Putting EMS Safety First

Brewster ALS Ambulance 84

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10 most dangerous jobs exclude EMS, fire and police service. Even though first responders are often faced with challenging situations that potentially risk life and limb, the training and preparedness of these occupations surpasses most. 

Brewster Ambulance places the safety of patients and our team as a top priority. The EMS gear, safety training, practiced road drills and high-performing quality vehicles are how we provide an environment for our team to be able to keep our patients and themselves as safe as possible in all situations. We work closely with fire and police to assure the services we provide are safe for those involved in any incident or call.

Learning from Experience

No matter how much you train and prepare, there will inevitably be instances where accidents occur. We use these situations—big or small—to learn from. We review the details and preparedness of our teams, the conditions of the situation and as a company, develop new systems or training to help our people learn from these experiences. If we are not exercising safety precautions and taking the trained protocols, we are unable to deliver a quality service to our customers and patients. That is why we always put safety first.

Photo credit: David Curran SatelliteNewsService.com

Photo credit: David Curran SatelliteNewsService.com

For example, in May of 2016, a Brewster ambulance on a call was struck by another car in a Plymouth intersection, turning the ambulance onto its side.

Photo credit: WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields

Photo credit: WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields

Jeff Begin, Director of Southeast Operations for Brewster Ambulance says, "Red lights and sirens say we're asking for the right of way, it doesn't give us the right of way."

With any vehicle, safety is paramount, and we consistently stress to our team to:

  • Know the limitations of the vehicle
  • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles
  • Expect that other drivers are not paying attention
  • Maintain a safe speed throughout the call
  • Come to a complete stop at all red lights and stop signs

It's tempting to compromise safety in pursuit of shorter response times, especially when medics want to get to the scene as quickly as possible so they can tend to people in need. The time it takes to come to a full stop at intersections is seconds and will not negatively impact response times, regardless of how many intersections are encountered on the call. Brewster Ambulance strives to have the best response time possible while maintaining all of the safety practices required by each of our team, whether behind the wheel of an ambulance or transporting a patient down a flight of stairs. Safety first, always.

External Conditions and Safety Measures

There are also situations where external conditions—sometimes even unknown—arise that are out of our control, such as the instance with the video containing threats to police posted by a motorist behind a Brewster ambulance.

This unusual example demonstrates that safety preparedness under all conditions at all times is the most prudent course of action. Being prepared for the unexpected allows our team to be on alert for any situation, road condition or outside force. This enables us to be of service and provide our patients the timely care they need.

Brewster Ambulance continues to use these examples as well as examples where safety protocols saved equipment and avoided injury to train and further enhance our team's performance. Our robust training programs include in-class discussion as well as field training with medics who help their teams make the right safety choices in everything they do from clinical practices to operating vehicles.

For more information about EMS and first responder safety, visit these websites: