A famous frog once said ‘It’s not easy being green’… and he was right. Green is the colour of medics and first aiders and they have a pretty difficult job. In a medical emergency it’s important that you are organised and well equiped. Not only will it allow you to do your job better, it is reassuring for the patient to see someone looking smart and professional and ‘on the ball’. Niton have developed some new products which we hope will make it much easier on the Green Line.
First Impressions Count
What you wear is important, not only should it be smart it needs to be practical and functional. The Niton Tactical Midnight Green Shirts and Lightweight Trousers are both made from a ripstop polycotton material. Polycotton is strong yet lightweight, and the ripstop construction means the fabric is more resistant to tears and abrasions. The shirts look much like a uniform shirt with 2 standard chest pockets, but it also has 2 concealed pockets so you can keep sensitive items or documents hidden. The Eclipse epaulette means you can display your epaulettes or conceal them when they’re not needed. Each shirt also comes with a free pocket organiser so you can store your ID, cards and spare key etc.
The trousers have the same features as our standard Tactical tousers, with cargo pockets and reinforced seat and knees, but we have included a free Medic Pocket Buddy. The Pocket Buddy fits perfectly in the cargo pockets to provide organised storage of your equipment such as dressings, gloves, hand sanitiser and scissors. This is the easiest way to keep basic first items on you to start treatment until a medical kit arrives.
Good footwear is also essential. You need to be comfortable all day, and a low cut boot makes it much easier for you to drive or kneel and crouch. The Bates 5 inch Tactical Sport boots are lightweight, non-metallic so they won’t set off security portals, and slip resistant. If you need the additional protection of a safety toe, the full leather version has an EN certified composite toe and is also waterproof.
Although you will probably wear nitrile or vinyl gloves when treating a patient, duty gloves are important for warmth and safety. The Hatch PPG2 ArmorTip and Damascus X4 gloves both have additional protection on the fingers and finger tips where needle stick injuries are most likely to occur.
If you are treating a patient, your role should be clearly identifiable. Badges stating first aider or paramedic etc are vital for making sure you can be seen and that people know who you are and why you are there.
Organisation Is Key
If you are attending an emergency it is imperitive you know where all your kit is and that you can get your hands on it straight away – You can’t afford to be rummaging in the bottom of your bag trying to find a bandage. Having a first aid kit is an easy way to keep essential items to hand, and they can be tailor made to suit the environment you’re in. A firearms officer is likely to encounter very different incidents to a teacher, so we offer specialist kits such as ballistic, traffic and vulnerable premises.
For larger scale incidents a Major Incident Bag can be filled with a huge variety of different items to help cover any eventuality. The bag has 5 PVC bags inside which can each house a kit, then at the site of the incident each kit can be distributed quickly. A number of additional pockets and dividers mean that it is incredibly easy to organise essential items making it easy to access kit in an emergency, but also to check what might need replacing. Grab handles, shoulder strap and wheels make transporting the mag effortless.
A Nite Redi board can be used to take notes at the scene using the clipboard, and then the paperwork can be stored inside out of the weather and confidential. Because the board has a lightbridge you can see what you’re doing even at night, and the light can be removed if you need a back up torch. With the light removed, the Nite Redi can then be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each incident.
Sterizene is a pen sized hand sanitiser that is effective against all the bacterium and viruses an alcohol gel protects against, but it has added benefits:
- Easy to carry – it fits in the pen pocket of your shirt or the stationery section of your kit bag etc
- Quick drying
- Long acting – it forms a barrier on your hand to keep you protected for hours after application
- Non-alcoholic – Sterezine is Halal complaints so it’s perfect for anyone who can’t use alcohol products for religious reasons, or who has an allergy or intolerance to alcohol…and it won’t dry your hands.
Rescue tools are a must have in any first aid kit. There are a number of variations around, some simply have the curved blade for cutting seatbelts or ligatures but others are multi-functional with oxygen valve wrenches and bottle openers.
* Make a checklist of all the kit you need to carry, and how many of each item you have. Every time the kit is used make sure each item is replaced straight away. If the kit can be used by multiple people it is worth using security tags so it’s easy to spot if someone has used or potentially tampered with the kit.
* Check the expiry dates of all your first aid items – most dressings and bandages etc will have an expiry so it’s important you check regularly and replace anything that’s out of date
* Remember rescue cutters cannot be used over again. Once it has been used it cannot be guaranteed that the blade is still sharp and so the tool becomes less effective. Ideally rescue tools should be replaced after each use.
* If you want to find out what equipment, qualifications and procedures are recommended for the workplace, contact the Health and Safety Executive.