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FIRST QUARTER 2011 | VOL. 3, ISSUE 1
Inside this issue:
Fantasy Facility League Page 2. What to Do After a Crash Page 2. Leadership Corner Mike Romo says ‘buckle up.’ Page 3. Safety Spotlight Page 4. National EMS Week Page 5 New Content on AMR4U Page 6 Contributors Ron Thackery Mike Romo Tom Eller Paul Cormier Ken Gosteli Newsletter Editor: Rob Garrett Safety Leadership Group
Ron Thackery, SVP Professional Services & Integration Paul Cornier, SRM, Northeast Tom Eller, Dir SR, Southwest/Hawaii Hadassa Fyffe, SRM, GA, FL, Carolinas Rob Garrett, SRM , Central and NorCal Ken Gosteli, SRM, Northwest Mike Hill, SRM, Southwest/Hawaii Troy Meckel, SR Specialist, South Rich Silva, HR Mgr, NorCal Cindy Stalvey, Risk Analyst Jayashree Shankarnarayan, Safety & Risk Analyst Jessica Florian, Department Coordinator
‘Next Generation’ Safety Concept Vehicle Unveiled
American Medical Response, American Emergency Vehicles and Leader Ambulance have rolled out their newest “next generation” concept ambulance that incorporates the latest patient and caregiver safety features. The prototype is the fourth safety concept ambulance of its kind. The first version of the vehicle was released in 2004, a second concept vehicle in 2005 and the third in 2007. The concept ambulance was created to raise awareness, to reduce the safety risks faced by ambulance crews and to provide advanced care to patients. The new Safety Concept Vehicle IV is based on a Mercedes-Benz 3500 Sprinter chassis. It features numerous innovations that protect medics, patients, motorists and pedestrians from injury. The Safety Concept Vehicle IV’s features include: Ergonomic patient care seating that allows crew to stay seat-belted during transport. The seating system is designed to reduce the amount of time medics have to leave their secured seated positions to render patient care. Seat harnesses are sensitive to forward and side momentum to lock belts into place. A four-camera video system that greatly improves driver vision to the sides and rear of the ambulance. The system, similar to those currently found on police vehicle, records all ambulance movement.
We’re on the Portal: http://portal.emsc.net
Unique exterior graphics that greatly enhance the vehicle’s visibility to other motorists. High-conspicuity reflective graphics LED lighting technology, both exterior and interior Touch panel multiplexer control Easy access to equipment Road safety vehicle monitoring system (black box) Backup radar warning system Equipment mounting systems or storage Stryker Power-Pro stretcher and Tracking stair chair
WORLD CLASS SAFETY
Safety is no Fantasy
AMR Hartford is currently engaged in its second Fantasy Facility League season. A FFL is a competition between six teams within an operation. The competition fosters morale and is designed to increase call volume, while maintaining safe operations. Facilities in the form of Nursing Homes, Dialysis Centers and Hospitals are drafted between the six teams. The team becomes responsible for increasing call volume compared to an eight week average. Each team drafted ten facilities which they thought could garner the highest increase in call volume. Facilities which had zero call volume were labeled “wild card” facilities. Teams are rewarded and penalized weekly. They receive 1 point for additional calls to existing customers and two points for “wild card” facilities. Teams that average a Road Safety level 5 also gain 1 point. On the flip side, teams can lose 1 point for each preventable collision or injury. Additionally, they would lose three points for Road Safety level 1, two points for level 2 and one point for level 3. No points are deducted for level 4 driving. The first season ran for eight weeks as a pilot program and participation by full time employees was mandatory. The second season is currently underway and competition runs for 16 weeks. A Field Training Officer is the captain of each team. They each have a co-captain who, by design, is a new hire employee. Each team captain selects a color for the team and names the team. During season one a team was named the “Purple People Treaters”. Each captain and co-captain draft team members. Baseball caps embroidered with the team name were issued to each team member during season one and embroidered winter caps were issued for season two. Each team gets $200 for a marketing budget which they use to buy anything in the Barker’s catalogue. They also have access to all AMR printed materials (phone stickers, brochures, etc.) that would normally be distributed by the business development team. The winning teams received high-quality embroidered polo shirts and a poster which memorializes the season winners. Ultimately, morale and team work has improved, call volume has increased, and risks have been reduced. While the first two seasons were in-house competitions, AMR Greater Hartford is seeking to compete against another operation that relies upon non-emergency call volume. If there is another operation that is up-to-the-challenge, “bring it on”. Feel free to contact GM Sean Piendel via outlook e-mail address.
So, there they were, routinely driving through an intersection, obeying the traffic laws, when all of a sudden, from out of nowhere, another vehicle runs the red light and crashes into the passenger side of the ambulance in which your crew was riding. Neither crew member was injured, nor was the driver of the other vehicle. But the side door of the patient compartment is badly damaged, along with the rear wheel well. Now what? The vehicle has been towed to fleet and crew members tested in accordance with the Substance Abuse Prevention Policy or CBA agreement. As the supervisor, you have completed the necessary auto collision paperwork, taken more photos of this one collision than were taken at your last family reunion, interviewed witnesses and crew members, entered the data into STARS and faxed everything off to Sedgwick. Time to sit back, relax and wait until the vehicle gets fixed. Your work is done, right? Not quite. In this scenario and others like it, we were hit by another driver, therefore, we want to subrogate the claim, or have the other driver’s insurance to pay for damages to our vehicle. Before our fleet department begins repairs or sends the vehicle to
the body shop, we need to have an estimate of damages to provide to the other driver’s insurance. If repairs are begun or completed prior to obtaining this estimate, our ability for a complete recovery may be diminished. “But Mr. Safety Manager, we need our vehicle repaired as fast as possible because we need the vehicle back out on the streets!” The best way to speed the process along is to make contact with the Sedgwick liability unit during the investigation process, advise them of the collision and that the paperwork will soon be sent off, and request Property Damage Appraisers (PDA) to be dispatched in order to provide an estimate of damages as soon as possible. PDA is an independent, third party appraisal company contracted through Sedgwick to provide unbiased property damage appraisals. Often, PDA can be sent out within 24 hours. This quick response will help our ability for recovery on the damages and provide for quicker repairs in an effort to get ambulances back in service. As always, communication is the key. Consult your regional safety professional for more inormation.
WORLD CLASS SAFETY
Again: Stay Belted in the Back
by Mike Romo, Operations Manager, Victorville, CA
Safety is not a gadget; it’s a state of mind -- Eleanor Everet Everyday we come to work and do our best to provide the best care for our patients. Caring for their needs is what we do. Do we do everything in our power to do so? Some of the unspoken care we need to do is accident prevention and safety awareness. We are all aware of driving defensively, the importance of wearing our PPE and scene safety. We know to wear our seatbelts not only because it’s company policy, but we have seen the injuries caused when not worn. One of the Counties ongoing safety initiatives is to ensure that Caregivers in the rear compartment stay belted while the vehicle is in motion. San Bernardino County is continuing to develop a campaign of awareness to this matter through what we are calling Belted in Back. An employee workgroup has been developed, and regular meetings scheduled, to discuss and brainstorm ways to bring this important safety matter to light. This group consists of field crews, communications crews, and management. The San Bernardino County Belted in Back initiative has started the process with some articles in local newsletters. These bimonthly newsletters are just
the start. The next phase is to distribute employee awareness memos on this as well. Additionally, each of the San Bernardino County Operations has a monitor with a Power Pont presentation within their deployment centers. This multi media show displays memos, updates, and important safety messages including the importance of staying belted…even in the back. The Belted in Back group has also developed a PreMotion Checklist. This 6 point checklist includes not only wearing seatbelts in the back and cab, but also assuring that all equipment is secured prior to leaving any scene to prevent them from becoming “missile” in the event of a collision. This includes the monitor, oxygen, and closing any open cabinets. The checklist will also be printed on the decals. In turn, these decals will be placed in every unit as a constant reminder of what needs to be done prior to putting the unit in gear. These 3 x 5 decals will be placed on the rear and side windows and the dashboard. We will continue to work on ways to keep our folks safe in the back of the unit. We are doing so with the following in mind… Prepare and prevent, don’t repair and repent. -- unknown.
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Safety Spotlight on AMR San Bernardino County:
Safety Spotlight on AMR San Bernardino County: AMR San Bernardino County transports more then 125,000 patients each year and has a service area of approximately 3000 square miles. The County has an exclusive operating area covering both urban and rural service areas granting the privilege of serving 77% of the 9-1-1 market as well as 95% of the Inter Facility Transport market. San Bernardino County resources are deployed from 3 operating site-: Victorville, Redlands and the headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Staffing includes 616 field employees, 37 Dispatch employees and 29 Administrative employees. AMR San Bernardino County has identified safety goals as part of the 2011 Strategic Plan. As part of the 2011 strategic planning goals and objectives, specific safety metrics have been established that include reductions in Worker’s Compensation claims, worker injury lost work days and reductions in overall worker injury safety performance rates per 10K payroll hours. Some of the safety tactics that have been identified are enhanced safety awareness and communications, focused back injury prevention programs and initiatives and conducting an employee Safety Climate/Culture Survey through the University of Pittsburgh EMS Research Department. An integral component of the Counties safety tactics, and overall successes in safety, is getting the safety message out to all Caregivers on a regular basis. Realizing the importance of safety communications and reminders, the San Bernardino County Communications Center has partnered in employee and community safety efforts by rolling out the-“The Communications Center Cares About Safety-we are all on the safe page” program. As we all know, on a daily basis, our Caregivers may be exposed to hazardous conditions and situations such as hazardous weather conditions, driving safety, potential exposures and PPE, lifting related injuries…and the list goes on. The Communications Center “we are all on the safe page” program provides for a means of communications and caring to keep Caregivers informed on important safety messages and topics that may be pertinent to their overall safety. Every shift-the Shift Supervisor checks with the National Weather Service for pertinent severe weather conditions and road work and conditions through California Transportation Authority to ensure drivers are aware and informed of potential driving related hazards that may exist in the area due to road or severe weather conditions. Additionally, the Communications Center has collaborated with Operations and Safety and Risk Management to determine other special safety messages that may need to be sent to promote awareness for specific safety topics. A list of safety topics based on the most common safety issues and potential risks has been developed and are also sent daily by each Communications shift supervisor as the safety message of the day. Some of the messages are pre-set in the CAD Auto Page System in addition to the critical safety issues such as inclement and hazardous road conditions. An example of some of the “We are all on the safe page” safety messages that are sent as part of the daily safety reminders include: • Remember to always use your Proper Personal Protective Equipment. • Remember to utilize your High Visibility Vests while on public roadways. • Always stay belted…even in the back! • Remember to always use 5 pt restraints on every patient, every time! • Remember to use proper lifting technique-lift with your legs and arms and not with your back. • Remember to always use proper approved patient moving devices when moving your patients. • Avoid driver distractions such as cell phones and texting while driving. • Remember to warm up your muscles and stretch before and during your shift. Athletes do…and so should you. • Always use a spotter when backing. • Know your vehicles height and width clearance to prevent vehicle damage from overhangs and walls. continued on page 5
WORLD CLASS SAFETY
National EMS Week: May 15-21
2011 National Emergency Services Week is May 15th through May 21st. The National Emergency Services Week theme this year is Everyday Heroes. I am sure that most operations have been planning events and activities to honor our field providers. Our field providers are everyday heroes, our front line and the face of AMR. AMR’s field providers do an excellent job providing patient care, taking care of not only the patient, but family members also, and make critical decisions when faced with difficult problems. Unfortunately, our field providers don’t always treat themselves like everyday heroes, or take good care of themselves physically and mentally. Over the past few years AMR has tried to encourage operations to incorporate an employee health, wellness and safety component to EMS Week activities. Some operations have taken this to heart and scheduled activities for field providers and their families that encourage them to take a more active role in their physical health, mental health and on the job safety. Our field providers are our most valuable asset so let’s help them be everyday heroes to themselves. Below is a list of activities that some operations have scheduled in past EMS week celebrations. 5K Walks and Runs Family Fun Days
3 on 3 Basketball tournaments Driving Rodeos Bicycle Helmet Fitting (With Free Helmets) Bicycle Rodeos (For kids of all ages) Employee Health Fairs Stretcher Safety and Patient Handling Competitions BBQ Cook Offs (Using healthier meats such as fish or chicken or even a grilled vegetable category)
Safety Spotlight, from page 4
• Use on scene assistance and ask for lift assistance for patients when in doubt. • Remember to always check to ensure the fuel nozzle is removed and returned to pump after fueling. • Always remember the 4 second rule to ensure adequate space cushion for driving following distance. • Remember to keep rear compartment equipment secure. Examples of standard National Weather Service Inclement Weather safety pages: • Remember to slow down-use proper following distance • Possible flooding…do not attempt to by pass warning signs or proceed through swift water flooding. • Possible icy conditions or snow…slow down and use caution. • High wind warning-watch for downed trees and power lines. When exiting hang on to the doors to avoid possible damage.The Communications Team is also providing other messages to promote awareness for other as-
pects of business operations as well. Through this program, the San Bernardino County Communications Center shows the commitment to be a vital safety partner through continued communications and awareness. The bottom line goal is to provide Caregivers with the knowledge and awareness they might need that may impact their safety each and every day so they can return home safe and sound to their loved ones, as well as contributing to the overall safety of our customers and communities they serve. Article furnished by Renee Herman, San Bernardino County Communications Supervisor and safety representative.
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New content on
AMR4U is a training portal with a variety of useful informational videos and documentation. We have made some exciting changes to the portal to make it more user-friendly. Previously, content in each year’s folders were placed in folders by month. This made it difficult to search specific content. Now the content by year has been placed in folders by content category (ex. Clinical/Safety & Risk Management/HR Operations) and content type (ex. topic “Injury Reporting” under a main folder “Safety and Risk Management”). New content will be placed in the 2011 folder. To easily view new content, a link to the newest content will be placed under the AMR4U main page (under the heading “NEW TOPIC HAS JUST BEEN POSTED!”). Also, this link will be placed under Announcements within the AMR Department Sites main page. IMPORTANT ACTION REQUIRED: Now you have the ability to get alerts to new training content. You can receive email alerts sent to your work email account in two ways. Please follow the below instructions and create BOTH alerts. Under the AMR Department Sites main page, click on Announcements. Click on Actions pull-down menu and select “Alert Me” and click OK on the lower right hand corner of the page. This will send you an alert on any new content placed under the Announcements section. Once in the AMR4U portal, click on the 2011 folder. Again, click on Actions pulldown menu and select “Alert Me” and click OK on the lower right hand corner of the page. This will send you an alert on any new content placed under the 2011 folder. If you have any questions about the AMR4U portal please contact Jayashree Shankarnarayan at email@example.com or 303-495-1268.
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