Wednesday, July 25, 2018

EMS Logistical Support Unit Program

EMS Logistical Support Unit Program- EMS-LSU
Alan Perry

In high performance EMS systems, unit delays at receiving facilities and down-time for equipment failure and provider rehab have serious implications for system response capability. The goal of an EMS-LSU program is to provide a resource that does not compete with operational assets, people or equipment, which supports operational units during their recovery phase, returning both equipment and personnel to a state of readiness in a timely manner. This will reduce stresses on the system and providers when call volumes peak and improve the overall resilience of the VBEMS system.

Support units are nothing new, they have been used in the fire service for decades and larger metropolitan EMS systems use them as well. The City of Virginia Beach EMS system has staffed support units in the past, but never specifically for ambulance logistical support. EMS supervisors attempt to partially fill this role when able, and the MCI capability serves a specific role for large scale localized incidents. The EMS-LSU program seeks to fill this gap in operational support.

The EMS-LSU will serve as a resource specifically for ambulances, and their crews, assisting with routine cleaning, maintenance and minor repairs to units while in quarters and reaching into the field to assist with turn-around at hospitals at times of high call demand. It will have the capability to take care of routine cleaning, decontamination, resupply, battery and oxygen exchange, simple vehicle maintenance, vehicle livery and crew rehab.

Functions of EMS LSU
  • ·         Inventory, check-off and clean reserve units.
  • ·         Assist with inventory, check-off and cleaning of staffed units.
  • ·         Minor maintenance and repair of all units (fluids, bulbs, wiper blades,            tire pressures).
  • ·         Periodic detailing of units.
  • ·         Station upkeep.
  • ·         Responding to hospitals non-emergency when multiple units are                   transporting to facilitate unit recycling and crew rehab.
  • ·         Performing targeted public safety training, home safety inspections,              school demonstrations.

The EMS-LSU will be staffed by administrative members and providers who are on light duty. In this role these members may more fully participate in EMS operations without being involved in patient care. A brief training program will be provided covering the equipment and supplies carried on the ambulances, the specific maintenance requirements and procedures for our units and OSHA blood-born pathogen training.

The EMS-LSU can be any vehicle capable of carrying the required personnel, equipment and supplies. A decommissioned ambulance seems like a logical choice.

Cleaning equipment
·         Shop vac, brooms, mops/bucket w/wringer, rags and brushes
·         Water tank w/pump
·         Pressure washer
·         Cleaning/detailing chemicals
Vehicle Supplies
·         Vehicle oil, ATF, def fluid, washer fluid, brake fluid
·         Bulbs for interior and exterior
·         Wiper blades
·         Battery jump box
·         Basic hand tools
·         Air compressor, hose reel, tire chucks and gauges
EMS supplies
·         Soft goods. PPE, Tyvek
·         Oxygen tanks, oxygen delivery devices, CPAP, BVM etc.
·         Life-pack 15 supplies including spare cables & cuffs
·         Charger & Batteries for LP-15, radios, Lucas, power stretcher
·         Backboards and straps, stretcher straps
Rehab Supplies
·         Refrigerated cooler or ice chest for drinks and water
·         Single serve snacks
·         OTC self-care packs
·         Loaner rain gear, traffic vests
Public Education, recruitment
·         Display materials
·         Home safety/pool safety/ bicycle/ firearm safety handouts

An EMS-LSU program will have multiple advantages
·         Improve system performance by reducing readiness and turn-around times
·         Reduced stress on operational members, improving job satisfaction & retention
·         More immersive experience for administrative members
·         Recruitment and retention tool

An EMS-LSU program is easily achievable and beneficial to the VBEMS system. This program has multiple tangible benefits and will improve both performance and morale. The program can serve as a recruitment and retention tool providing a gateway between administrative and operational positions. If successfully deployed it will serve as an easily reproducible program for use elsewhere within the VBEMS system.