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  1. No. In fact the use of a back brace may accelerate you towards an injury in that your system, is not having to adapt (read strengthen itself) to the load being carried. Strengthening the abdominals, lower back, hips and hamstrings provides your body with its natural brace. The use of external equipment doesn't allow your body to work in the manner it was designed to. There is a huge difference in stabilization, when your bodies systems are carrying 100% of the load versus using assistive equipment like a back-brace or weight belt. From the perspective of being in the biz for for 10+ years and never suffering any injury I would suggest the following: 1. if you are over-weight....LOSE IT!! The mighty keg offers no protection for your lower back, and in fact there is increased stress in those muscles because of the adjustments the spine and pelvis are forced to make to balance off the heavy loaded front end 2. if you exercise with any regularity and/or consistency, make sure you train your lower back and your abdominals to the same degree. Why? Because each one balances, supports and strengthens the other 3. KNOW YOUR LIMITS. Your most important assets on the job are your brain, your cert, and your back. You cannot function in this industry with out all three. And the truth is that you are no good to anyone on the job if you compromise any one of them. There is no way anyone can give competent care if you are bent over like a question mark and in pain because you tweaked your back moving some (insert non-pc adjective) slob you knew was too much of a load for you or your partner. This maybe unpopular, but IMHO if you can't manage your patient long enough wait for extra manpower to be able to safely (yours and the patient) move these people then maybe you should consider a career change. Remember, scene safety; yourself, your crew FIRST all other considerations are secondary. Very few of us are ever going to be in a situation where potential/probable injury is going to be the lesser pain than staying put and waiting for help. 4. take care of yourself. how many people do we know that treat their cars better than their bodies. don't laugh, you know who you are
  2. i used to be a competitive power lifter, and still am capable of moving substantial weight. On the job however, my partner (ex-airborne) and i decided that our limit was 300#, period. At 301 we request a lift assist. i look at it like this, if a service is going to take a call then aren't they required to provide the resources necessary to get the job done safely for both the patient and the crew? and yes they will try to punk some crews (male & female) into doing things by saying they have to request fire because no one else is available...no problem, i've done it a number of times with a smile. the point is this: the 3 most important assets we possess is our certs, our brain (most of us ) and our backs. I'm not going to risk mine and by extension my partners for anything!!! further, if i can't manage a patient for the extra 5-10min it takes for additional help to arrive then i should probably find another line of work. i am no good to my patient if i screw myself up or my partner during the course of a call because load was too much to handle. Here's the scary part, the general population is not getting thinner, so the weight of the patient is going to continually be an issue and and i suspect that there will be a noticeable rise in responder injuries related to patient size. this will be unavoidable, especially if the current trend of over-weight, de-conditioned responders rises concurrently with the fatter population
  3. The job is what i do, it's not what i am. I am a dad. And with the 24 on 48 off rotation for me thats 20 whole days smiles, kisses and hugs, in addition to laundry dishes and cleaning but thats alright too. I agree that the underlying question is "where are your priorities?" There has to be a pretty compelling reason for me to trade story time for pcr's!
  4. A bit off topic, but has anyone had a chance to read the Sleep Deprivation study by Univ. Oregon that was published a couple of months ago? Though partnered with the IAFC it is still very relevant to us ambulance folks. i think you can still find it through the JEMS archives or I could upload it with admins approval? Anywho is it just me or does it seem archaic that some employers still don't understand the need for downtime? Isn't it cheaper to have you inspect your eyelids between calls than pay out a settlement or worse a death benefit after wreck or med error? Regardless the read the study if you can as it might help, i found it quite enlightening. The video is a yawner though it did assist me in a 30min power nap
  5. Straight to the gym, no matter what. I gotta unload the stupidity and reset before I pick up my crew. Cuz they don't care that daddy had to deal with dumb asses the night before and God bless em
  6. Well Stated!!!!!! What many here in the States can seem to understand is that in order to elevate the the status (and subsequently pay) of this thing we do it all begins with a formalized, standardized education process. Not training, EDUCATION. It is refreshing to see a system that is not overly influenced and corrupted by other outside competing interests (fire) that need to keep EMS as "technical" work to maintain control of its direction.
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