Staying Safe on the Job: EMS Responsibilities

car wreck

Safer team safer patient

Bottom line, our first responders must exercise safety when doing their work to be able to provide the best care to patients in need. That goes for everyone at Brewster Ambulance Service. We've written several articles on practicing safety at all times, whether behind the wheel of an ambulance or at a scene of a multiple response structure fire.

One of the critical components of safety that impact the company on a financial level are insurance claims. The rate of insurance claims can escalate when employees are not practicing safety or are untrained in appropriate safety measures. At Brewster Ambulance, we consistently train our team to know how to respond in high-stress situations and practice safety in all areas, regardless of weather or traffic conditions.

However, there can always be improvements in how our team practices safety while on the job, thus reducing the likelihood of injury. Reducing claims translates into reduced insurance rates, allowing the company to pass along savings in the form of better benefits and higher pay to the team. In the end, practicing safety on the job will benefit everyone at Brewster Ambulance and the patients we serve.

How Our Insurance Works

The company's insurance policy is broken into three categories:

  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability
  • Automobile

According to our provider, we are performing very well in the area of professional liability for actions in the field such as IV administration, intubation and mechanical ventilation among other clinical activities. As a result of this continued safety performance, the company's insurance rates have decreased in the last year and will continue to do so as long as we maintain safe practices in the field.

In the area of automobile insurance, the most prevalent claim type is collision with stationary objects such as buildings, street signs, garages and construction barriers, which are all avoidable. Additionally, incidents involving patients are claimed against the automobile category. These include stretcher tips, wheelchair tips, improper securing of patients. One incident is one too many when our patients rely on our care for their safety and well being. These also extend to the EMT professional and their safety while in the vehicle. We direct our team to utilize the safety harnesses in the back of the vehicle to avoid major injury during an accident, as well as using the safety devices provided for the EMT while treating patients.

We are investing more in driver training, EMT safety and safer patient transport practices. We're reminding all drivers to always use safe driving practices from utilizing spotters when backing up the ambulance to using directional turn signals consistently and adhering to the speed limits. These somewhat simple actions will mitigate accidents and reduce workers compensation claims as well as collision damage claims which can take vehicles out of operation for significant periods of time. We also prohibit the use of cell phones while operating a vehicle or treating a patient. This is a Brewster Ambulance Service company-wide policy and meets a zero-tolerance response if discovered.

Lastly, workers compensation covers our team for injuries sustained while working. This is a category that everyone at Brewster Ambulance can improve upon. Because the work we do increases our susceptibility to injury (being in high-risk conditions, sense of urgency, focus on patient care, etc.), we have to work harder at being more aware and utilizing safety under all conditions.

Brewster Ambulance Service is a family business focused on providing excellent benefits to our team and having ample insurance coverage for when the worst happens. We know that if we take care of our team by providing them opportunities for education, great pay and benefits as well as a family-oriented, friendly culture that fosters career development, our team will provide excellent care to our patients and customers.

We are relying our our team to utilize our training resources to be safer on the job and as a result help Brewster Ambulance Service continue being a leader in EMS care.


Resources for EMS Safety

Here are a few links to content related to improving safety practices for EMT professionals, including several articles that were published in Brewster Ambulance Insights newsletter.