weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Preparing for emergency helps first responders

EMTs and paramedics for the fire department are trained to respond to medical and traumatic emergencies. Under the supervision of doctors, nurses and other paramedics, we are professionals who have three to four years of medical training to handle and diffuse different situations. We receive two to four years of schooling, plus departmentwide academy training in a number of fire-related emergencies. We are the first line of defense in an emergency. When you call 911 for a medical or fire-related emergency, we are the first people you will see.

As first responders, we follow certain guidelines to provide fast and effective care while keeping ourselves safe.

But there are things you can do make your family safer. Emergencies can occur at any time, and no one is immune. Preparing yourself and your family for an emergency can help provide us with fast and valuable information, and can potentially prevent life-threatening damage to lives and property. Preparing for two types of emergencies can save time and make a life-saving difference.

Medical and traumatic emergencies

Some of the scariest moments are times when people feel helpless. To see yourself or someone in your family suffering is scary. The minutes before EMS arrive can feel like hours. At the fire department we are promoting a proactive approach to medical and traumatic injuries and illnesses.

During an assessment, we ask questions to get a better understanding of the patient’s health and medical history. Writing down this information accurately will help provide us with a better understanding of your situation. Hang medical information on your refrigerator or in another common area. There should be a different sheet of paper for each family member. The information should include basic information: name; address; birth date; Social Security number; all conditions diagnosed by a medical professional; any surgeries or medical procedures; name and phone number of primary-care physician and specialty doctors such as a cardiologist or oncologist; all prescribed medications, over-the counter medications, vitamins and supplements. A list of allergies to medications and food is also crucial. An emergency contact list of relatives and friends is helpful.

The list for the person or persons involved should be given to the lead paramedic or captain on scene.

Fire-related emergencies

There is fire risk in every home, but the majority of house fires can be prevented. There are some steps you can follow beyond having smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in you home. The Boulder City Fire Department is promoting a “Family Evacuation Plan and Map” for every home and apartment. It is important that every person in the house knows how to evacuate the building and get to a safe location.

If the house or apartment catches fire, things might become chaotic and nerve-racking. Staying calm and out of harm’s way are huge advantages in assuring family safety.

Here are a few tips: First, draw a map of the house, including the front and backyard, and the garage. Label each room for its significance with all doors and windows leading into it. A good idea is to locate and identify all the smoke detectors, telephones, and fire extinguishers.

Everyone should know two possible exits from the house. You should be able to draw and label exit routes to escape any situation. Another good idea to have a rendezvous or meeting location to help identify when everyone is out of the house and to keep together. The mailbox, across the street next to the palm tree, on the neighbor’s front porch are examples of meeting areas. Retreat to a safe distance from the house before calling 911.

Once an evacuation plan has been developed, make copies for each bedrooms. I recommend families practice certain situations similar to public schools’ fire or shelter in place drills on a monthly basis.

Take the time to come up with a plan, and if the emergency happens, you will be glad you did.

If you have any other questions or comments regarding Emergency Preparedness please feel free to contact me at the fire house at 293-9228. Thanks and have a wonderful weekend.

Brian Shea is a Boulder City paramedic/firefighter. If you have further questions about this or any fire safety issue, contact the Boulder City Fire Department at 293-9228.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Fall cleaning good for the mind, home

Now that temperatures have dropped and we begin pulling out a sweater or two, it’s time to tackle spring cleaning in the fall. If you’ve never tried it, don’t despair; it’s good for the mind and your overall health, and will help you ease into the holiday season — well, easier.

Fibromyalgia may be to blame for aches, tiredness

The stress and trauma from the coronavirus pandemic over the past 18 months have taken a toll on our mental and physical well-being. If you’re tired all the time, more irritable, experience sleep problems, anxiety and depression issues, and bouts or constant pain, then a conversation with your health care provider may be in order.

Flash flood watch issued

A flash flood watch for the area has been issued by the National Weather Service. It begins Friday afternoon and continues through Sunday morning.

Mask up; new directive for indoors spaces starts Friday

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak imposed a new mandate Tuesday, July 27, that requires everyone, vaccinated or not, to wear masks indoors in public places in counties with high rates of COVID-19 transmission, including Clark County.

Be safe when using fireworks

Many people like to celebrate Independence Day with a bang and as residents’ thoughts start turning to fireworks, local fire officials are issuing a word of caution about their use.

First responders recognized

Outstanding service to the community by Boulder City’s firefighters, police officers and volunteers was recognized Friday, June 25, during the first joint awards ceremony held by the fire and police departments.

To Your Health: Men need to be proactive about their health

According to a survey conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, 40 percent of men only go to the doctor when they have a serious health issue; and 57 percent prefer to keep their health concerns to themselves and are not apt to share or discuss their health concerns with anyone, not even their spouses or significant other, or even their physician.

Man dead after Memorial Day shooting

A Boulder City resident is dead after a shooting on Memorial Day.

Excessive heat warning issued

The National Weather Service office in Las Vegas has issued an excessive heat warning for the area starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday and continuing through 9 p.m. Friday.