Belt Kit…Good or Bad?…

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Belt Kit for Every Occasion…

I,ve noticed a lot of new larkers coming into the service fresh from training school are looking a bit like Officer Tackleberry from Police Academy.

I,m all for enthusiasm and I remember when I first started I always carried a nail punch in my caz box just in case I needed to get through that reinforced window. (Joking.)

Now after the passage of time and gaining experience all I carry are my Tuffcut shears (small, one pair for the use of), pentorch, stethoscope (small size which fits in my side leg trouser pocket), tourniquet and a black pen.

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All the other kit is either in the big green bag or on the truck or RRV/RFU.

What useless pieces of kit have you seen people carrying?  And what one piece of kit would you like to see issued to all stretcher monkeys?

 

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25 Responses to Belt Kit…Good or Bad?…

  1. Carmelo says:

    A full on multitool, including forks…

  2. kingmagic says:

    Is that what you,ve seen Carmelo or what you want issued?

  3. Millietant says:

    Wouldn’t mind a hydraulic stretcher and a lift on the back of the bus rather than a ramp with a 1:1 gradient …( to dream the impossible dream)
    As for the useless peice of kit, been carrying that defib on and off station for a while now. We (PTS) were all issued with them, not sure at what cost, who benefited financially or what research suggested we needed them in the first place but they are definitly languishing in a few lockers in our area.
    Course it’ll be that day you don’t take it out for a ride, you’ll need it.

  4. Iain MacBain says:

    Still see people with un-naturally big pouches on their hip containing steths and god knows what. Even my tough cuts llive in my bag unless I think the call sounds like I may need tham. The most useless bit of kit we get issued with is the pen torch which lasts about as long as it takes to say – “oh; the batterys gone flat”.

    What we should get issued with – guns, lots of guns.

  5. kingmagic says:

    iain….you really must see someone.

  6. Carmelo says:

    lol I’ve seen someone with it, as for the pouch we all got issued a laether steth/tuffcut pouct embrazened wit “London Ambulance Service”, along with a utility belt… and kingmagic, is Ian really that different from you’re chav-hating self eh;-)

  7. nicenurse says:

    The problem is the catologues from SP Services and Dynamed Galls, they are so shiny and glossy and colourful, with special offers and pictures showing you how useful things are, inferring how impotent you would be at a big plane crash without an extra bum bag… and it will be your fault if that child bleeds to death because you weren’t wearing a utility belt with extra bandage holders……..

    I hanker after no end of equipment after picking up one of these catalogues, but then remember I have no money in my account (still!!), I usually get over my cravings after a day or so.

    I do think guns are a bit excessive, but a stun gun would be nice (and would fit well on to your utility belt!)

    Nicenurse

  8. Iain MacBain says:

    Yes, you’r right. Guns are excessive. I apologise and in truth I don’t mean it. Books would be better, or rather a flyer type thing to hand out on the appropriate use of ambulance services – so long as it’s not published by an ambulance service.

  9. My favourite ever was a chap we used to call Inspector Gadget because he had a full tackleberry belt choc-full of things. On one of those coiled plastic keyrings with a clip on the end (you know the sort of thing), was a home-made aide-memoire with how to perform CPR on it.
    We never let him touch patients.
    He scared us enough.

  10. Dean says:

    On my utility belt I carry:
    – Scissor Pack
    – Mobile Phone
    – Glove Pouch
    – Mini-Maglite

    In my cargo pants I usually carry:
    – Stethoscope
    – Gloves

    The main reason for the utility belt? Somewhere to clip on the huge radio.

  11. Ellis James says:

    Surely given our profession, we should have tranquilizer guns? With Elephant strength darts for Chavs, Hoodies, Scallies, drunks,……………old people, middle-aged people, people I just don’t like, people I do like………..

    In training school I bought a pouch(still unused), a steth(still unused), and a pair of tuffcuts, and a torch.
    Touch, tuffcuts, and a pen go into my left shoulder pockets then I’m ready for the world.

  12. Ellis James says:

    Sorry, Forgot to add at the end…
    HOO HAA!

  13. Ellis James says:

    ….though the Tackleberry kits are only £69.95 on SP Services. Tempting, very tempting. That’s only a months worth of spoilt meal payments.

  14. Kingmagic says:

    I,ll tell you what we need…a Patient report form that just needs name, address, age and reason for calling 999.

    I,m sick of being told that we need to do a complete PRF when clearly the person requesting the 999 services of an ambulance is plainly drunk or does not wish to travel.

    I am old enough, mature enough and sensible enough to know when a comprehensive PRF needs to be done!

  15. ecparamedic says:

    The only personal kit on my belt is a scissor pouch, the rest of the belt is taken up with two pagers and the now famous ” You’ve been Nuked” pager.

    We don’t have decent trousers so the pockets hold a tourniquet, mobile phone and one of those little paramedic guides.

    I have seen some HUGE pouches on some of the baby techs, one lad must have had difficulty getting the vehicle door to shut, his pouch was that wide. Add to that, glove pouches, Maglite rings, mobile phones x2 and some folk are starting to need a body rig.

    I don’t carry a radio, the coverage is crap and Control don’t respond to them when they do get through, so I stick with the mobile, I can always go through on 999 if they ain’t picking up.

    As an interim before guns, perhaps we should be trying Tazers?

    If you ever want a few hours entertainment spend a couple of hours people watching at AMBEX outside the SP Services Stand on a Saturday. It’s an education.

    SD ;-)

  16. Nick Hough says:

    As a St John ETA, I tend to carry as little as possible. The kit can stay on the Ambulance until the moment I need it. But I do always carry the following on me:

    – On my left arm, two black pens and a penlight
    – Spare pieces of paper in my shirt pocket
    – Right leg pocket: Swabs and a Triangular as an inpromptu FA kit and a green OP
    – Left leg pocket: Lightweight steth
    – Utility belt with PPE pouch (gloves and a vent aid) – and I get told off if I don’t wear it, space for a radio, and a scissor pouch containing tuffcuts, pen, and mini maglite

    That’s it. Sounds a lot, but you should look as some of the new members in St John. They honestly do look like Tackleberry. And then they put on a rucksack! Even when I’m “carrying” a kit, it’s a waist pouch containing the major emergency aid bits and pieces. If I need more, I’m going to need to get help in anyway! So why kill your back carrying things like O2 tanks, etc?!

    In fact, I might end up talking about this on my own blog, if that’s alright kingmagic?

    Cheers,
    Nick

    http://nickhough.blogspot.com

  17. Kingmagic says:

    No probs Nick..go for it.

  18. ambusam says:

    OK. Firstly, quick question of Ellis James. Slightly worried you’ve not used your scope and hoping you’ve only left it unused because you use one that’s in your vehicles primary response bag. (ears?????? clean??????? gross!!!!!) We were issued with one in training school but it was crap, so I bought a decent one and hear with confidence breath sounds which help me decide if I’m really dealing with (for example) a silent chest or if I’m just having a deaf moment.

    That aside, here’s what I carry:

    Left trouser pocket: scope.

    Right trouser pocket: JRCALC pocket book together with our services “What to do if you are assaulted or threatened” which is a natty little laminated sheet reminding me that if I am assaulted or threatened I should run like **** and dial 999. I carry it so if I am threatened I can stick it to the forehead of my assailant and read of the 13 step plan I am advised to follow……..oh yeah……and if I don’t, and I am assaulted, and an officer comes to the scene and asks me if I have it I can be disciplined if I don’t and any claim for compensation may be affected!!

    Top right hand shirt pocket: Mobile phone.

    Top left hand shirt pocket: ID and loose change for desperation bag of chips or food.

    Left hand sleeve: 2 pens and a pen torch – which I do use a lot but which does often run out of battery at a key moment.

    Utility belt:

    AK47 – ok. I made that up.
    Natty radio – never works but very chic. Makes us all look terribly important.
    (day time) small torch
    (night time) bloody great torch which I carry on my shoulder so I can adequately illuminate the area when we are hunting for casualties who are usually not there in the middle of the bloody night but its a hoax call so we have to be sure. Naturally it is carried that way only because it best illuminates the area!!

    Oh, and of course my “If I get nuked kit” including dosimeter and a handy laminated card which I will naturally read as I walk backwards out of the area screaming: “Sh**************t” into my radio which probably isn’t working!!

    Comments welcomed!!

  19. Kingmagic says:

    Ambusam…so good to hear that its not just my service that looks after the welfare of its staff! Seems like management want to make not carrying PPE an excuse for not paying out compo…if you survive that is!

    Do you have conflict resolution training in your service?

    The worrying thing about our job is that if we were to be assaulted and we fought back in fear of our lives it is us that would be done.

    Sounds like a post is the offing ref assaults at work…

  20. ambusam says:

    Oh yes. We had 7 hours of conflict resolution training. On the back of it I went to the gym and spent many hours on the running machine. I can run for miles now!!

    Seriously though, I have been in many, many potentially dodgy situations, as we all have in the service, and without doubt our best friends are our spider senses (which for the uninitiated, is the sense you develop which warns you nice and early that its going to get nasty), and our ability to talk our way out of most things.

    I did however have one job where I was unable to implement either of these. I was at a job at 3am in a cul-de-sac. I was driving and had parked the vehicle obstructing the drive of 3 properties. In the property was a very sick wee lassie and my crew mate.

    As I was walking up the narrow path to the house from the vehicle, carry chair in my hand, I was challenged by an idiot who wanted me to move my vehicle NOW.

    To cut a very long story short, all my best chat (and I did my very best chat) did nothing, and the man came for me. As it became clear the situation was deteriorating I went for my man down button but reliably my radio did not work. (yes, they’re looking at replacing them, they know there’s a problem, its being resolved blah blah blah)

    Now I am a wee girlie and quite small and this was my best asset. As he came at me I shouted: “Get Back” (as I had been taught) in my loudest, loudest voice, and when he ignored this I dropped the carry chair (Stupid or what?) and did the double handed palm chest strike thingy we had been taught in conflict resolution training.

    Well. As luck would have it, the last thing he expected was for me to retaliate, and he fell back just like they said he would when they taught us.

    Now, at this point we’re meant to run like hell, but what they hadn’t told us was that if I did that, not only was I abandoning my crew mate and terribly sick wee lassie, but also the front door was still open and the assailant was between me and said front door.

    I backed off, ready to run, watching him very closely, when he looked at me, considered his options, then to my deep and resounding joy, took a step to one side and said: “Oh ya go love”.

    Not taking my eyes off him I gingerly picked up my carry chair, and mustering my best confidence, picked up my carry chair (which I should have bloody thrown at him in the first place……bloody conflict resolution training didn’t suggest THAT), edged past him on the path, entered the property and shut the door.

    Once in there I briefed my crew mate who used his MOBILE PHONE to dial 999 because the radios were still not working.

    Now I know out there will be advocates of conflict resolution training who will say: “Well, it worked, didn’t it, and if you’d thrown the carry chair at him then he might have been hurt”. My heart bloody bleeds.

    Curiously, without exception, every member of every service I have told this story to have all raised their eyes to heaven at the point I dropped the carry chair.

    I couldn’t agree more!!

    Oh, and the radios? We’re mobilised by our radios which are continually failing. It is being sorted now. Why? Because the government are bringing in something called Call Connect, which reduces our response time by about 90 seconds per red call. Why are the radios being sorted? To ensure we respond on time, every time.

    I feel so valued.

  21. Kingmagic says:

    Glad you came out of that situation okay ambusam.
    If I do a post on violence at work is it okay if I use your story as an example?

    And I know what you mean by being so valued!

  22. ambusam says:

    Thanks for that! Its fine if you use my story, and I’m delighted you’re considering a post on violence. We should be shouting it from the rooftops instead of giving out laminated cards.
    :-)

  23. Nick Hough says:

    Can’t agreed more with you ambusam. I’ve heard from one colleague of mine in St John that a CD Oxygen cylinder is a very effective aid if wielded correctly. Ie, over the shoulder! ;-)

    Regards,
    Nick

    http://nickhough.blogspot.com

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