My daughter has lived with us EMTs a few years now, and is reaching the age where she can take the class and join us. She has been riding with the rescue for the last year and a half, and has been very helpful there, fetching and carrying, etc. Now that she is getting ready to become certified herself, she has started paying more attention to the patient care.
We typically use the time on the way to the scene to go over our plans on arrival, and to remind ourselves of any pertinent information we may have about a patient's medical conditions, or any special needs. If appropriate, we review any intervention we might need, etc. Sometimes, we are close to the scene and don't have a lot of time. Sometimes, there isn't anything in particular that we need to review.
The other day, we were on our way to a reported accident with no injuries, expected to be a sign-off. The proverbial "wants to be checked out." It happened that the call was on the far end of town, so we would have a longer drive than usual. Plenty of time to go over whatever we wanted to go over, but little that we really needed to review for that particular situation. Basics. Scene safety. BSI.
But because my daughter was with us, and had been talking about starting her EMT class, I decided to go over trauma assessment. From the beginning. By the numbers. In addition to scene safety and BSI, mechanism of injury, number of patients, need for resources, spinal stabilization, general impression, level of consciousness and etc, on down the line. An excellent exercise, one found around the house every day. Literally, at our house, but I digress...
We arrived on scene to what turned out to be a two car accident.
We all know how accurate dispatch can be.
But true to what we had been told, there were no real injuries, just a little redness from an airbag. No problem. It's all good. Just hanging out, waiting for the wrecker. A relatively pleasant call, albeit in unpleasant weather.
Ever have one of those days where suddenly, everything changes?
Not far up the road, a sudden collision (is there any other kind?).
As in "What is that in the road? How did it get there? It doesn't look like anything I've ever seen before. Oh, shit. That must be a car."
Called for more resources.
Good thing trauma assessment was so fresh in our minds.
I had never seen a car in that condition before. It was literally ripped apart.
I was sure there would be fatalities.
It was nothing short of a miracle.
Great teamwork all around.
Patients extricated and packaged in an unbelievably short amount of time.
And my daughter?
An impeccable job, staging gear and assisting us.
Kept her head in a very stressful situation.
She's going to be a great EMT.
I'm sure of it.