2011 EMS World Innovation Awards

Meet the recipients of this year's Innovation Awards


The 2011 EMS World Expo took us back to Las Vegas where attendees could take a break from the desert heat to sit in on some great continuing education classes, while also experiencing one of the largest exhibit halls ever seen at the Expo. Read on to find my top 20 product picks and innovations from this year’s show. 

Airtraq Wireless Display and Recorder from Airtraq LLC

In the world of EMS litigation, cases specific to airway complications seem to get more than their fair share of time in the courtroom. Logic would dictate the primary reason for this is that the larger and more complex the airway problem, the more likely a patient care catastrophe.

The Airtraq is one of the greatest airway management innovations to come along, in my opinion. Though it is a bit cumbersome to work with, especially at first, that smoothes out over time with continued practice and use. The Airtraq remains a must-have tool in your airway management toolbox as I see it.

Given the capabilities of the Airtraq, it stands to reason that there could and would be value in digitally memorializing intubations and, lo and behold, these capabilities now exist thanks to the introduction of the Airtraq Wireless Display and Recorder to the EMS market. Simply activate the turn on the recorder and your intubation is digitally stored on a standard SD card, with a 2 gig card holding approximately 250 events.

For all it actually provides—a digital record of an intubation that may be used for legal purposes, as part of a CQI process or for education and training—the Airtraq Wireless Display and Recorder is a commonsense idea brought to life in a simple, well thought out manner.

Visit www.airtraq.com, or call 877-624-7929.

LifeGuard from ASAP

Along with the progression and evolution of EMS-specific tools has come a similar process with the vehicles that get us where we need to be. One of the most unique and incredibly functional modes of transportation currently available is the LifeGuard off-road beach and trail patrol/rescue vehicle.

The LifeGuard is a six-wheel, all-wheel drive, gas-powered vehicle built on the work-horse Polaris Ranger 6x6 chassis, which is capable of speeds up to 40 mph.  Features include a roll bar for safety, a tread plate roof and Polaris factory-installed power steering. The aluminum bed features a canvas Bimini top to keep your patient out of the sun or inclement weather. You get a choice of configurations from a system to carry a full-sized gurney or a Stokes basket. Other options include either sand or off-road tires (with run-flat option), a deep-cycle battery system and even a generator.

The 80-inch front bench seat has a full seat back pad and easily accommodates up to three adults. Wide-view mirrors and ABS skirting come standard on the LifeGuard. The LifeGuard is a rugged, rock-solid-designed specialty vehicle that can get you where you need to be and get your patient out in a safe and timely manner. If your response district includes any remote areas where your full-size box will not go, my guess is the LifeGuard from ASAP will get you there. Take a few minutes and check one out. It’s an impressive specialty vehicle that can help you provide patient care in areas that don’t feature paved roads, concrete curbs and well-manicured lawns.

Visit www.asap911.com, or call 740/922-2727.

915 Triage Utility Tool from Benchmade Knife Company

My father was a country guy from down south and like many country folk, he was also a hunter. To support his hunting habit and feed the family, he worked as a cabinet maker. In both roles, as he told me on several occasions, a sharp knife is an essential tool. He carried a Case pocketknife that was sharpened daily and would take the hair off your arms.

While a knife is not required on a daily basis in EMS, its use would not be termed a rarity. When you do find the need for a knife, you want to make certain of two things: It’s a quality knife, and it’s sharp. The new 915 Utility tool from Benchmade meets both those needs.

This content continues onto the next page...