If if Looks Vacant…Smells Vacant….Is it Vacant?



When does it seem like you have seen it all in the fire-ems service? How deplorable can the conditions that people live in get? I often wonder this as we stumble through another place that is so discus ting that a dog shouldn’t be living in it just to find one if not many humans living in it! WOW is all you can say when you walk in. But what can you say when you roll up on it and it Looks Vacant….Smells Vacant…is it Vacant?

The answer in today’s culture is NO! Every house, apartment, and boarded up business is occupied until you find otherwise. With homeless people on the rise and people searching for a roof over their head many find these in boarded up houses and such. Looks can be deceiving on buildings that are occupied and people cover their windows and entryways with lumber instead of replacing windows and doors. This can give us the look of a vacant and be a occupied structure.
Often we come upon this very situation. So how do we prepare for these type situations. One opinion is to use the dreaded ems calls to get into a pre-plan mode. While accessing patients and after treating them take time to look around. Boarded up window, means of egress, and number of occupants are all things we should look for. Inside conditions and possible dangers should also be in the front of your mind. The most important part of this assessment is to share the info with your department!
Who knows, someday it might Look Vacant, Smell Vacant, and all of a sudden It’s NOT vacant!
Keep up the good work and thanks for visiting the jumpseat!!!!
welcome to the jumpseat!