- Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Developed by the American Heart
Association, ACLS is a knowledge base and group of skills aimed at
treating patients with acute cardiac (heart) problems. ACLS Protocols
are considered the standard of care for cardiac patients both in and
of hospital. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, physician's assistants and
nurse practitioners in the emergency and acute care settings are
typically certified in ACLS.
- Automated External Defibrillator. An electronic device about the size
of a laptop computer which, through pads placed on a patient's chest,
determines if an unconscious patient is in a lethal cardiac rhythm
(ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation). If the patient is
found the be in a lethal rhythm, the AED administers shocks to the
which can reverse this often deadly condition. Most AEDs are simple to
use, with voice prompting and precise written and verbal instructions.
(Some will even tell you when and how to perform CPR.) AEDs are
more common place in New York State. Recent legislation calls for AEDs
in all schools in New York State with more than 1000 students. Some
organizations seek to make AEDs as common as fire extinguishers. All
Westchester EMS ambulance and emergency units carry at least one
defibrillator on board. In the future, we seek to equip all of our
ambulettes with AEDs as well.
Mutual Aid System - A system in which emergency agencies
support each other with resources to prevent a call from going
unanswered or being delayed, and to assist in the handling of incidents
that may overwhelm local rescources. Example #1: An ambulance angency
with two ambulances, has a third call in the district. Instead of
waiting until an ambulance from that agency becomes available, a
neighboring ambulance agency will be called in to cover the call.
Example #2: A local fire department has a major structure fire.
Neighboring agencies can be called in to assist with additional
and equipment to help bring the fire under control quicker, thus
preventing loss of life and property.