Published By: East Oregonian August 29, 2018.

Pendleton Fire Department Capt. Steve Brost unfurled the tape measure that’s supposed to help save a child’s life.

If paramedics are responding to a medical emergency with a pediatric patient, personnel are supposed to use the long piece of paper to measure the child’s height. Based on their measurement, paramedics then determine the correct dosages or equipment to use for pediatric emergencies based on charts and measurements featured on the tape measure.

The problem, Brost said, is that the tape measure doesn’t always match with the fire department’s protocol and sometimes features medications they don’t stock in ambulances.

The fire department recently acquired HandTevy, an app that can automatically provide paramedics with the proper dosages and measurements for things like medications that can address anaphylactic shock or cardiac arrest or equipment like breathing tubes.

Brost estimated less than 5 percent of the fire department’s calls involve children in the midst of a medical emergency.

“But when we do get them, they’re bad cases,” he said.

The goal of equipping paramedics with the new app is to make the decision process for emergency pediatric treatment as fast and as accurate as possible.

Brost said the app can even be used with adults, although height and weight aren’t used as determining factors as often with men and women.

The fire department also purchased pediatric kits that are aligned with the app and will receive training on the HandTevy system in September.

Brost said he wants to get the word out on the fire department’s new app because paramedics could be referencing their cell phones a lot more often when responding to a child’s emergency.

He said when the public sees paramedics looking at their phones in those situations, they’re not playing a game or killing time: they’re referencing data that could help save a child’s life.