Assistant Chief Edgar created a crew fatigue policy to objectively monitor crew activity and fatigue throughout their shift. The policy is designed to ensure the safety of the patient and crew, and transitions individuals from busy ambulances to reduce fatigue.
Their matrix system is designed to identify crews that may be fatigued and trade them out with fresh crews in order to combat medication and driver errors during patient care and transport. The city of West DesMoines looked at what flight crews do to address fatigue for flight safety and adapted those systems and programs to the EMS arena and their system specifically.
The primary focus was on crews slated to be available for long distance inter facility transfers that might take hours when the crew was already exhausted. Through both self-reporting and the matrix system, they were able to significantly reduce risk for medication errors and ambulance involved motor vehicle accidents.
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