Have you been confronted with an incident involving someone who could not hear or speak? 

When I went through paramedic school in the 1970's, along side Roy and Johnny, the doctor that started the paramedic school had a child that was hearing and speech impaired. The doc thought that all paramedics should be able to communicate with a percentage of the population that cannot hear nor speak. Having done this job for over 30 years, I have personally experienced about a dozen calls where I had to use hand signing skills learned in paramedic school.

While I cannot remember much about the myriad of sign language shortcuts, I did retain the alphabet, and it is this that I recommend each of you take the time to do as well. You may not understand exactly what the patient is trying to communicate, but your attempt to talk to them, using simple sign language will be really appreciated. At least you are trying to make a difference. Any attempt, using simple words will get what you want to communicate, as long as you try. And believe me, the look of surprise and appreciation for helping someone understand what is going on will be one of those experiences in your career that you will never forget. I didn't...

A black and white cheat sheet for you to copy and print out for your engine's EMS response bag is included in the attachment link below.

Failure to prepare is preparing for failure... be prepared...


CBz (Retd.)

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Did they actually have ambulances back then???? LOL

absolutely, but Roy, Johnny and myself were too busy to pay attention to ambulances... saving lives and cheating death... :D
I have used sign language for years.... Like when someone cuts me off, or stops all of a sudden.

I see now, I wasn't making the W right. ;l
Impressive use of sign language. It's good to see that you are keeping your skills up. It's important to use it or loose it... Using sign language to share your inner feelings is also very healthy for your mental well being and reduces stress levels. Don't you feel better afterwards? Thats the release of endorphins', a natural mood enhancer, all because you felt good about letting someone know what you were thinking. Good stuff. Once again, you lead by example.

In keeping with this spirit, can you decipher the following:

Hint: The first letter is obviously W...

your message is WTF CBz
well done young grasshopper! how about these two letters, they actually describe something or someone, can you guess what this might be?

lol only if I had done that well on the hose lay test
the first letter is f and the second resembles one form of an m ive seen
fire men???? BTW great post Brother!!!
Ralph some pictures of yourself in that buckboard would prove highly educational young feller
You are right on John! By making these two letters, F and M, you have successfully communicated to a hearing impaired person that you are a fireman. We have all just learned a word using sign language that could prove useful for you... CBz

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