February 25, 2023

Take a Minute for Safety

Jeremy Ackerman, MD, PhD, FACEP

Most of us are familiar with the safety moment that many agencies will place at the beginning of many meetings and classes – where are the bathrooms, exits, AEDs etc. These moments may seem silly when it is the same group meeting in the same space but serves an important role in maintaining a mindset to consider safety considerations. As a physician participating part of your role is usually to enhance training and that safety moment at the beginning is a great way to inject a little education into any meeting or training.

While all of us can create our own safety moments, there is a good bit of material already available. For some time the Boy Scouts of America has been creating and maintaining a list of approximately 90 safety moments which are freely available on their website.

While some of these materials won’t be relevant, “Aquatics Safety—The BSA Way”, as an example, others like “Nap On Safely” may have good, relevant information. Even some of the BSA examples that focus on policy issues may be a good starting point to review your agency’s policy and standing orders. This newsletter and our section site are great places to share moments we create. While many topics might not really seem to need a written document, by creating a written documents an officer who might not be as comfortable with teaching can lead the safety moment even if you are not available.

Here are a few tips for creating a great safety moment:

  1. Pick a topic that is relevant to the meeting, training, or op or recent group experiences.
  2. Keep the message clear and short. 1-2 minutes at most
  3. Don’t just tell your audience what to do, tell them why – provide evidence

In future newsletters we can share safety moments created by you.

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