Emergency and core ambulance personnel work under all environmental conditions, including severe weather condtions. We evaluated emergency medical personnel in Çanakkale, Turkey, for their degree of preparedness.
A descriptive study was conducted in Çanakkale, Turkey, within 112 emergency service units and their 17 district stations. Surveys were developed to measure the level of preparedness for serious winter conditions that individual workers made for themselves, their homes, and their cars.
Of the 167 survey participants, the mean age was 29.8 ± 7.9 years; 52.7% were women; more than half (54.75%) were emergency medical technicians; and 53.3% were married. Only 10.4% of those who heated their homes with natural gas had carbon monoxide detectors. Scores relating to household and individual preparation for severe winter conditions increased by participants' age (P < .003), being married (P < .000) and working in the city center (P < .021); and for men whose cars were equipped with tow ropes, extra clothing, and snow tires (P < .05). Absenteeism was higher for central-city personnel than district workers because they were less prepared for harsh winter conditions (P = .016).
Many of the surveyed emergency health personel demonstrated insufficient preparations for serious winter conditions. To increase the safety and efficiency of emergency medical personnel, educational training programs should be rountinely conducted.