What Happened in Vegas

Here are my top 20 picks for new and innovative products from EMS EXPO 2006.

EMS EXPO returned to Las Vegas this year, with a record crowd of more than 6,000 EMS personnel and 1,000+ FireHouse attendees coming to the City That Never Sleeps to pick and choose from outstanding educational offerings presented by some of the best educators our profession has to offer. They also had the opportunity to mingle with over 450 product vendors and manufacturers who filled the exhibit hall with the latest and greatest tools of our trade. Here are my top 20 picks for new and innovative products from EMS EXPO 2006. Read and enjoy.

The AllMed Ambulance Vehicle Crew Helmet from Alliance Medical
     Once they have their patient loaded and secured, the back of the ambulance offers most providers a certain comfort level. After all, it is their mobile intensive care office on wheels.
     But in spite of providing that comfort level, the back of an ambulance is still a dangerous place to work, if for no other reason than the fact that you are moving down the highway in a top-heavy mobile environment. Mathematically, the longer you stay in EMS, the more likely it is you will, at some point, be in an ambulance crash. Should that unfortunate event occur, a big, if not the single biggest, factor affecting mortality and morbidity will be how well you protect your head.
     The AllMed AVC Helmet is the first comprehensive headgear solution for EMTs and paramedics that meets U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The AVC Helmet comes in seven sizes and features a Kevlar- and carbon-fiber-reinforced composite shell, combined with a patented high-density polyethylene foam impact liner that is lighter, thinner and stronger than conventional Styrofoam liners.
     Along with impact protection, the AVC Helmet provides a number of other significant features worth mentioning. First off, the design of the helmet allows it to be worn with or without eyewear. Should you suddenly need to intubate or suction a coughing, gagging patient, just flip down the Lexan face shield, and you're protected and good to go. If you need to use a stethoscope or talk on a cell or handset, once again the unique design of the AVC allows you to take care of business without the helmet getting in your way.
     Lastly, the AllMed AVC Helmet features a "blackout" reflective stripe that appears black during the day, but reflects bright gold under illumination at night.
     I'm sure there will be some providers who whine about wearing a helmet in the back of the box, but in the event of a crash, the AllMed AVC Helmet may be all that separates you from a devastating, possibly fatal head injury.
For more: www.allmed.net.

The Model 421-SRDB Semi-Rigid Drug Case from Alltuff
     Almost to a fault, EMS providers love to be prepared, which translates into "We carry lots of stuff." In order to carry all the stuff we need, as well as all the stuff we want, we need flexibility in our jump bags. It was that matter of flexibility that got me interested in the Semi-Rigid Drug Case from Alltuff, along with the fact that it was designed by field providers with other field providers in mind.
     For example, all of the main dividers are closed-cell, non-absorbent foam that can be removed for easy cleaning and configured in numerous ways. The lid insert also pulls out for easy cleaning or restocking. If you have special storage needs, the lid insert flips over, giving you additional options.
     Along with that impressive flexibility, the 421-SRDB is clearly built for field use. The external shell is 1,000-denier Cordura nylon, which is about as tough a fabric as you can get this side of metal plate. All exposed seams are triple-stitched for strength, and the outside zippers are #10 Vislon, making them corrosion- and chemical-resistant, as well as being self-lubricating. If that isn't enough, the zippers are designed to perform well in temperatures ranging from 360 degrees (really, really hot) to minus-60 (really, really cold).
     To be honest, there are many more impressive aspects of the 421-SRDB's construction that I just don't have space to list, but it all adds up to a bag tough enough for daily use and abuse in EMS but still flexible enough to work for you, instead of the other way around.
For more: www.alltuff.com.

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