Date: April 3, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW PRE-HOSPITAL SPINE SAVING EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTED IN MENDOCINO COUNTY
Last May, new policies were released by Coastal Valleys EMS Agency regarding how patients will be immobilized after experiencing a traumatic event.
The Coastal Valleys EMS Agency “Spinal Motion Restriction” policy improves the comfort of patients and provides Firefighters, EMT’s and Paramedics with a range of tools to safely care for patients with potential injuries while minimizing discomfort and reducing the risk of injury through overly aggressive immobilization. Although full “traditional” spinal immobilization is not going away, new tools have been approved for prehospital care providers to use to maintain a safe, neutral in-line spine.
Federal funding distributed through Cal OES known as Homeland Security Grant funding provided a grant to purchase “Spinal Motion Restriction” equipment. Under the direction of the Sheriff’s Office, the Office of Emergency Services assures full grant compliance. A committee consisting of Law Enforcement (Sheriff and Police Department), Health and Human Services Agency, and Fire are those who authorize the projects for the grant funding. This body approved grant dollars to purchase “Spinal Motion Restriction” equipment to be distributed to every Mendocino County fire agency.
At the March Mendocino County Fire Chiefs Association meeting held in Anderson Valley, every department received a Spinal Motion Restriction equipment bundle of new tools to help support immobilization of trauma patients in the prehospital setting.
Each bundle provided new “On a Board” Backboard Pads to provide some cushioning to the spine when placing a patient on a traditional long board, full-body and half-back vacuum splints to use for immobilization when longer transport times are anticipated and a new Kendrick Extrication Device (KED).
The equipment is already being rotated into service which is a great improvement for prehospital care and an even better benefit to patients. Improving health in Mendocino County occurs in a myriad of ways every day. This is just one great example of how different agencies came together and coordinated efforts to benefit the health of our communities county-wide.