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Date: May 29, 2015 Author: Brandon Winters

It would be wonderful if firefighting operations only involved extinguishing fires. However, major blazes in occupied buildings commonly involve the emergency care and transportation of the sick and injured.

Many firefighters possess enough training in search and rescue missions to provide a minimal standard of care for fire victims, but treating fire victims at the burn site is predominantly the responsibility of EMS workers, who can provide a high level of pre-hospital care by practicing the following measures when they treat fire victims.

Pull Victims to Reposition Them

When victims are unresponsive or unable to walk, firefighters and EMS workers should gently move them to safety by gripping their arms and carefully dragging them away from the danger. Using this method instead of attempting to carry the person’s whole weight can expedite the emergency care and transportation of the sick and injured.  

Remove Smouldering Clothes

In most cases, textiles only smoulder when they are on fire or retain remnants from the burn site, such as embers and fire. To prevent additional burn injuries, EMS workers are recommended to remove victims’ smouldering clothing in order to assess the true burn injuries of victims.

Avoid Rolling Victims on the Ground

Many of us remember the personal fire extinguishment method that we were taught in grade school: stop, drop and roll. While this strategy can extinguish flames, it can also cause more burn injuries, as smouldering clothes can transfer new burns to other parts of the body.

Cover Burn Injuries With a Blanket

After smouldering clothing is removed and the true extent of burn injuries are assessed, the victim should be covered in a blanket that keeps wind, rain and other factors from exacerbating the pain of fire injuries. Before victims enter the ambulance, the blanket should be removed.

Asses Victims Using the ABC Method

The ABC method refers to assessing whether fire victims have proper airway clearance, whether they breathe normally or display shortness of breath, and whether their circulation is sufficient. Applying the ABC method helps EMS crews better care for victims at the fire scene.   

Cool the Burns That Victims Suffer

There are several simple ways to cool burn wounds, such as dowsing them in cold water or using another non-flammable, clear liquid if no cool water is available, such as milk or a canned drink. Once they arrive at the hospital, victims will receive advanced burn care from physicians.   

Need Advanced EMS Training?

If so, visit Firebooks’ online store to find the education resources you need. We carry a variety of titles that assist EMS workers with the emergency care and transportation of the sick and injured. When EMS crews apply the measures above, it can minimize the pain of burn injuries, and assist the hospital emergency department with treating burn victims as soon as the arrive.

If you are an EMS worker in training that needs to learn about the emergency care and transportation of the sick and injured, visit our online store today and order the educational materials that you need to improve your knowledge of EMS work. If you need help selecting the right materials for your needs, just give us a call at (827) 727-3327 to receive assistance.
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