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EMS, Rescue, Safety

Dangly Bits

Got your attention?  Good.  I witnessed something we all do our best to avoid and need to pass it along.

It is said that police officers should not wear neck ties so that if a suspect gets rough they don’t automatically have something to grab onto.  Makes perfect sense to me.  We don’t wear ties day to day so I never gave it much thought until today.

When encountering a person having an undisclosed medical complaint got disagreeable, we did our best to stay at safe distance, then make sure the person didn’t hurt themselves.  When that plan didn’t work we did our best to control the erratic movements using our brute strength.

Again, not working.  When we made the last ditch decision to use force to protect the person and ourselves, not to mention the growing crowd not listening to our commands to step back, we had a plan and stuck to it.

The next thing I know we have one arm down, the hips more or less still, the legs are rough but under control and one of the persons in charge of the other arm is fumbling with his coat.

We all have the neat radio mics that have fancy, easy to grab cables running from the radio to the mic.  Many folks even go so far as to put it on their epaulettes.  I clip mine to the inside of my collar so I can hear it.  Clipping it to my shoulder or to my chest as some new shirts are doing doesn’t help me hear the radio, but it sure makes it easy for a combative person to grab.  And this person has his radio mic.

It’s keyed open and the whole Department is listening to our struggle when she finally lets go of the mic.  only to grab onto something else.

This image is a perfect representation of the item she grabbed onto.  The item is great to pull the mic to your mouth to speak but still doesn’t solve the problem of the speaker being nowhere near your ear when you need to hear it.

The person’s hand is wrapped tightly around the clip that is attached to the retractable cord.  They pull it out, then swing.  It is now a weapon.  Not just the fist, but now this narrow cable flying through our treatment area.

I thought maybe this was just fire folks that this may happen to, but if you wear those kinds of radios with the mics on a rope, it needs to be behind your back, not infront.

It took 3 people to break the person’s grip on this equipment, there was too much tension to get it off his coat.

In the end, it is still a neat piece of equipment.  Not one I’ll use on the fireground, but sure as heck want one for my SCUBA gear.

Just a reminder to be mindful of what is on your person and how it may be grabbed if things get crazy.

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0 Comments

  1. Ambulance Driver June 2, 2010 3:19 pm

    Good thing she didn’t grab that other item hanging from the carabiner in that photo.

    It’s for this reason that the only time you’ll ever see a stethoscope looped around my neck is in my blog profile pic.

    • the Happy Medic June 2, 2010 9:17 pm

      Indeed AD, thank goodness there was no blade on this fellow’s coat as in the photo.

  2. Ambulance Driver June 2, 2010 11:19 am

    Good thing she didn't grab that other item hanging from the carabiner in that photo.

    It's for this reason that the only time you'll ever see a stethoscope looped around my neck is in my blog profile pic.

  3. Fire Investigator Thomas June 2, 2010 7:57 pm

    I wear a rig like what is shown in the photo. It is under my turn out coat with the mike under my hood this way I know where it is all the time and the radio is protected by the coat The bottom of the radio is at the bottom of the trun out coat. If I have to change a channel I know that I am opeating on channel 1 so I just count the clicks on the radio.

  4. Ambulance Amateur June 2, 2010 8:04 pm

    Surely snap-links are available? As a CFR in the UK, I have to show my ID round my neck (or in a badge holder, but I’ve never found a good one).

    My lanyard has a snap link. So do the ones I have to wear at work (schools).

    Why don’t we make more use of snap-links? It’s hard to strangle someone if the instrument you’re trying to use comes apart in your hands.

  5. Ambulance Driver June 2, 2010 3:19 pm

    Good thing she didn't grab that other item hanging from the carabiner in that photo.

    It's for this reason that the only time you'll ever see a stethoscope looped around my neck is in my blog profile pic.

  6. Fire Daily June 2, 2010 8:52 pm

    Ditto running the mic UNDER the turnout. Mic protected, never gets hooked- always know where it’s at. I leave it on the fireground frequency while scanning the dispatch freq. I have found this has been the best for me as well.

  7. SKC Observer June 2, 2010 9:43 pm

    As an ER RN, I quit wearing the ID on a lanyard around my neck. I found too often I was ditching it in a hurry then couldn’t find it afterwards. Now, I use one of those retractable string ones. I can keep it in a safe but visible place on my person, and still be able to access the ID for scanning when I need it, like when using a glucometer. As for FFs and paramedics out in the field, I would vote for keeping the radio wires under the turnout gear. I have also seen the wires run up the back instead of the front of the torso.

    Stay safe out there, and thanks for your hard work!

  8. Burned-Out Medic June 2, 2010 11:22 pm

    what? no one hit her with the clipboard? i thought that’s what it’s for!

    • Tim June 4, 2010 3:08 am

      I have seen the clipboard restraint technique applied perfectly. The downside is the wording you have to use in the Sheriff’s Office report. 🙂

      • Burned-Out Medic June 4, 2010 6:26 am

        “since the police were about to tase the pt if she didn’t comply, we subdued her with the clipboard instead of the flashlight.”

        you’re right – that was actually a little tricky. =D

  9. Fire Investigator Thomas June 2, 2010 7:57 pm

    I wear a rig like what is shown in the photo. It is under my turn out coat with the mike under my hood this way I know where it is all the time and the radio is protected by the coat The bottom of the radio is at the bottom of the trun out coat. If I have to change a channel I know that I am opeating on channel 1 so I just count the clicks on the radio.

  10. Ambulance Amateur June 2, 2010 8:04 pm

    Surely snap-links are available? As a CFR in the UK, I have to show my ID round my neck (or in a badge holder, but I've never found a good one).

    My lanyard has a snap link. So do the ones I have to wear at work (schools).

    Why don't we make more use of snap-links? It's hard to strangle someone if the instrument you're trying to use comes apart in your hands.

  11. Fire Daily June 2, 2010 8:52 pm

    Ditto running the mic UNDER the turnout. Mic protected, never gets hooked- always know where it's at. I leave it on the fireground frequency while scanning the dispatch freq. I have found this has been the best for me as well.

  12. the Happy Medic June 2, 2010 9:17 pm

    Indeed AD, thank goodness there was no blade on this fellow's coat as in the photo.

  13. SKC Observer June 2, 2010 9:43 pm

    As an ER RN, I quit wearing the ID on a lanyard around my neck. I found too often I was ditching it in a hurry then couldn't find it afterwards. Now, I use one of those retractable string ones. I can keep it in a safe but visible place on my person, and still be able to access the ID for scanning when I need it, like when using a glucometer. As for FFs and paramedics out in the field, I would vote for keeping the radio wires under the turnout gear. I have also seen the wires run up the back instead of the front of the torso.

    Stay safe out there, and thanks for your hard work!

  14. medic June 2, 2010 11:22 pm

    what? no one hit her with the clipboard? i thought that's what it's for!

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  17. tim June 4, 2010 3:08 am

    I have seen the clipboard restraint technique applied perfectly. The downside is the wording you have to use in the Sheriff's Office report. 🙂

    • burnedoutmedic June 4, 2010 6:26 am

      “since the police were about to tase the pt if she didn’t comply, we subdued her with the clipboard instead of the flashlight.”

      you’re right – that was actually a little tricky. =D

  18. michael June 4, 2010 2:22 pm

    Sometimes I keep the portable mike clipped to the antennae. Of course when I sit down the mike falls off and gets stuck between the seat and console. When I arrive on scene and make my hasty exit from the cab, the cord stretches for ten feet, the mike releases from its temporary prison and smashes into the back of my head at 100 mph.

    Nothing like a little self mutilation to keep things interesting.

    • Burned-Out Medic June 6, 2010 6:52 am

      haha, that just happened to me the other day – the mike got stuck under my gear when i reached for the radio body. the mike then hit me in the face. that really hurt.

  19. michael June 4, 2010 10:22 am

    Sometimes I keep the portable mike clipped to the antennae. Of course when I sit down the mike falls off and gets stuck between the seat and console. When I arrive on scene and make my hasty exit from the cab, the cord stretches for ten feet, the mike releases from its temporary prison and smashes into the back of my head at 100 mph.

    Nothing like a little self mutilation to keep things interesting.

  20. michael June 4, 2010 2:22 pm

    Sometimes I keep the portable mike clipped to the antennae. Of course when I sit down the mike falls off and gets stuck between the seat and console. When I arrive on scene and make my hasty exit from the cab, the cord stretches for ten feet, the mike releases from its temporary prison and smashes into the back of my head at 100 mph.

    Nothing like a little self mutilation to keep things interesting.

  21. burnedoutmedic June 6, 2010 2:52 am

    haha, that just happened to me the other day – the mike got stuck under my gear when i reached for the radio body. the mike then hit me in the face. that really hurt.

  22. burnedoutmedic June 6, 2010 6:52 am

    haha, that just happened to me the other day – the mike got stuck under my gear when i reached for the radio body. the mike then hit me in the face. that really hurt.

  23. DaveO June 8, 2010 12:54 pm

    Do you guys wear your turnout coats on EMS runs a lot ?

  24. DaveO June 8, 2010 12:54 pm

    Do you guys wear your turnout coats on EMS runs a lot ?

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  27. A.T. December 6, 2010 4:23 am

    I will never forget my first ride along on an ambulance. The first call was for a 5150 transport from ER to the psych facility. I was about to walk into the pt room with my stethoscope around my neck when the EMT stopped me telling me to put it in my pocket or else the 5150 could grab it and have complete control over me. I never thought of that before, but now I teach that to every new EMT I know!

  28. A.T. December 6, 2010 4:23 am

    I will never forget my first ride along on an ambulance. The first call was for a 5150 transport from ER to the psych facility. I was about to walk into the pt room with my stethoscope around my neck when the EMT stopped me telling me to put it in my pocket or else the 5150 could grab it and have complete control over me. I never thought of that before, but now I teach that to every new EMT I know!

  29. A.T. December 6, 2010 4:26 am

    There is also a good article I read on vententersearch.com about wearing the radio strap over or under turnouts, and the potential of the strap/remote mic getting caught up in a fire.

    • the Happy Medic December 7, 2010 4:13 am

      Radio under the turnouts is great unless you have a dept with multiple radio channels on the fireground. For example, If I’m on the D exposure and the RIT is activated, I have to switch channels. Do I take off my coat?
      I use the radio pocket on the chest of the jacket, but wrap the mic cable through the fasteners of my jacket to the collar near my left ear. not an extra bit of cable anywhere.

  30. A.T. December 6, 2010 4:26 am

    There is also a good article I read on vententersearch.com about wearing the radio strap over or under turnouts, and the potential of the strap/remote mic getting caught up in a fire.

    • the Happy Medic December 7, 2010 4:13 am

      Radio under the turnouts is great unless you have a dept with multiple radio channels on the fireground. For example, If I’m on the D exposure and the RIT is activated, I have to switch channels. Do I take off my coat?
      I use the radio pocket on the chest of the jacket, but wrap the mic cable through the fasteners of my jacket to the collar near my left ear. not an extra bit of cable anywhere.

  31. lanyards and badge holders June 7, 2011 3:47 pm

    That could be an effective advice to all who use radio sets in case of emergencies. We should be fast and efficient if we are on the go and risk our lives. Radio is a great help to communicate people in distance.

  32. laminator machine June 8, 2011 6:01 pm

    It all makes sense to me too, now I know why the police don’t
    have necktie. The radio is very important for communication for other team but
    I think it might cause some injury in the encounter.

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