Two New EMS-Themed Reality TV Shows on ABC

This summer, two new EMS-themed reality shows based in Boston, Massachusetts, are featured on the ABC network. The first, Save My Life: Boston Trauma which aired on July 19th, will follow patients with life threatening injuries from the field to the hospital. The six part series will focus on emergencies in Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Boston Medical Center.

Watch the Save My Life: Boston Trauma trailer:

The second series, Boston EMS, started on July 25th and allows viewers the unique opportunity to ride along with the dedicated men and women of Boston Emergency Services to witness the first step in the chain of trauma care. These are some of the same first responders who treated the Boston Marathon bombing victims two years ago. Viewers will have the opportunity to meet some of these brave EMS professionals and watch them actively save lives on the streets of Boston.

Watch the Boston EMS trailer:

Real-life scenarios are a powerful tool to utilize in public safety training. Watching emergency scenarios can help first responders analyze the best course of action before they are in a real-life situation. Watching real life scenarios such as those displayed on Save My Life: Boston Trauma and Boston EMS allows public safety personnel to look at potential problems, consider potential solutions, and test out the results of their actions in a safe environment.

For more real-life scenarios, Jones & Bartlett Learning offers video-based case studies in You Are the Provider: Virtual Ride-Alongs. View a brief demonstration of the cases available:


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Staying Safe in Extreme Heat

surfsunThe warm summer months are upon us, and with rising temperatures comes the reminder to protect yourself, friends, family, and community members from heat-related illness. During these warmer months, it is imperative to be conscious of what your body is telling you and what you are demanding of your body. On days with a higher humidity index, there is a higher percentage of moisture in the air which demands more of our bodies. Staying hydrated and cool can help you avoid the two stages of overheating: heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a list of heat exhaustion and heat stroke symptoms on their website:

▶ Heat Exhaustion: heavy sweating, weakness/fatigue, cold/pale/clammy skin, pale/flushed complexion, muscle cramps, fast/weak pulse, nausea/vomiting, fainting, dizziness/confusion

▶ Heat Stroke: high body temperature, hot/red/dry/moist skin, rapid/strong pulse, possible unconsciousness, chills, throbbing headache, confusion/dizziness, slurred speech, hallucinations

When these signs and symptoms are present, the CDC provides clear instructions on how to respond and when to seek medical attention.

To avoid heat-related illness, it is recommended that the following precautions are taken when dealing with extreme heat:

  • Stay hydrated: Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Avoid alcohol or liquids containing large amounts of sugar.
  • Stay cool: Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Take cool showers or baths. Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. Never leave anyone (infants, children, pets, etc.) in a closed, parked car.
  • Stay sun-safe: Protect your skin by applying (and reapplying!) sunscreen and wearing a brimmed hat when outdoors. Avoid outdoor activities during midday heat, if possible.
  • Stay informed: Check your local news for important health, safety, and weather updates.
  • Stay together: Check on friends, family, and neighbors and have someone do the same for you.

Children, the elderly, and those with chronic, severe illnesses are most at risk for heat-related illness, but it is important for all of us to heed the warnings above.

For first responders, it is especially important to stay vigilant about heat-related illness on the job. Whether wearing heavy clothing or equipment as part of their uniforms or being continuously active in the extreme heat, it is common for their bodies to overheat quickly. By paying close attention to their own health and safety needs first, public safety professionals will be better equipped to care for others who need their assistance in the field.

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National Pet Fire Safety Day

DogJuly 15, 2015, marks National Pet Fire Safety Day in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association, each year an estimated 500,000 pets are affected by home fires and approximately 1,000 of these fires are started by pets themselves. These statistics highlight the importance of pet fire safety in keeping animals and homes safe from accidental fires.

Prevent your pet from accidentally starting a fire

Implementing the following precautions can help to reduce the risk of pet-started fires in your home.

  • Remove or cover stove knobs. Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove top is the number one piece of equipment involved in pet-started fires.
  • Extinguish flames. Be sure to extinguish any open flame (including fire places) before leaving your home.
  • Invest in flame-less candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats in particular are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Beware of water bowls on wooden decks. Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck.  The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel, wooden, or ceramic bowls for your pet instead.

Ensure pet safety at all times

In the event of an actual home fire, taking the following precautions will help in the evacuation of family pets.

  • Secure young pets. Puppies and kittens are especially curious. To keep them from potential fire-starting hazards it may be safest to put them in crates or use baby gates to keep them in secure areas while you are away.
  • Keep your pets near entry/exit points when you are away from home. When you are out of the house, keep your pets in rooms with a door/window that directs outside. This will make it easier for fire fighters to rescue your pets if needed.
  • Practice escape routes with your pets. Keep leashes and collars close to exits in your home and practice fire drills periodically with your pets so they also know what to do in case of an evacuation.
  • Invest in a Pet Alert window cling. Having a Fire Emergency Window Cling on windows near the entrance to your home will help fire fighters know exactly how many animals are in your home. Be sure to keep the number of pets updated.

Pet owners can also educate and train themselves on pet first aid and emergencies by utilizing the Pet First Aid & Disaster Response Guide and Pet Emergency Pocket Guide from Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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Extinguish the Dangers Associated with Fireworks this Holiday Weekend

With the Fourth of July holiday around the corner, public safety professionals are gearing up for one of their busiest days of the year. Between cookouts, fire pits, and fireworks, it is no wonder there are more fires reported on Independence Day than any other day throughout the year.


The biggest culprit of these fires is often personal firework displays. Every year, people ranging in ages from toddlers to adults are hospitalized from improper use of fireworks with severe burns and other injuries that can even result in death. Civilians are not the only ones at risk. Often during these personal firework shows, nearby cars, homes, and other properties are damaged or destroyed. In previous years:

  • Fireworks have caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires, causing 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
  • Emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks-related injuries, 55% of these injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head.

However, it is easy to avoid these dangers by attending local firework displays hosted by professionals and monitored by highly trained safety personnel. This Independence Day, please take the safety of your families and friends into consideration while enjoying your holiday festivities!


National Fire Protection Association

U.S. Fire Administration


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Improving the Safety and Health of First Responders

safetyWk2015_squareOrganizations across the country are holding events this week to spread awareness about safety and health for all EMS and Fire personnel. Here are some of the events promoting International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week:

  • East Whiteland Fire Department – Malvern, Pennsylvania: The East Whiteland Fire Department has a very strong emphasis on health. Many members of the 50 person department spend an hour each shift working on fitness. The fire fighters also regularly test their fitness with real-world tasks during training sessions on a fitness challenge circuit developed by the department. The challenge circuit mimics typical firefighting tasks performed at emergency scenes with an added emphasis on physical fitness. The circuit can be completed in gym clothing, bunker pants, bunker pants and bunker coat, all the way up to full gear and self contained breathing apparatus.
  • West Newbury Fire Department – West Newbury, Massachusetts: The West Newbury Fire Department has created a streamlined training and drill schedule that will promote safety awareness to members throughout the upcoming year. The department issued a challenge to each member to live a healthier lifestyle and make diet and exercise a bigger part of their daily routines. The department also initiated a buddy system to motivate personnel and create a better sense of teamwork, encouraging members to workout at the station.
  • North Lyon County Fire Protection District – Fernley, Nevada: The North Lyon County Fire Protection District is observing Safety and Health Week by focusing on collaborations with all area first responders including fire, EMS, law enforcement, and dispatchers.  The various departments have come together to work on trainings that will make calls more efficient and safer for the health and well-being of the entire team. Throughout Safety and Health Week, North Lyon County Fire Protection District is holding a series of health and safety workshops on topics ranging from local medical hazards to biomechanics of the body.

Visit the official International Fire and EMS Safety and Health website for more resources on how to incorporate training and procedures that facilitate safety and health in your area!

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Creating a Culture of Safety in 2015


This year, International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week will be observed from June 14-20. Safety and Health Week is a joint initiative of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), and is supported by a network of emergency service and safety organizations.

Safety and Health Week is an annual event that is important to all public safety professionals because its objective is to improve the health and safety of fire fighters and EMS personnel, so that they have an increased chance of survival during emergencies and are healthier in the long-term.

The theme for Safety and Health Week this year is “Creating a Culture of Safety” and focuses on what can be done to improve safety and health in three specific areas:

Fire departments across the nation and throughout the world will take time during this week to increase awareness so that safety and health become priorities in all fire and EMS departments. For more information, please visit the International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week website today.

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International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week

culturesafetyJune 14 – 20, 2015 is International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week.  This year’s theme is “Creating a Culture of Safety.” The goal of this awareness week is to promote and facilitate a culture of safety within local communities and departments.

How can I get involved in my community?

Social Media

Utilize your department or agency’s social media sites to promote Safety and Health Week in your community. Use posts from the 2015 International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week Social Media Outreach Plan or create your own.  You can also update your Facebook and Twitter banners to ones that help to promote Safety and Health Week.

Flyers and Posters

Download flyers and posters and place them in your local department to provide safety and health reminders. You could also use the 2015 Safety and Health Week flyer in place of an ad in local or state fire service newsletters.

Submit Your Resources, Stories, and Photos

Share a story from your department! Share your department’s safety, health, and training resources in order to motivate others with success stories from your department. Your stories and resources may be included on the Safety and Health Week website and in materials from the IAFC and NVFC regarding the event.

All members of fire and emergency services are encouraged to utilize this week to focus on safety and health training and what you can do to create a culture of safety in your community, your department, and for yourself.

Safety and Health Week is a collaborative program embraced by more than twenty national and international fire and emergency-service organizations.  It is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Volunteer Fire Council. The event is coordinated by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section and the NVFC’s Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program.

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Interested in Sharing Your EMS Expertise with Students and Fellow Educators?

emsauthorJoin the Jones & Bartlett Learning EMS Author Team!

If you have a passion for the highest-quality educational content and would like to join the Jones & Bartlett Learning author team, please submit a current CV or summary of your professional qualifications along with any writing samples you have to Please be sure to include your full name and contact information in the body of the email message.

To help us align our editorial opportunities with your interests and expertise, please tell us a little about yourself and let us know your content preferences by completing this brief survey by June 30, 2015:

Thank you in advance for your interest and time.

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CPR and AED Awareness Week: How Proper Training Saves Lives

Educa_Stud_Ed0002On December 6, 2007, Congress passed a bill that designated the first week in June as “National Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Week.” This designation is intended to promote the necessity of CPR and AED training and to reduce death from sudden cardiac arrest.

There are countless examples of ways in which CPR and AED training has saved lives all over the United States. Here are just a few examples that stand out:

  • In Jacksonville, Florida Boy Scout Leader, Jose Lepervanche was camping with his troop in Georgia when he suddenly collapsed. After calling 9-1-1, scouts came to Lepervanche’s aid using a recently purchased AED and saved his life. Cardiac-related incidents are the number one reason for reported fatalities within the Boy Scouts, highlighting the importance of CPR and AED training. Learn more.
  • In Manhattan Beach, California fifteen-year-old Madi Giese was working at a tennis tournament when one of the competitors collapsed. Giese’s junior lifeguard training kicked in and she immediately began to perform CPR on the fallen girl:

    “I did about 12 or 13 pumps on her chest, she coughed and then began breathing again. The paramedics were there right away and took over. I didn’t think about it at all at the time, I just saw she needed help and there were literally 25 to 30 people there, and I was shocked that I was the only one who knew CPR…It’s a valuable skill that I learned from participating in the Junior Lifeguard Program. I’ve been doing it every summer since I was 5 and this goes to show they teach valuable skills that can empower even a teenager to save someone’s life.”

  • In Milwaukie, Oregon freshman baseball player, Jackson Elkins, fell to one knee and then completely collapsed while having a heart attack in the middle of a game. Athletic trainer Erika Irwin first thought that Elkins was suffering from heat stroke but quickly realized that his heart was not beating. Irwin fell back upon her training to start CPR while another coach called 9-1-1 and a student retrieve the portable AED machine. Irwin, who trains regularly,  had only received re-certification within 90-days of the incident. Elkin’s father, Derrick, does not believe his son would have survived without trained staff and a portable AED device:

    “They truly saved my son’s life.”

Click here for training resources and ECSI Education Centers in your area that offer CPR and other life-saving training.

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National CPR and AED Awareness Week

ECSIblog_CPR_545x363The first week of June is National CPR and AED Awareness Week. This week is designed to bring attention to the importance of CPR and AED training.

Over 325,000 Americans suffer sudden cardiac arrest each year and more than 95 percent of them die before they reach the hospital. If CPR is not administered within 10 minutes after sudden cardiac arrest, the chance of survival is limited. However, in cities where defibrillation is provided within 5-7 minutes, the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is as high as 49 percent.

The goal of National CPR and AED Awareness Week is to encourage states, counties, cities, and towns to increase public access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and to establish well-organized programs that provide CPR and AED training to community members.

Here are some events across the country that promote National CPR and AED Awareness Week:

  • Pataskala, Ohio: The West Licking Joint Fire District of Pataskala, Ohio is launching a CPR-centric effort to save lives. As part of the effort, the district intends to offer free CPR classes during National CPR and AED Awareness Week. In addition to offering classes the West Licking Joint Fire District is creating a database that will pinpoint the location of every AED in the area. The district will use the database to ensure that all AEDs are receiving required maintenance. It also could pass on the database information to the county 911 call center, which could use it to alert bystanders to the location of nearby AEDs. West Licking is also applying for grants in order to help businesses obtain AEDs, widening the availability of these life saving machines.
  • Napa Valley, California: The Napa Valley Fire Department has a goal of teaching 5,000 of its residents the hands-only CPR technique. The department is close to this target having already taught about 4,000 people in the area, with about 1,800 being freshman high school students in the Napa Unified School District. The fire department plans to continue teaching students in the next school year.
  • Myrtle Beach, Florida: In honor of National CPR and AED Awareness Week, the North Myrtle Beach Fire and Rescue Division is offering free CPR classes on June 1-3.

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is an incredible opportunity to spread awareness in local communities all over the country. For course materials and training resources, be sure to visit Emergency Care & Safety Institute.

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