Airlines and Emergency Services: We Can Learn a Thing or Two by ProQuest


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                                                                      Airlines and Emergency Services:
                                                                           We Can Learn a Thing or Two
     often think that I have one of the best jobs in the        work again when we need it? We need to build some           “pilot” and the spotter of your apparatus must both be
     world. I get to travel across the United States to         checks and balances (redundancy) into our equipment         trained and take their jobs seriously. This is one of the
     meet and work with firefighters and EMS provid-            checks and follow up to be certain they’re done. We         simplest, cost-efficient and effective safety measures
 ers on a regular basis. I’ll admit just like any job it        must realize that sometimes corners are cut and we          we could put in place today, and yet it is one of the
 isn’t perfect, but it sure is tough to beat. One of the        need to ensure we are covered.                              most overlooked and non-enforced policies in many
 downsides of the job is long hours and constant travel.              Airlines also emphasize training. I fly on the        emergency organizations.
 I joke that I know more people at the US Airways               average of once a week and have heard the seatbelt                The final area where airlines have us beat is
 counter than I do at the home office. A firefighter            message over and over. I know the nearest exit may          “near-miss reporting.” Each incident and near miss in
 approached me at a recent class I was teaching and             be behind me and I know my seat cushion may be              aviation is reported, evaluated and communicated to
 asked if the thought of flying so much ever made               used for a flotation device and,                                                   other airlines. We have the ability
 me nervous. I replied that I really never gave it much
 thought, but to be honest I am more nervous every
                                                                oh yes, the bag on the oxygen
                                                                mask may not inflate, but oxygen
                                                                                                       What a novel                                to do the same in fire and EMS
                                                                                                                                                   services. The purpose of report-
 time my fire pager goes off at home than I am of
 flying. He asked me to explain my logic and the con-
                                                                is indeed flowing. While this
                                                                message is being given, I am
                                                                                                         concept –                                 ing near misses is so that trends
                                                                                                                                                   can be identified, solutions can be
 versation went something like this.
        Fire and EMS responders can learn a lot if they
                                                                probably checking out the latest
                                                                edition of Sky Mall magazine and
                                                                                                    actually checking                              discovered and together we can
                                                                                                                                                   make emergency services safer
 study the airline industry. First is risk management.          not paying attention, but I still                                                  for all. I encourage you to report
 The airlines look at weather conditions and decide             hear it, as does the person on the    to be sure that                              all near misses so we can learn
 when it is not safe to fly. Can planes take off and land       plane who may have never flown                                                     from others as well. To date, over
 in rain, snow, fog and wind? Sure they can, when they          before. Don’t assume your mem-      everyone is doing                              2,000 near-miss reports have
 have to, but sometimes the risks far outweigh the              bers already know the message                                                      been logged at www.firefight-
 benefits and they ground the flights. The same is true         of safety in your organization;        what we have                       Report your data
 of firefighting. Can we enter a fully involved building        repeat it over and over – it just                                                  so that other may benefit. Study
 and fight a fire? Sure we can, but sometimes the               may save
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