Leading the way nationally, HWFRS is the first fire service in the country to roll out these new trauma bags which will allow firefighters deal with any time critical, life threatening injuries more efficiently. The Go Bag is far more lightweight, compact and contains all of the essential equipment needed, meaning that it can be taken quickly into difficult or restricted situations to allow rapid casualty access. When opened it also presents the equipment in way that addresses the casualty's needs in the correct sequence. Each panel of the bag securely contains the appropriate kit in the relevant order so that the firefighter can work methodically through a patient assessment using the kit like an aide memoire, ensuring nothing is missed.
It was on Special Forces Patrol Medic's course in 2013 that Watch Commander Thom Morgan was exposed to not only the equipment, but also the mentality that is born of performing life-saving intervention in the most hostile of environments. He found that, although the circumstances and mechanisms of injury are different, the trauma and medicine are very similar to the pre-hospital environment in which the fire and rescue service operates. Taking this into consideration, Thom felt that a more compact, transportable trauma kit, similar to those used within the military sector, would be far more efficient for use by firefighters at incidents.
Thom said: "Circumstance and necessity dictate the need for compact, lightweight and effective multifunctional kit, which can be used quickly to save life and allow transport to definitive care. The importance of having the correct kit to hand and enabling a systematic approach cannot be emphasised enough. It is for this reason that both the equipment and, more importantly, the trauma Go Bag itself were selected to be rolled out across the Service."
With the full support and encouragement of the Service, Thom went onto work with military personnel at MARCH Trauma System Ltd developing a trauma bag bespoke made for the fire and rescue service. Over time, the configuration of the bag has been redesigned, trialled and tested to incorporate the kit appropriate to the Service's role in the pre-hospital scene.
Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates said: "Thanks to the hard work of Watch Commander Thom Morgan, HWFRS is now the first fire service in the entire country to have implemented these revolutionary new trauma bags. Providing our crews with the most current trauma equipment and training not only places the Service in a strong position for the future but also allows us to deliver the best possible medical care to the communities we serve."
For his contribution towards developing this new trauma bag, Thom will be awarded with a Chief Fire Officer's Certificate of Commendation at the Herefordshire Medals and Awards Ceremony on 20 November 2015.