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Author Topic: [EF19] Medics Feedback  (Read 3030 times)

Thygrrr

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[EF19] Medics Feedback
« on: 27.08.2013, 17:58:57 »

I'm posting this on behalf of Ente, who has about a decade of experience as a professional Medic and was actually one of the first aiders in a quite serious incident at the convention.

I hope this all doesn't sound too negative, because it's really intended to be an encouragement to carry on with the great work and to improve convention safety.

I'll probably add more feedback later, but this is a compilation of the feedback I heard from her so far.


Security providing a sight blockade for the paramedics
Really awesome job of security, it's pretty rare that medics can work so undisturbed and are shielded against gawkers so well. Thanks!!!


Medic Visibility
A medic needs to be easy to spot, and the medic badges probably don't provide enough visibility. The crew of the ambulance that arrived at the scene didn't recognize any of the official convention medics as such so there was some confusion that can cost valuable time.

Idea: Some kind of "uniform", e.g. a mostly bright white shirt or vest that shows artwork similar to the badges (a including a Red Cross, Aeskulap's Staff or similar insignia and the word "MEDIC" would really help). Added bonus: con attendees will be able to spot a medic from across the hall when they're running for help.


Paramedics Office
The paramedics office was in a remote, almost concealed location.  If possible, large, unobstructed signage right at the entrance should point to the medics office, it should be on the ground floor and ideally accessible directly from the "lobby" part of the venue where most people pass through. That way, everyone knows WHERE to find the medics because they saw it when they came in.

Idea: Maybe set up a medic booth or desk in the lobby and have volunteers on rotation there (could even be security stewards, just that someone is there with a radio). Alternatively, if staffing the booth is too much of a logistical burden, set up an emergency phone just like in the Maritim, but it still shouldn't be upstairs and literally around five corners to reach.


Response Times
Medics were always quick to respond from what we witnessed, great job - keep it up.


Ignorant Bystanders
Probably a sociological problem that's hard to tackle - at one time a person collapsed and had been seemingly ignored by furs literally just two steps away from them (the collapsed person was admittedly slumped down in a dark corner, but on the public sidewalk nonetheless).

Idea: PSAs or a nicely illustrated flyer that accompanies the con book reminding furs to actively watch out for each other, to always call medics if in doubt, and to not turn away.
« Last Edit: 01.09.2013, 22:34:19 by Thygrrr »
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Thygrrr Darkfurre

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Re: [EF19] Medics Feedback
« Reply #1 on: 28.08.2013, 11:32:55 »

From what i have heard on the con, the medics did a great job! Really awesome!
I do like your idea about the "uniform" tho Thygrrr. I think that would be a great idea, and it would make it possible for people that see or know about someone that needs help to ask a medic for assistance. Even just the band around the neck in a different color with Medic text on it would do the trick.
Also, maby it would be a good idea to have a few trusted suiters/random people that have some sort of first aid or more experience partially join the medic team at a con. As in, theyre not official members, though if something was to happen somewhere they will be able to give first aid and jump in to help while contacting the actual medics for assistance. Its not always easy for the medics to be everywhere at the same time. And now that the convention will grow massively in size, i think this might help ceeping things under control.
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Re: [EF19] Medics Feedback
« Reply #2 on: 28.08.2013, 12:20:05 »

The problem with the "always available Medics" is, in this case they have a working overflow all these small shits, where no medic is really needed.
At the con I talked rather long with Renee and asked him, why they were hiding their office or beeing not so present at the con. And that was the answer. There are enough "real" work, where medics are needed, so they were really happy, when the most of the patients, who can help themselves to go independently to the pharmacy. Our Medics give no other assistance. If you can go alone or with a friend to the pharmacy, there is no help needed from the medics. [quote from Renee]
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Dhary Montecore

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Re: [EF19] Medics Feedback
« Reply #3 on: 28.08.2013, 12:57:01 »

Security providing a sight blockade for the paramedics
Really awesome job of security, it's pretty rare that medics can work so undisturbed and are shielded against gawkers so well. Thanks!!!

Some of our team are paramedics and/or firemen themselves and know how to keep a paramedic happy. ;3  Thank you for the compliment!

Medic Visibility
A medic needs to be easy to spot, and the medic badges probably don't provide enough visibility. The crew of the ambulance that arrived at the scene didn't recognize any of the official convention medics as such so there was some confusion that can cost valuable time.

I have to disagree here. Our paramedics aren't obvious for a reason I'm gonna elaborate in the next point. Every ambulance that arrived on-site was introduced by either security or the paramedics themselves. A little "Hi, I'm xxxxx, paramedic for this convention" doesn't take away any time and is part of the situation briefing anyway.

Idea: Some kind of "uniform", e.g. a mostly bright white shirt or vest that shows artwork similar to the badges (a including a Red Cross, Aeskulap's Staff or similar insignia and the word "MEDIC" would really help). Added bonus: con attendees will be able to spot a medic from across the hall when they're running for help.

As Dragony already said: Our paramedics aren't directly reachable because that would over-strain their capacity with non-issues. This might sound harsh, but please let me try to explain that further: During times our paramedics are visible (by high-viz-vests at the parade) or when they are in their office, people flood them with "I need a plaster", "Can you give me aspirin?", etc.  All these things aren't medically urgent issues and our paramedics aren't allowed by law to hand out any drugs. From years of experience we learned the hard way, that things work out only like we do it currently. If someone has a medical problem, even the slightest, security will approach the person immediately and we do call the paramedics, even if it's something small. But for the mentioned reasons, our paramedics won't walk around in uniform.

Paramedics Office
The paramedics office was in a remote, almost concealed location.  If possible, large, unobstructed signage right at the entrance should point to the medics office, it should be on the ground floor and ideally accessible directly from the "lobby" part of the venue where most people pass through. That way, everyone knows WHERE to find the medics because they saw it when they came in.

Same reason as above. You'd be amazed how many people with the most harmless things come knocking while the paramedics are treating a serious injury inside their office. In most cases it is absolutely necessary to have a calm room in a remote location, if just to relieve the patient of stress. Therefore the room was chosen and proved to be the right choice for four years. The paramedics "office" was never meant for people to approach directly, especially, since our paramedics aren't in there, unless they are treating someone.


Idea: Maybe set up a medic booth or desk in the lobby and have volunteers on rotation there (could even be security stewards, just that someone is there with a radio). Alternatively, if staffing the booth is too much of a logistical burden, set up an emergency phone just like in the Maritim, but it still shouldn't be upstairs and literally around five corners to reach.

While I disagree with this idea, again for the same reasons as stated above, we will emphasize the way to get medical help during the next opening ceremony. Security is running around the convention site 24/7 and I don't see any need to man another post that won't do anything else but say "Sorry, they can't give out drugs" or "Sorry, you gotta go to the pharmacy" all day. Sorry, we can't do that.

Difficult Patients & Situations
This was more of a general concern but it pretty much turned out to be a real issue. I guess it boils down to "need more medics", but it's a little more complex than that.

With increased convention size, you need a number of seasoned medics who can make quick and correct decisions under pressure and are able to lead not only other helpers, but actually lead the PATIENTS, both in terms of providing comfort as well as strong guidance telling them what to do.

That means in every incident where medics are called sooner rather than later one of the "veterans" needs to show up and assess the situation. Medics with fewer years on the job are a great and valuable help, but they shouldn't be left alone with such a huge burden of responsibility. It's always better to have four eyes evaluate a patient than two.

Example: Difficult patients who might be in pain, panicking, or non-compliant because they are under the influence of alcohol, emotional stress, etc. - Just imagine an insistent patient ("See, I'm better, now leave me the fuck alone ok?!!") who has a very serious condition (*cough status epilepticus cough*) succeeds in making the medic hesitate or even walk away from the incident. It requires an assertive nature to guide such patients and notify emergency medical services no matter what they say.

I'm sorry, but I can't see any real issue in this point. We did not have a single case where we had a lack of medical personnel. While we did have issues with patients that where violent or needed more manpower, they were handled (as intended to) by licensed security personnel. The paramedics had enough personnel to act stress-free, even with multiple issues at the same time. Of course the team will be increased for next year, but that is simply because increase of the amount of attendees we expect.

Our paramedics are very experienced people with long history. These guys are beyond veteran and know exactly what they are doing. Some of them are even trainers for paramedics. They won't be fooled and we do have a safety concept that worked out flawlessly for many years now. Especially since our lead paramedic is a specialist for these concepts. :3

Paramedics Equipment
There should probably always be at least one well-stocked rescue bag held by one of the medics who are on duty, and they should stay at a central location (e.g. lobby / medic booth). It wasn't always apparent whether that was available, so it's mentioned for completeness sake. :-)

Rest assured, that from the wound-dressing to the defibrillator everything was ready at all times at the reception, the paramedics-room and the hotel-rooms of the paramedics. :3

Ignorant Bystanders
Probably a sociological problem that's hard to tackle - at one time a person collapsed and had been seemingly ignored by furs literally just two steps away from them (the collapsed person was admittedly slumped down in a dark corner, but on the public sidewalk nonetheless).

Idea: PSAs or a nicely illustrated flyer that accompanies the con book reminding furs to actively watch out for each other, to always call medics if in doubt, and to not turn away.

That might be an idea, yes. I didn't receive any report of such problems, but that doesn't mean anything.

Thank you for your feedback! I hope I could answer some of your questions. :3
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Dhary Montecore

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Re: [EF19] Medics Feedback
« Reply #4 on: 28.08.2013, 13:02:47 »

Also, maby it would be a good idea to have a few trusted suiters/random people that have some sort of first aid or more experience partially join the medic team at a con. As in, theyre not official members, though if something was to happen somewhere they will be able to give first aid and jump in to help while contacting the actual medics for assistance. Its not always easy for the medics to be everywhere at the same time. And now that the convention will grow massively in size, i think this might help ceeping things under control.

As I wrote in my answer to Thygrrr, our paramedics were perfectly capable to handle all issues without any stress. The teamsize is decided by a very experienced leader and follows our safety concept. The team will be increased for next year, but only because the increase in attendees.

As for having fursuiters and co in the paramedic teams: Sorry, no can do. Due to insurance reasons, it is not possible for us to have anyone as official paramedic that has not been selected and requested officially beforehand. Our paramedics are a seasoned team and in EMT you don't work with people you don't know and especially not with people from different country's, since laws, regulations and training standards are quite different. :3
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Jumpy

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Re: [EF19] Medics Feedback
« Reply #5 on: 28.08.2013, 13:12:30 »

Idea: Some kind of "uniform", e.g. a mostly bright white shirt or vest that shows artwork similar to the badges (a including a Red Cross, Aeskulap's Staff or similar insignia and the word "MEDIC" would really help). Added bonus: con attendees will be able to spot a medic from across the hall when they're running for help.

I will have to bring this idea up with René. If we get some nice artwork for it, it might even be a great motivation gift.

I would however leave it up to our medics team to decide whether this is actually a good idea, and how often they'd like to wear them if so.

Maybe set up a medic booth or desk in the lobby and have volunteers on rotation there (could even be security stewards, just that someone is there with a radio). Alternatively, if staffing the booth is too much of a logistical burden, set up an emergency phone just like in the Maritim, but it still shouldn't be upstairs and literally around five corners to reach.

We tried some of that at earlier conventions. It did not work so well for various reasons (phone reception limitations, not all hotels/hostels had a single central space like the maritim lobby, blocks sorely needed resources for Security and Medics team, ...)

We might still have kept it, but here's the thing: It actually wastes time to run through the lobby to a booth, and if it's a severe situation you might be endangering other attendees, especially fursuiters, by understandably being in an extreme hurry.

The idea is that if anyone notices a severe medical problem they are supposed to shout "Medic" / "Sanitäter" very loudly. There are enough security and other staffers on call everywhere at the convention, most of them carry a radio and every one of them can call in medics in a matter of seconds. You'll actually get help faster that way.

As you say yourself, our medics team is fast to respond, because there are always some of them on duty in a central spot (at the Maritim this meant the lobby). If one team gets called, they immediately alert the others to take over this on-duty role.

Their office is in a remote location by their choice, as it's not intended as a public go-to spot, but rather a refuge to take patients to who need a quiet place.
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Thygrrr

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Re: [EF19] Medics Feedback
« Reply #6 on: 28.08.2013, 13:45:26 »

Ok, I get the seclusion aspect, but having a treatment/team/supply room in addition to a visible first contact booth seems like the logical conclusion.

If the medics are overburdened with trivial requests I think that is difficult to alleviate but I also think that's a "distance" issue, meaning some attendees see the medics more as buddies than as officials performing a vital convention function. An "uniform" of sorts can help there. I believe Gyroplast and Dhary wear their black badass outfits not only for fashion reasons either while functioning as security. It really is an authority booster. :)

I really don't want to put too much criticism out in the open (because it might be unjustified or misunderstandable) so I contacted Dhary directly now and will run some things by him.
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