4 Ways First Responders Can Prevent Back Pain

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

First Responder Back Pain

First responders and emergency medical service providers put their lives on the line to help injured people each and every day. When you consider all the physical tasks their jobs involve, it is no surprise that emergency medical personnel are prone to injuries, especially injuries of the spine. So today, we’re going to share four tips for EMS and first responders for preventing back injuries on the job.

4 Ways EMS Personnel Can Prevent Back Injuries

Statistics suggest that there are about 20 soft tissue injuries being reported by EMS providers every day in America. How can we prevent these? If you’re a first responder, keep these tips in mind if you want to prevent back injuries when responding to a call.

Know Your Limits

If you are going to be performing a lift, mentally assess the situation before deciding if you can handle the lift with just one partner. If you’re trying to lift a 300-pound person from an awkward angle, you’re probably going to be channeling a lot of stress through your spine. Always try to practice proper lifting techniques, and make sure you and your partner are able to perform a lift before risking injury trying to move the person.

Use Assistive Technology To Your Advantage

A recent study out of Canada found that assistive technologies like power cots or self-lifting carts can greatly reduce spine injuries among EMS and medical personnel. The devices do cost more money than basic models, but considering how much they can save in prevented employee injuries, they may pay for themselves in no time.

Don’t Try To Be a Solo Hero

Sometimes in your profession, you need to act as quickly as possible to save someone’s life. There are moments when EMS personnel are truly heroic, but that doesn’t mean they try to do everything on their own. Trying to lift a 300-pound person and a 200-pound power cart into the ambulance with only two people isn’t going to work, and you could easily throw out your back. Always wait until their are enough responders to safely perform a lift or a transfer before moving forward.

Stay Fit Outside Of Work

If you want to be great at your job as a first responder, you need to be physically fit so that you can carry all the equipment and perform the necessary lifts. This means making healthy choices for your spine and your whole body outside of work. Make sure you are making good dietary choices and finding time to exercise on a regular basis. The more you take care of yourself and your spine outside of work, the better you’ll be able to assist others while you’re on the clock.

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