What about the EMS Provider?

October 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

I often tell people I workout so I can eat like crap. However, the converse is NOT true because even if I didn’t eat like crap I would still workout. Why? Because it’s best for me, my family, my ambulance crew, and my patients. A healthy provider means I can focus on making good decisions, have the stamina to treat my patients (whether it be CPR, running to get equipment, lifting them into the ambulance, etc).  In June I saw a number on the scale I wasn’t really happy with and as such made some big changes in my life and by August I had lost 25 pounds. I have hovered between the 20-25 lbs lost mark for the last month and not only do I feel better about myself, but my stamina, strength, and overall well0being has signficantly improved. I can run around with my boys, have more energy to get my “to-do” list done and lit and work during calls in a safe and helpful manner. My mental clarity is better, allowing me to make good patient care decisions quickly.

Every year the United States Fire Service releases the study of the causes of Line of Duty Deaths (LODD) for Firefighters. If you haven’t read this year’s (or any year’s report), check it out here: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/ff_fat10.pdf.  The report really does show us in the emergency service field where we are still making bad decisions. It lets us focus on what we need to do, most of the time looking at heart disease and vehicular crashes as causes of a significant number of LODDs.  Becuase of the recognition of the “health” issues facing fire service personnel, we have seen an increase in the number of programs designed to strengthen firefighter fitness, including Peer Fitness Trainers through the IAFF, the Heart Healthy Firefighter program through the National Volunteer Fire Council, and various fitness blogs include  www.fireservicewarrior.com. I’ve always wondered though, what about hte focus of improving fitness of the EMS provider?

I am reminded frequently (in a playful manner) that as an EMS provider, my job is quite different from that of my Firefighter husband’s 🙂  And he’s right (but don’t tell him I said that). The physical demands of the job are different, unless the firefighter is riding on the ambulance.  Very rarely do we get to see fitness recommendations beyond the fire service. The scenarios, equipment, and justifications focus on the impact the exercises will have on the firefighter.  But, I don’t fight fire, I treat patients! What about the EMS provider?

Over the next few weeks I’m going to post exercises (courtesy of guest bloggers) of exercises that can not only be done to help in the job function, but can also be done by anyone, with or without access to a gym.  I hope that you find them helpful and even if you don’t do these exercises, you take the opportunity to make changes (diet, sleep, fitness) and recognize the need to take care of yourself to be able to best take care of others!

Until next time!


§ 2 Responses to What about the EMS Provider?

  • Brian Brush says:

    A great thought provoking post. In my department we are all the same and to be honest we have it easy. I remember doing rides with single role medics and the challenge is tough. On the street all day without a station Gym or kitchen. 12 hour shifts of nights or days. Interfacility transfers and other thankless duties while us firefighters are planning meals, working out and kissing babies. I get it – good on you for not letting it get you down and congrats on the progress that is awesome! I try to give more credit to the medics and will share your post because I know we are in this together-


    • EMS says:

      Thanks Brian. I’ve been lucky that even when I worked on the paid side of EMS I at least had a station that allowed me to bring decent food/have down time outside of the truck. Thanks for the support and for visiting!

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