Archive December 2018 XIX, No. 12

Ideas That Work: Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep

Can Your Staff Use A Fire Extinguisher?

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
POINT AND SHOOT The staff at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia all learned how to use a fire extinguisher with a simulation device.

When we determined that a large percentage of the staff couldn’t operate a fire extinguisher, we reached out to our facility’s fire marshal for a solution.

Over the course of 4 weeks, we devoted time to learning the PASS — Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep — method of operating 5-lb. and 10-lb. extinguishers. Our fire marshal, who is also a local firefighter, got us a simulation device that we used for training. It was kind of like playing a video game. Competition always drives education, so we made the training fun, while being serious, to see who among the staff could put out the fire the fastest.

If you’ve never held a fire extinguisher and don’t have the upper body strength, the pressure could cause the extinguisher to get away from you if you’re not prepared.

All 273 surgical staff members completed the training on the use of the fire extinguishers. Once they passed, they each got cards reminding them of the PASS acronym and the RACE acronym — Rescue, Alarm, Contain and Extinguish. We’ve added this hands-on experience to staff’s annual fire training.

Stephanie Landmesser, RN, MSN, CNOR, CCNS
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Philadelphia, Pa.

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