Here is the issue the capt. puts new equipment on the units with out training or telling anyone else. I have been told just to deal with this issue other EMTs. The capt. even said (once) if I wanted to learn how to use the new stuff that I needed to be there when it comes in. Last week it was a new glucometer, 3 weeks ago it was SAM splints, and four weeks ago it was wrist cuffs. The glucometer it took me 30 mins just to figure it out. Thank god we had no calls at the time. The pt. wrist cuffs I had to call the capt and ask what they were and how to use them. The SAM splints I was ok with. I am begining to think that he does this to see if we check our trucks out completely. I personally feel that (even brief) training needs to be done before the equipment hit the truck. I feel that he could be endangering the pt. or our selves by not training before the equipment hit the truck. We are a vollie station and only required to work 2 6 hr. shifts a month the rest of the time we respond from our houses. I am trying the chain but it falls on deaf ears. I need some ideas please.

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Patients may or may not be endangered if the crew is not familiar with the new equipment. At the very least, however there would be lots of embarrassment if a crew member had to fumble around reading the directions on something while the patient is watching. What kind of image would that project for the ambulance service?

What is that captain thinking? Maybe he wants to keep up with other departments in the equipment category. Otr just likes to buy new toys just for the sake of having them.

Assuming that it's an all volunteer service, perhaps it is time for a new captain next year. One who wants to make sure all personnel are trained in the proper use of all of the ambulance equipment BEFORE they need to use it.

I would think that the medical director for your department would be interested in this.
Youmhave a hairy situation. If the equipment is old, I assume you still have the old equipment you used that the new is replacing. I would use the old instruments until I got some descent training. Of course before you place ANY new equipment on a piece of apparatus the personnel should be provided with training. However, you may run into a major issue because of your Captain and upper command. Learning on the fly is a dangerous game, and you risk further injury to yourself, or your patient, and equally as important a LAWSUIT!!! Start looking around to other local municipalities for a better, more trained, and more professional group to run with. The lawsuit will be against you as much as your department if you don't
I can tell you that I have been in a situation in the back of an ambulance where someone had changed everything around and there was some new equipment I was unfamiliar with. It was one of the most embarrassing calls of my life. I was shuffling through all of the stuff, trying to find what I needed and how to use it, and am fairly sure we came across as incompetent. Boy did I have a good talk with the medical director when I got back... though she acted like we should've been able to figure it all out fairly quick and treated us like idiots, she did call for a training and went over it with everyone. It turned out that most of the others also would not have known how to use the equipment and the training was chaos because we were all lost trying to find what we needed in the scenarios. So, it is highly likely that you are not the only one struggling with this issue, and don't let the captains attitude towards you keep you from making something happen. It is not worth risking lives or your public image over.
Thanks for the great ideas. Keep them comming. The med dir sounds like a great idea.
Went up the chain and the Chief backed me and now we are going to have at least a quick run thru on all new equipment before it goes on a truck. Also elections are next month so we will see how that pans out. I am keeping the med dir as a weapon for future use. Thanks everyone for your help.
i totally agree with joe stoltz stated we used to have that kind of problem a long time ago and how we resolved it was simple they took it off the truck, left it in plain view, wrote it in the daily journal then wrote a letter through the COC to the chief it took a while but the problem was solved it took a while but it got solved.....good luck

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