so that the “responding” lead student in the scenario can watch their performance later that day and critique themselves.

This is a model our EMS Training Section staff took from the professional sports industry of performance self-reflection. It has really helped the students appreciate how they operate under stress, and allows them to compare what they thought happened to what really did happen.

 

 

 

Stop The Bleed

By: Lieutenant Bruce Stark
Fire Station 19, Lorton, A-Shift

When a traumatic bleeding emergency occurs in Fairfax County most often a friend, family member, neighbor, co-worker or bystander is on scene immediately after the traumatic bleeding injury has occurred. A person can die from severe uncontrolled bleeding in as little as five minutes.

You have the power to learn some simple steps and effective bleeding control techniques that could preserve someone’s life until your Fairfax County firefighters/paramedics arrive. Below are steps you can take to help “stop the bleed.”

First call 9-1-1 to get Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units on the way. The sooner you call 911, the faster professional help will arrive.

Remember, your safety is the number one priority! You cannot help someone if you get injured. Be sure the area is safe before you decide to help.

Next expose the area that is bleeding and with a cloth or bandage use both hands to apply firm, steady pressure to the area that is bleeding. If you don’t have a bandage or cloth immediately available, apply firm and steady pressure with your hands. This will still help to slow or stop the bleeding.

If bleeding has not stopped, and there is one available, apply a commercially made tourniquet at least 2-3 inches above the injured area and tighten until bleeding has stopped. If bleeding has not stopped then place a second tourniquet above and next to the first tourniquet. Remember a tourniquet will not work if placed on top of a knee or elbow so be sure to avoid these areas.

If a commercially made tourniquet is not available, be very cautious in attempting to make an improvised tourniquet. Thin items such as phone chargers, extension cords, shoelaces, and rope are to narrow to be used as a tourniquet. In addition to not working, those items can cause severe damage to the nerves of the injured limb.

Below is an info-graphic from our friends at the Department of Homeland Security. A downloadable version is available by clicking here https://www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed

Stop The Bleed

Girls Fire and Rescue Academy Students Off To A Great Start!

By: Captain I Tracey Reed
Fairfax County Fire and RescueGirls Fire and Rescue Academy

The first session of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Girls Fire and Rescue Academy is off to a great start!

Six girls, ages 14 and 15, are attending camp Monday through Friday this week from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The purpose of the Academy is to build the girl’s confidence in their unique abilities, push them beyond their comfort zone, and to learn the value of supporting others rather than putting them down.

Fire Chief Richard Bowers kicked off the Academy on Monday, personally welcoming each student and offering a few remarks. Monday also included a field trip to the McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center to learn what happens when a person calls 911. They met, and spoke with, the people who answer and process those calls.

Students then toured the Wellness and Fitness Center where the importance of fitness and proper body mechanics were taught by the center staff. The girls watched Technician Black complete the work performance evaluation that all Fairfax County firefighters complete annually. They went through the Candidate Physical Abilities Test which is one step in the process to become a firefighter. Their favorite part of the test was the maze!

We finished the day by learning how to put on our firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE).

Tuesday, and for the rest of the week, the girls started the day with physical training. On this day the workout involved a Tabata Circuit and walking the stairs while wearing PPE. Staff and students talked about motivation and worked on developing a playlist of motivational music for Wednesday’s workout! The rest of the morning was spent learning CPR. Our afternoon session consisted of learning how to stop bleeding with tourniquets, using EpiPen’s, inserting intravenous and intraosseous catheters, learning how to intubate, and teaching students how to apply moulage for realistic emergency medical training.

Today (Wednesday) students will be engaged in engine and truck company operations evolutions, including fire hose lines, the maze trailer, ladders, tools, and forcible entry.

On Thursday, students will be learning more about the Fire Marshall’s Office and our Urban Search and Rescue Team. The girls will run through technical rescue operations evolutions – ropes and knots, lowering systems, and vehicle extrication.

Friday will consist of hazardous materials operations evolutions, a firefighter’s role in community outreach, and opportunities to continue learning through the High School Firefighter Program, the Explorer Program, and volunteering in the community. The week will conclude with the girls and their families having dinner at a fire station.

We appreciate all the support we have received from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department members and leadership, Local 2068 Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics, Fairfax County Professional Fire and Rescue Officers Association, Fairfax Hispanic Firefighters Association, Apple Federal Credit Union, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Women’s Employee Group and the Progressive Firefighters of Fairfax County.

Most of all THANK YOU to the girls for going outside their comfort zone and trying something new!