Mental Prep Practice: Philly Fire Incident

Mental Prep Practice is performed by taking real-life incidents and considering reasonable responses to various problems presented.


As with all the videos we use, there should be no blame or ridicule directed at Fire/EMS/Nursing personnel involved. Since human interaction/conflict is dynamic, there is no such thing as the perfect action/choice. Instead we purchase a moment-in-time, that allows for another. Chain enough together and that is how one wins.

In this particular video, we can observe what appears to be a motor vehicle crash. I’m going out on a limb here, but I would postulate the driver of said vehicle is the one we observe acting erratically.

As you go through the video, ask yourself truthfully, “What would I do if…?” to each stage of the encounter. You don’t have to be right, but you do have to be reasonable. Some considerations may include:

  • How badly does he need medical intervention at this particular time? Should he even be considered a patient?
  • Notice the behavior, particularly the speed
  • Notice the crowd? They are potential witnesses for ALL actions, including any rescuers.
  • Does this guy have an increased pain-threshold? Does the ability to feel pain play a role in the use of force in self-defense or patient restraints?
  • Have you ever had a person try to enter your ambulance or rescue unit when they are not welcomed?
  • What is the tone of the voice heard on the camera (possibly the cameraman)? Does it change? If so, when?


Don’t watch videos like this for just the shock/entertainment value. Utilize them as a learning tool. As humans we are prone to “FREEZE”, if even for a moment, when the body is forced someplace the mind has never been. That is the single most important reason mental prep practice is important.

Saving Yours While You Save Others (SYWYSO) is more than our tagline. It’s culture change. Your safety comes first.