Medic Minute Spring 2018

SPRING 2018 A QUARTERLY UPDATE WITH HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR YOU AND YOUR PATIENTS Firefighter/Paramedic Wellness Time flies! As we near completion of our Mount Carmel East and Mount Carmel Grove City expansion projects, we continue to plan and make changes to ensure EMS has a smooth process. We appreciate all of the feedback, suggestions and recommendations that we have received. There are some exciting initiatives, processes and EMS- specific projects planned to ensure we meet your recommendations. As EMS Week quickly approaches, we are looking forward to putting on a week of activities focused on you. We have some exciting plans this year, as you’ll see in this edition, and some others we’ll be able to share soon. Our theme will be consistent with the national theme, “Stronger Together”. This phrase could not be more appropriate as we continue to build our partnership with EMS and shift the paradigm of treatment for EMS from hospital-based to start with you, our EMS partners. Thank you for all you do, and we look forward to celebrating with you in May. In any given “scene run,” the first thing anyone from a basic student to a seasoned veteran will rattle off is: “check for scene safety.” This is the constant reminder that before you can rush in and help someone, you have to be mindful of your safety so there aren’t suddenly two patients to take care of. This is not to diminish the truth that just by being a firefighter or paramedic you are a hero, and daily put others above yourself, often at great personal risk, just to help them. You can’t By Ryan Hartman, MD always control the situations you will be called to serve in, but you can mitigate your risks of harm and injury by staying healthy and fit. Here are some thoughts on how to do just that. Wellness for the firefighter/paramedic can be summed up as exercise, eat right, get a yearly health screen and make sure your stress/mental health is managed. These are the same basic recommendations that physicians give anyone. However, when you’re a first responder, not taking care of your health and wellness puts your team and your patients at risk, too. Or, to quote one firefighter: “When we hit the fire ground, your risk factors become my risk factors.” 1 As you may know, the leading cause of death in on-duty firefighters is heart attack 2 . The leading characteristics of firefighters with sudden cardiac death in the field are obesity, coronary artery disease, cardiomegaly, smoking and hypertension 3 . At a minimum, first responders need to stay healthy to decrease these risk factors. The job itself is demanding and requires constant training and a level of physical fitness above that to work effectively. That’s why it’s important to follow the fitness standards that are noted by the National Fire Protection Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs 4 . Firefighters are also at an increased risk for cancer, and there are concerns regarding injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychological job continued on back