RescueDigest GOTW: Pick a Policy (Learn One)

By focusing on a particular goal each week and providing some resources to get you started, RescueDigest is here to help make your world a little but easier and to help you help others. Let’s Pick-a-Policy (or Protocol)!

This week we’re suggesting a different kind of goal. As Emergency Responders a great deal of what we do is governed by and relies on policies and protocols. So occasionally our Goal of the Week (#GOTW) will fall into the Pick-a-Policy (or Protocol) category and deal specifically with how we can make our jobs better by taking small steps to either improve the policies themselves or at least the way that we interact with them.

Some agencies have policies and protocols that read like telephone books, while others read like pamphlets. Either way, these are important things to know.

To know them is to love them, right?

Rather than attempt to provide a general plan to work for every single emergency responder, these Goals of the Week (#GOTW) are meant to be the kind of reminders that make you say “Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to get to that!”

As with all of our #GOTW reminders, we’re going to be trying these right along with you!

For this week’s Goal of the Week, here are some resources to help you take a step (or two or four) towards knowing, understanding and hopefully even IMPROVING your agencies’ policies and protocols.

Since we don’t have copies of your polices and protocols on hand (I KNOW I put them around here somewhere!) we’re going to leave it up to you. This may seem like a silly one at first, but it is a crucial first step in working on these guidelines that govern so much of our work.

That’s right, even if you don’t like them, even if they’re stupid, even feel like you already know them by heart your Goal of the Week (#GOTW) is to… Pick-a-Policy (or protocol) that’s new (at least one) and learn it or refresh yourself on one that you already know.

There, that’s it. This week may seem like an easy one, but the whole point is that you may find it surprising what you THOUGHT you knew about your policies and protocols.

If you’re new, you probably need to keep going over them a few times to digest them. If you’ve been around the block a few times (in a good way, of course) then you may find that you’re actually recalling the OLD (ahem, let’s call them experienced, I hate the “O” word) policies instead of the current ones.

Baby steps. Dust off those books, take a look, and next time we’ll be delving into updating and improving those suckers!

What success (or problems) have YOU had trying to go over your local policies and protocols? Let us know below:

About romduck

Rom Duckworth is a dedicated emergency responder and award-winning educator with more than twenty five years of experience working in career and volunteer fire departments, public and private emergency services and hospital based healthcare systems. Currently a career Fire Captain / Paramedic and EMS Coordinator Rom is a frequent speaker at national conferences and a regular contributor to research, magazines, and textbooks on topics of field operations, leadership, and education in emergency services. Contact Rom via