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Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs
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You are the Foremost Responder - What to do or not to do is the Question?

Roy E. Cox Jr*

1Patient Care Coordinator-City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety, USA

2Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, Board Member of the Pittsburgh American Red Cross, USA

3Operations Director Pittsburgh Critical Incident Stress Management Team, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Roy E. Cox Jr
Patient Care Coordinator-City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety
Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, USA
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: February 18, 2013; Accepted date: April 19, 2013; Published date: April 21, 2013

Citation: Cox Jr RE (2013) You are the Foremost Responder - What to do or not to do is the Question? Occup Med Health Aff 1:111.

Copyright: © 2013 Cox Jr RE. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Are you aware of what to do and not do in an emergency? Heart Attacks, Workplace Violence, Fires, and Hazardous Spills are potential workplace incidents.

Every office/business should have a written response plan for emergencies. Whether you work in a small business or large corporation you should have a multi-incident plan in place. This plan should be updated annually and reviewed by all current employees on a regular basis. As new employees are hired it should be incorporated into their training process. The plan needs to be short and general with easy to reference guidelines of the actions of employees.

The multi-incident plan offers the workforce members guidance rather than detailed rules since every incident has many variables. Below are examples of steps and tasks that need to be followed in an incident. A medical emergency, weather concern, fire, hazardous material exposure or a sniper/shooter are potential workplace incidents that can occur.

Are you aware of what to do in an emergency? There are many does and don’ts in an emergency, but the primary tasks are someone calls for help and someone comforts while rendering basic care. The Do’s in an emergency are

The Don’ts are:

DO NOT move the patient-except to rescue from a hazard

DO NOT give the patient any fluids except if the patient is a diabetic

DO NOT leave the patient alone

Do’s are:

DO become familiar with your workplace emergency plans

DO provide comfort to the patient

DO call 911

DO follow the response plan

One of the best things you can do for preparedness is to have employees trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic first aide. You should check with your workplace to identify or develop a multi-incident response plan. The following are steps to ensure a foundation of a successful workforce emergency response plan:

1. Designate a safety officer

2. Develop or ID a multi-incident response plan

3. Train a few employees -first responders (CPR/First Aide)

4. Designate a central meeting place outside

5. Ensure copies of the plan are posted

6. Develop a notification system for alerts and lockdown alert

7. Develop a lockdown plan

8. Implement a drill/practice of the tasks in the response plan

This is a Guide for a “Multi-INCIDENT PLAN”

[ID or Develop an incident preplan to include the following tasks:]

a. Know the address of workplace address and specific office site

b. ID the workplace call back direct number

c. Determine a designated contact person name

d. Determine the incident or location of a patient

e. Determine location of AED’s

f. Alert fellow workplace members if a lockdown is necessary

g. Have trained employees respond to render basic care until EMS arrives

Here are #10 samples of tasks that need performed in a medical emergency:

1. Designate someone to call to 911

2. Designate someone to stay with patient/comfort patient

3. Designate someone to go get AED

4. Designate someone to go outside or meet EMS ambulance crew at entrance

5. Notify security if you have a building security office

6. Assign someone to operate the elevator

7. Assign someone to record basic patient info for the EMS crew:

[Patient name/ age/ sex/ chief compliant-what happened/ meds/ past medical history]

8. Remove bystanders-provide privacy for the patient

9. Remain at the patient scene until the EMS releases you, you may have vital information

10. Communicate to the workplace when there is an all clear and it is safe

In emergency situations fellow coworkers are considered the foremost responders. You activate EMS, offer care and assist in bringing emergency services to the incident. You know the surroundings and dangers of the workplace. You are familiar with the workers and how to best gain access or egress out of the structure. You are the key to a successful chain of response in an emergency, from the foremost responder, to the EMS ambulance crew, to the hospital emergency department. The response is only as strong as the weakest link; make the emergency in your workplace successful by becoming an active participant of preparation. Please review or develop your office response plan today.

Contact your local Police, EMS and Fire station to have them visit and share your response plan and ask about their response plan to your site. Meeting the local responders is building a foundation of a solid emergency response plan in your workplace.

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