It’s September 11, 2012…
It’s well after 9PM Pacific Time, so on the right side of the nation, it’s already September 12th. And, I have never forgotten.
A good colleague and friend of mine, Greg Friese, has taken up and passed on a challenge from Firegeezer to have all fellow Fire and EMS bloggers write of what they think life in our service will be like in 10 more years. I hate to think the worst, and pray that doesn’t come to pass, so I’ll focus on something that makes me happy… technology.
Florian Breitenbach, a colleague from the southern portion of our planet, who does occasionally fall off the blogging planet, but seems to get back on, once asked me about the use of ultrasound in the field. We had a brief exchange, but the more I have thought about it, the more I see us employing the use of this technology. We are progressing our skills and competence, and it seems most evidently evident in the community paramedicine/advanced practice paramedicine programs springing up throughout our country. Portable ultrasound could easily be integrated into telemedicine, where an ultrasound is taken, beamed across cyberspace to a radiologist or ER physician, and field determinations of fetal stability or aneurysms can be made, so a patient is routed to a more appropriate destination facility. I’ve heard of places using doppler ultrasound on the chest to confirm cardiac tamponade or mechanical asystole in a cardiac arrest. In ten years time, we could easily conquer this milestone.
I (semi-)recently wrote about how I felt our upcoming possibilities for wireless data transfer and interoperability would open many doors for us in the future of public safety, in Fire and EMS. I believe that also will be an obstacle behind us.
I think our units will be safer and more interconnected with tools like Traumasoft & EMS Redline, and it doesn’t just have to be EMS vehicles. I think technology will permeate every emergency vehicle. Just today, I was reading some articles on the Esri website about how GIS and GPS are making their way into crime scene investigation, fire service planning in the urban interface, civilians reporting potholes and street light outages, and much more. Imagine the ways that EMS could benefit from tracking all our calls, call types, transport dispositions, routing which is the closest hospital versus trauma center, ideal locations for LZ’s and staging areas in relation to a mass casualty incident. Imagine the forecasting of need for additional staffing, opening new ER’s and acute care centers, places where community paramedicine is in higher need, etc.
I think we’ll begin using PA’s to facilitate critical care transport and community medicine, and it’s conceivable that the APP/CP’s of today, will be the pioneers of the next mid-level practitioners to work alongside PA’s and NP’s.
I’m going to put away the artificial mind-altering, thought enhancing substances (just caffeine and Adderall, if you must know), and head off to bed. It’s been a solemn day overall. I pray that each of you reading this remains safe and makes it home unscathed at the end of every shift, and that we never have to face another September 11, 2001. God bless you all… military, veterans, Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement, Communications/Dispatchers, Emergency Management, and any other supporting function that joins with us every day to make sure we are there for someone else’s emergency.