– Scene Assessment, Safety andPersonal Protective Equipment
Being aware of safety issues can make the difference between saving the patient and becoming anotherone of the victims.Instances are too numerous to mention of people who have rushed to help someone else only tobecome a victim as well. Confined Space deaths, for example, count more deaths by rescuers than bythe original victim. Seeing someone collapse, rescuers rush to his assistance without realizing that thereason for the collapse of the victim had to do with an oxygen deficient environment or an elevatedlevel of some fatal gas. The rescuers end up becoming victims as well.Emergencies are, by their very nature, volatile situations and, as such the danger of further injury isincreased.Obvious, immediate dangers include such things as downed power lines, floods, traffic, potentialcollapses in the immediate vicinity, violence by others, unstable ground to name only a few.You need to be aware of which situations you and others around you can control and which ones youwill need the help of emergency personnel (Police, Power Company, Hazmat team, etc…)
REMEMBER: You cannot help someone else if you become a victim yourself!
Beyond the obvious and immediate dangers, there is also the issue of blood borne pathogens and otherissues related to bodily fluids and infectious diseases (Hepatitis, HIV, etc…).PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as disposable gloves, CPR Barriers and eye protection may benecessary. Just because these dangers are not immediate (the effects may take years to showthemselves) or visible does not diminish the threat. You need to protect yourself from contamination.