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|12-07-2012, 10:28 AM||#11|
Member Since: Jan 2010
The entire situation is unfortunate, from talking to people many are under the misconception that emergency personnel in Saint Marys County are paid personnel.
They are also under the conception that fire and EMS in Saint Marys County is joint as in many other jurisdictions.
In fact, only one department in Saint Marys County that combines fire and EMS into one station. Valley Lee is the only department in the county that does this.
So as in many other places the fire department is not responsible for the ambulance. The response most people have to that is why not become a member of both?
Each one has different requirements as far as drills and meetings go to maintain membership. There is simply not the time to be a member of both, have a full time job, family, kids etc. Many people have trouble maintaining their membership with just one organization.
As I stated earlier earlier the main issue in the county is with EMS, both BLS and ALS.
I will explain for those unfamiliar with EMS terminology.
BLS is basic life support. Emergency Medical Responder (recently changed from first responder and is a 51 hour course), and Emergency Medical Technician Basic. EMT-B ( now a 165 hour class)
ALS is advanced life support, EMT-P (a paramdic).
An EMT-B is trained in CPR an can administer basic life saving drugs such as epinephrine, oxygen, nitro, activated charcoal, glucose and other basic functions of care.
A paramedic has thousands of hours of training. They can perform an EKG in the field to see dangerous rhythms, cardioversion (keep the heart in rhythm using different shocks, not just shock using an AED) intubate (breathing tube, establish an IV and push many different medications through the line, and other hospital functions in the pre hospital setting.
So in Saint Marys while an ambulance might get out the door right away (or not) as a BLS unit (EMTB) there might only be one or two ALS units in the county.
So if there is a call in Ridge requiring ALS the "Medic unit" might be in mechanicsville and have to run from one end of the county to the other meeting the ambulance enroute to the hospital, or the medic unit might be on another call and unable to provide any ALS care to that individual who could see great clinical benefit from ALS care in the prehospital setting.
As stated earlier, if after five ems stations have failed to respond the fire department is dispatched to ensure medical care is being provided until whoever, from wherever, shows up to transport.
And yes, mutual aid is a great thing, The Leonardtown/Hollywood is very lucky because they have the hospital right there, if there is no ambulance available, dispatch can pull ambulances clearing the hospital to run calls in that area, however the downside is that the ambulance is longer away from its home area leaving it potentially without an ambulance.
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|12-07-2012, 03:24 PM||#12|
Member Since: Aug 2008
We had the same problems here in Calvert. I say "Had" because I am no longer an active Member of Calvert Advanced Life Support. As a Paramedic, I ran mutual aid to St, Marys, Charles, and AA Counties.A solution to some of the Scratched calls might be to Hire a Day Crew. Both Fire, and Rescue as well as ALS. It is usually the Day Time hours that have the hardest times getting Aparatus out. I would have hated to hear that when I was volunteering my time, but it is something that needs to be considered, because of the population increase in the tri-county area.
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