Driving policy

Littlebit

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We will be revamping our driving policy - it needs to be more specific. Would anyone be willing to share what they have in place. It needs to include "disciplinary actions" when policy is not followed- maximum speed- etc.
Also what is included in your orientation or initial training for new members on your squad.
Thanks
 

daedalus

Forum Deputy Chief
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Its simple for us at my company. Do not exceed ten plus the limit with driving under code three provisions. Stop at EVERY red light/stop sign, EVERY time. Failure to do so results in loss of driving privilege until you retake EVOC. The second time you violate this rule, your terminated.

As far as non emergent driving goes, obey the traffic laws and drive safely. Its actually really simple here. Driving policy should be cut and dry.
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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You need to list:
1. Driver Requirements
2. Driver Conduct Expectations
3. Disciplinary Actions

Lets try to think of some for each.
Driver Requirements
- Must be x years old
- Must have a valid driver's license and passed EVOC test and course
- Must have at least x hours of sleep in the x hours prior to driving the vehicle
- Must contact supervisor regarding any prescription or OTC drugs taken prior to or during shift. (yeah, that's a tricky one)
- Must thoroughly inspect and sign off on vehicle inspection

Conduct Expectations
-
Driver will always act in a safe manner while operating the vehicle.
- Driver, passenger, and patient will be seat belted at all times while the vehicle is in motion.
- Driver will use a spotter when backing up or maneuvering in an awkward situation.
- Driver will obey the speed limit, with the exception of dispatched priority X calls, where the driver may go x miles over the speed limit as traffic permits.
- Driver will come to a complete stop when approaching a red light, and ensure all traffic is stopped before proceeding.
- Driver will come to a complete stop when approaching train crossing, and ensure no train is near before proceeding.
- Driver will slow to x MPH at all intersections to check for cross traffic.
- Driver will use RLS when dispatched or transporting a critical patient.
- The siren must remain on as long as emergency lights are activated.

Discipline:
- Discipline may include a verbal or written warning, loss of driving privileges, and up to immediate termination from employment, depending on the offense.

It's hard to apply a cookie cutter discipline policy to every situation. I hope that helps, I'm sure others will be able to add more.

Here are some great resources:
RUSH FIRE DISTRICT – RUSH FD AMBULANCE DRIVING GUIDELINES (PDF)
Ambulance Operations
 

KEVD18

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- Must have at least x hours of sleep in the x hours prior to driving the vehicle


thats pretty crazy. while its makes sense in the abstract, in practice its ridiculous.

1) who picks this number and how is it determined. some people dont need as much sleep as others. is that factored into your arbitrary calculation.

2) whats your contingency plan in the event that say the only person who meets this qual is also the only paramedic on an arrest call? oh well, we'll bend the rule just this once....

3) how is this managed and documented. is everybody required to keep a sleep journal or is it the honor system.

4) what is the crew is on a 24hr shift that has been particularly busy(say 16 runs in the first 20). the tones drop for another. neither member has had more than 20 minutes of consecutive sleep since signing on. what happens then? well i guess they just cant take the call because their tired...


i get where your trying to go with it. you dont want exhausted guys driving the rig. thats all well and good but its pretty impossible to really accomplish.
 

RESQ_5_1

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We work 24 hour shifts with 2 crews. 12 hours on duty, and 12 on call. When a crew reaches 12 hours, they start clocking overtime and when they reach 16 hours, they are considered "Timed out" and the other crew starts taking calls. We are required to notify the on call District Manager when we hit 10 hours to prevent OT. However, sometimes the situation warrants that a crew will reach OT status. The 16 hour in 24 is mandatory due to our union contract.
 

Jon

Administrator
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Kev...

For Honor system... PA has a rule that you can't consume ETOH 8h prior to the start of your shift... but there isn't a breathalyzer when you walk in the door.

Policies that require X prior to the start of the shift allow for discipline if an employee has problems, because it makes the expectations known.

I've been seeing a lot of LODD reports for folks who lost control on the way home from work after 24+ on duty.

As for "some people needing less sleep than others"... Can I function at less than 8h sleep... perhaps, for a day or 2... but I feel better after a good night's sleep.
I've got no problem with a SOP that requires 8h sleep within the past 24, etc.
 

karaya

EMS Paparazzi
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Kev...

For Honor system... PA has a rule that you can't consume ETOH 8h prior to the start of your shift... but there isn't a breathalyzer when you walk in the door.

Well, that will never work in Ireland! :p
 

KEVD18

Forum Deputy Chief
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jon i get what yoru saying. my complaint is that is arbitrary and completely unable to be proven one way or the other, unless the person sleeps every night in a sleep lab.

with drugs and alcohol, we have laboratory tests that are objective. they can determine conclusively whether or not you have an irish coffee for breakfast. to the best of my knowledge, theres no test to determine how i slept last night.

furthermore, were a company to implement said policy, would a bad nights sleep be reason enough to call in sick to work? what is you are having difficulty sleeping over a long period of time(an impending marriage or proposal of such) this could easily cause you many bad sleep nights. i can remember not sleeping for the entire week before i asked my senior prom date out. maybe i shouldnt have gone to work at all during that time? oh, and i can only imagine the looks id get from my doctor when i got to him for a return to work note after my third consecutive shift.

so whats the problem kev?

well i havent been sleeping well lately because im asking mary to marry to me friday and im all nervous. my dept has this asinine policy that if i dont get 8hrs of sleep prior to my shift, i cant work. also, if i call in three times in a row i need a note from a doc explaining what kept me out of work.

you kidding right?

hell, i sleep terribly from about week 8 until my team is eliminated during the pro football season. i also have long periods of insomnia during the tail end of the basebal season.

dont get me wrong, im all for having safety rules in place. but they have to be logical. this crap would never fly.
 

karaya

EMS Paparazzi
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How's anyone gonna know if you got eight hours of sleep or not?
 

Jon

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dont get me wrong, im all for having safety rules in place. but they have to be logical. this crap would never fly.

It IS logical. We are killing ourselves by denying that we "don't need 8 hours sleep".

This will fly... if the service managerial staff make it work. the best option is for the service to have a procedure in place for a tired crewmember... a way for them to be releived if needed... and a way for them to get home (with their car, if needed).

There was an article by Thom **** or Gary Ludwig in EMS magazine within the last year, discussing 1 service's approach.. but I can't find it now.


Can they actually know that you got 8-hours sleep? No. "adequate sleep"...perhaps.
 

KEVD18

Forum Deputy Chief
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jon:

congratulations! you have just been promoted to the manager of your ems service. (everybody clap and whistle and what not). your first order of business is to institute this policy. for the purposes of this exercise i am a current employee of your service.

tomorrow, im going to ask you to asses whether or not i had "adequate" sleep tonight. im curious how you will determine this.

edit: anybody can feel free to play along. im truly curious how you all would determine how adequate someones sleep was. i dont mean to single jon out like that.
 

Jon

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OK... here goes:

If you come in, and complain that you are tired and were up all night, and that you need to sleep all day and can't do station duties because you are too tired - if that is against policy, you should be sent home.
If you come in and can't stay awake during roll call or a normal training session... then you perhaps haven't had enough sleep, and might be sent home.

If you come in and do your job normally and go home... and you only had 6 or 7 hours of sleep... then you should be fine. As I was trying to say with the PA law about 8 hours between ETOH consumption and starting shift - it is impossible to prove one way or the other in many cases. The issue only comes out in flagrant violations of the policy.
 

Jon

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BINGO - I found the article I was looking for:

http://www.emsresponder.com/print/E...w-Fatigue-Policy-at-Neighboring-Agency/1$4676

Officials with Platte Valley Ambulance, roughly an hour away in suburban Denver, instituted two new policies:
  • Any crew feeling fatigued can take themselves out of service, and their ambulance will be staffed by supervisors.
  • If a crew gets less than four hours of uninterrupted sleep during a 24-hour shift, colleagues will take them and their vehicles home after work.
"If you think about it, when somebody's sick, they don't need to ask anybody's advice about taking themselves out of service," says Thom ****, Platte Valley's quality care coordinator. "So it's a pretty small leap to letting them do that when they're exhausted. You go to a few of these funerals, and it's not a hard decision to make."
 

Tiberius

Forum Crew Member
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I know what you mean. We had one of our medics get killed last month because his car left the roadway at the end of his 24 hour (I think) shift while working for another service.
 

KEVD18

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i ahve trouble staying awake through some of our boring training sessions and con ed classes regardless of how well i slept. i could sleep like a baby for 10hrs straight, but if you try to explain calculus to me, you'll need to put me on a redbull enema.

i also get the gist of whats trying to be said here. my point is that, while it looks great on paper, applying it is ridiculous.
 

Ridryder911

EMS Guru
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i ahve trouble staying awake through some of our boring training sessions and con ed classes regardless of how well i slept. i could sleep like a baby for 10hrs straight, but if you try to explain calculus to me, you'll need to put me on a redbull enema.

i also get the gist of whats trying to be said here. my point is that, while it looks great on paper, applying it is ridiculous.


Not really, USFA & IAFC has done it for us. 24 hour shifts are soon to be a thing of the past.

http://www.iafc.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=559

...The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Fire Fighters and EMS Responders
by



The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) announce the release of "The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Fire Fighters and EMS Responders."

This new report is based on a comprehensive literature review of fatigue and sleep deprivation in other industries (primarily the transportation and medical fields) and features applications to the fire and emergency services as appropriate, along with useful mitigation strategies. A resource section is included.

"We were pleased to work closely with the IAFC on this initiative," said Chief Gregory B. Cade, U.S. Fire Administrator. "We have long known the stresses that long-term operations place on all firefighters. The impact of sleep deprivation is an important issue to the health and safety of firefighters and EMS responders, and the residents they protect."

This program is a result of a partnership between the IAFC and USFA, with assistance from the faculty of Oregon Health & Science University. In addition to the report, a self-guided, computer-based training program has been developed.

"This is an in-depth culmination of available sleep-deprivation research that, if taken seriously, should keep the fire chief awake at night," said IAFC President Chief Steven P. Westermann. "The research can apply to any busy station, volunteer or career, with any of the traditional schedules, not just the newer 48/96 schedule. The report ends by providing several recommendations, not the least of which is how to spot sleep deprivation."
..."
 

KEVD18

Forum Deputy Chief
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R/r:

that's the other side of the coin for this discussion. your referring to sleep deprivation as a result of long busy shifts. we were discussing arriving for work with to little sleep.

while i very much like working only 8 days a month, i see the possible danger in 24's. though i dont see how it makes sense to make a national ban on them. working for a service that averages three runs per truck in 24 v. a service that averages 20+/truck are two completely different worlds. i have worked in both. one service i would average 15 calls on each of my 24's and i can honestly say i wasn't anywhere near the peak of my game after 16hrs. on the other side, i worked for one service and averaged 5 calls on my 24. i got more sleep on duty than off.

if there is going to be national regulation regarding the length of shifts, i feel it should be based on a sliding scale.
 

Ridryder911

EMS Guru
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They regulate truck drivers but not EMS? I always found it interesting in that CAMTS regulates the pilots as well as FAA on the "potential lack of sleep" but the medical crew who administers and makes truly life decisions can be dragging.

I work 24 hr, and may only respond on 6 calls... Some may say that is not bad, but in reality those calls maybe over 10 hours pr more in length due to response, scene time, and transport time. Similar to when I was based at a rural helicopter base. We only had about 3 missions a day, but not unusual to fly 18-20 hours out of that day..


If we don't start promoting safety within, then no one else will. Alike one entering a shift too tired, I have the right to assume that they are not being responsible or safe enough for safety thought process... and yes, I will send them home without pay until they can demonstrate such. I much rather deal with the outcome later, than to have to deal with a tragedy. Next time come to work prepared to do such... work. Just alike if one comes in altered or under the influence of medications, illness, etc..Part of the responsibility is driving and demonstrating thought processes clearly.

I also have instituted if my crew has been up most of the night, I will require them to stay over for sleep time. If they refuse, then they assume responsibility upon themselves and not me nor the company.


R/r 911
 

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