Commonly Heard Terms in Shows

ALSAdvanced Life Support. May be referring to a paramedic level provider or a skill provided by that level of provider (i.e. endotracheal intubation, IV access, etc.)
ArrestCardiac or respiratory in nature; The absence of breathing and/or pulse in a person
AsystoleThe absence of any cardiac activity evidenced by manual or automated interpretation of an EKG (“flatline”)
AutopulseMechanical CPR device attached to patient to replace provider administer compressions
Battalion ChiefLevel of supervisor in the fire department responsible for overseeing several different fire stations and their personnel; rank above Captain in most departments  
Bells ringingThis term refers to the alarms sounding for low air on the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) firefighters wear in hazards atmospheres
Black CloudA superstitious term for someone who receives more than the average amount of “bad” call types
BLSBasic Life Support.  May be referring to an entry level provider (EMT) or a skill provided by that level of provider, typically noninvasive. (i.e. CPR, ventilations, bleeding control, etc.)
CodePerforming CPR as a team. Maybe be heard as “working a code”
CodedTerm used by prehospital and hospital providers for when a patient loses pulse and CPR is indicated
CPATTwo definitions: A strenuous physical fitness assessment required in most departments prior to receiving a job offer OR an inpatient facility for mentally disturbed patients
EAPEmployee assistance program offered by fire departments for additional life resources (i.e. counseling, financial advising, legal help, etc.)
Echo PatientsA patient who is nonviable upon initial assessment; often seen in mass casualty incidents    
EMT basicEmergency Medical Technician. The entry level medical certification required for most professional fire department members, responsible for providing BLS care. (also known as: EMT, EMTB, or Basics)
ExtricationsTechnical removal of victims from hazardous entrapped situations using specific tools and techniques (i.e. “jaws of life”)
HIPAAHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; federal law passed in 1996 to ensure patient confidentiality and provide protection of sensitive health information
InvolvedReferring to a structure compromised by fire; maybe be referred to as “fully involved” in severe cases
IOIntraosseous; the process of utilizing a medical drill to establish access for medication administration into a bone cavity, typically performed in the humeral head or tibial tuberosity (shoulder or just below knee) for emergency lifesaving purposes
King AirwaySupraglottic airway utilized by EMT’s to establish a means of ventilation in a patient experiencing cardiac or respiratory arrest; alternative to endotracheal intubation
Local Box/First Due boxA dispatch for an emergency incident, usually a fire, within the immediate surrounding area of a specific station
MAYDAYAn international distress signal transmitted via radio for immediate assistance needed
MentorSomeone looked up to who provides guidance and support to others without being designated in the role (i.e. role model)
OPAOropharyngeal airway; a manufactured device for managing and maintaining a patient’s airway by displacing the tongue forward and down to allow glottic opening (also known as: oral airway)
Peer SupportPersonnel or people who are designated by a committee or department to help others in difficult situations by providing emotional, social, or practical support.  
Posturingmay be decerebrate or decorticate in nature; abnormal body positioning indicating severe brain injury; presents as rigid extremity movement into or away from the torso
PreceptorAn employee assigned to train another employee in a specific technical skill area; also known as precept (i.e. teacher or instructor)
TorsadeA life-threatening heart arrhythmia which often causes sudden cardiac arrest; polymorphic ventricular tachycardia
TowerFire apparatus with a visible roof-mounted extensible ladder
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