Sunday, January 24, 2010

Physical Agility Test

So, Tomorrow evening I take a physical agility test so I can join the local rescue squad. For the most part, I think it is well designed. Its geared toward things we actually do in the field, and not firefighting.
Step one is loading/unloading a cot plus patient from the ambulance
Step two is 10 mins of CPR
Step three involves carrying a patient and STRETCHER up and down a flight of stairs.

Now, all of these make perfect sense to me. Except the stretcher part. I specifically asked if it was a stretcher or if I could us a Reeves sleeve, stair chair, backboard, or some other device. I was told it has to be done using the stretcher from the ambulance.
Maybe I'm spoiled, but I have NEVER carried the entire stretcher up a flight of stairs before. I've hauled many a patient down many flights of stairs, and never found it necessary to carry the entire stretcher up a flight. Maybe up a few outside stairs, but that's it. Reeve's sleeves, stair chairs, backboards, sling chairs; I've used these and more to carry patients down stairs.
So, does anybody else carry their stretchers upstairs? Is this reasonable?
I'm having a hard time even thinking about how its supposed to be carried without injuring the rescuers. Wheels up or down?
So, opinions please. Is this done routinely? Is this a fair test?

2 comments:

Michael Morse said...

Many components of tests are never used in the field. Is it fair? Of course not, but just figure out a way to do it to the best of your ability and move on. And do it better than anybody else:) Good luck! Oh, and I never carried a stretcher up any stairs, never mind back down with a patient on it, thats a recipie for disaster!

Tammy said...

I (we) never do a flight of stairs without help. Usually go for the stair chair, and find many can walk. But my suggestion is lower the cot a bit. Take the foot end if possible. I have seen some grab the foot end and then want to lower it way down. With that, the person on the head end is nearly on their knees. Good Luck