EMS Tips

EMS Tips – Body Armor – Airway Management

1. EMS body armor (

A Pa. EMS agency announced a purchase of 15 ballistic vests for it’s personnel.

“The department recently purchased 15 ballistic vests. (EMS Chief Robert) Weidner said that is enough vests for all personnel on Yellow Breeches’ five ambulances.”

That likely means the vests are assigned to rigs not people.

“Weidner said his staff has been receptive to having the vests, which are worn during most calls at least until the scene is assessed and determined not to be a threat.”

Safety question: Should ballistic vests be assigned (and purchased) for each member or stocker two or three per ambulance?

2. Secure the airway (

Refresh or renew knowledge of basic airway management with these tips from Patrick Lickiss:

  1. Bring suction to the patient
  2. Be prepared
  3. Have a plan
  4. Have a back-up plan
  5. Consider pediatric BVM

3. Opioid death increasing or plateauing? (Kaiser Health News)

The opioid overdose mortality rate varies from state-to-state and may depend on:

  • Harm reduction efforts
  • Availability of fentanyl
  • Layperson access to naloxone
  • Affordable housing
  • Employment
  • Law enforcement

“States that are seeing relatively little fentanyl in their supply, their overdose rates are more or less remaining flat,” said Leo Beletsky, associate professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University.

“Since November 2015, 25 states have passed laws that increase penalties related to the sale and distribution of fentanyl, according to the alliance.

However, the criminal justice approach “really has not shown to be effective in the long term,” Beletsky said.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.