The High Risk of First Responder Patient Handling

EMS and Fire Rescue is, by definition, a high-risk profession. Patients are generally getting larger, while the profession is challenged to stay physically fit. The long hours and volume of calls in some urban areas can be overwhelming for understaffed EMS districts. The profession’s educational focus on dealing with combative patients is inconsistent, which can lead to injured first responders and liabilities as a result of dealing with these patients. In some cases, the procurement of patient handling equipment can be misguided. Overexertion injuries from patient handling, dropped stretchers and the constant revolving door of soft tissue traumas are very prevalent in the first responder community. Ariel Jenkins, Director – Risk Control explains the various risks of first responder patient handling. 


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