Incident Command Training for EMS

September 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I started in EMS 15 years ago, it seemed as though training (outside of patient care courses) were geared specifically to the firefighter. Scenarios were written around personnel arriving on the fire truck. I took my first ICS training long before NIMS came into the picture and felt lost. At that point I was an EMS purist. I only rode of the ambulance, and while I understood the basic functions of the fire service (wet stuff on red stuff…ha ha ha), I certainly didn’t know enough to work exercises that put me in charge of a fire incident.  I felt lost.

Fast forward a few years. Through my job I was introduced to Mass Casualty Incident Management training. Now, here was an incident whose main goal was the treatment and transport of patients. That was more like it! Initial courses unfortunately still placed the EMS provider specifically in the EMS role and didn’t allow them much flexibility outside of the patient care positions. As the MCI courses have been rewritten in my state, we’ve been able to ensure that EMS providers have scenarios that fit their knowledge and their roles, but ensures they can “flex” their knowledge outside of the patient care roles (i.e. serving as Incident Command, Operations, Staging, etc). This provides a much more realistic view in the training realm. So, the training is there, but what about publications that can be used as reference material? Because we all know that we don’t remember everything after we leave a class.

Over a year ago I was offered the opportunity to begin the process of writing a book for Pennwell Publishing. The book, titles Incident Management for EMS, focuses on the EMS roles in the ICS structure.  While it brings in the expectations of the basics (since everyone should be ready to serve as the Incident Commander), the focus is on the roles the EMS provider may fill.  The book also covers various types of incidents from single unit response to mass casualty to disaster.  Information on preplanning are also covered.  Here’s a link to information on the book, and if you are interested, it is in presale, with a hopeful release this fall (fingers crossed); http://www.pennwellbooks.com/inmaforems.html.

Thanks for letting me do a little self promotion. I’ll be back with a post this week on Hurricane Irene!

 

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