3 Ways to Enhance Disaster Preparedness Training for EMS Providers
By Rhonda Baliff | February 13, 2019
From 1980 through January 2019, natural disasters caused $1.5 billion in damages in the United States and nearly 10,000 deaths. When a large disaster occurs, emergency responders are the first on the scene to provide necessary assistance to patients.
While first responder organizations recognize the need for proactive training, gaps remain. NAEMT conducted a survey of first responders to gauge their level of readiness for large disasters. A sobering one in three (32%) say they never are required to receive training on triage and treatment for mass casualty incidents. Nearly half (42%) say they are never required to receive training on disaster response.
Here’s a look at a three simple and effective ways EMS organizations can bolster disaster preparedness and promote emergency training best practices.
Practice don and doffing
The survey revealed that 33 percent do no training on the practice of putting on and taking off PPE. Protecting your team goes beyond using the right personal protective equipment (PPE). They must also know exactly how to wear it. Regular, quick drills of donning and doffing PPE in compressed timeframes makes this a routine task in an urgent situation. Here’s the CDC’s guide to properly donning and doffing PPE.
Have enough supplies on-hand
EMS organizations should have at least three days of supplies available to ensure continuity of service during emergencies such as natural disasters that may disrupt normal supply chain. It is important to find a supply partner who will not only deliver products in a timely manner, but will also provide consultation on what types of products are needed for certain emergencies.
Communicate with local authorities and hospital organizations
Proactively communicating with local authorities and hospitals helps define roles and designates responsibilities in advance of events such as an evacuation. EMS leaders should clearly communicate expectations so all team members can execute plans with confidence.
To learn more about ways to enhance your organization’s disaster preparedness plan, attendees of the EMS Today conference can visit Medline’s booth #1533, February 20 – 22.
EMS Division Sales Manager
Rhonda Baliff is the EMS Divisional Sales Manager at Medline. Prior to this role, Baliff was a divisional sales manager in the post-acute segment. Baliff spent 12 years as a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT) in her hometown’s rescue squad in Wisconsin. Prior to joining Medline, Baliff was the regional manager of practice development for Aspen Dental. Baliff attended Southwest Technical College in Fennimore, Wis., where she received her Associates in business administration and management.