EMS Week Recognizes Services of Medicine’s ‘Front Line’
National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) week is an opportunity to honor the dedicated emergency medical technicians and paramedics who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s “front line.” This year’s EMS Week is being recognized from May 16-22.
When you need vital care and transport at the scene of an emergency, Crozer-Keystone Health System’s EMS is there. They have been providing emergency care for the people of southeastern Delaware County for more than 30 years.
When the EMS team responds to an emergency call, you can be assured that they will deliver skilled medical care to you or your loved one. Paramedics are highly trained and qualified, holding certifications in Basic Cardiac Life Support (CPR), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS). Members are also specialized in the medical management of hazardous material causalities. Crozer-Keystone provides EMS support from Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Springfield Hospital and Taylor Hospital.
The Crozer-Chester Medical Center EMS team has been operational since 1974 and currently serves 15 municipalities. The team consists of 65 members — including management paramedics, 56 full-time paramedics and EMTs, three part-timers and seven PRN staff. On average, the EMS teams handle approximately 19,000 emergency responses per year with three paramedic aid cars, six ambulances and one critical care transport vehicle.
“EMS is often the first contact people have with CKHS hospitals, and we strive to provide excellent pre-hospital care to our patients. That care is continued after the patient is delivered to the hospital. By providing EMS to many communities in Delaware County, CKHS proves its commitment to providing care from start to finish to all those in need,” says Robert Reeder, director of EMS at Crozer.
Delaware County Memorial Hospital’s EMS department has grown since their establishment in 1985. Their department went from 17 paramedics to 23 full-time paramedics, four part-time paramedics, and 12 PRN paramedics, along with three PRN EMTs. Last year, they received more than 11,000 emergency calls.
“EMS is a key component of the overall health care system. Early access via 911 and pre-hospital patient contact can have a significant effect on a patient’s outcome and recovery, especially when it comes to cardiac, stroke and trauma care. The dedication and commitment of the paramedic staff at all the Crozer Keystone hospitals is invaluable to the communities we serve,” say Tim Mengel, director of EMS at DCMH.
Springfield Hospital is the only EMS department within CKHS that has offices located within the hospital and that operates almost exclusively in partnership with a single provider, the Springfield Ambulance Corps. The department serves approximately 25,000 citizens in the 6.2 square-mile area of Springfield Township.
“I believe this contributes to an especially close relationship with both the hospital and the community. In addition to providing emergency medical services at the paramedic level and being the ‘face’ of the hospital in the community, we are also an integral part of the day-to-day operations of the hospital itself. Our paramedics assist the ED and ICU staff in critical patient care situations, including the birth of two babies last year in the ED,” says Tim Quinn, director of EMS at Springfield Hospital.
“In addition, we provide hazardous materials, ACLS and CPR training to hospital staff. We perform in-house N95 fit testing as well as quarterly endotracheal intubation certification for our Respiratory Therapy staff. We assist with in-house CQI and Joint Commission compliance by conducting regular code drills in the nursing units. We recently trained our ED staff how to use the EZ-IO device for rapid access in critical patients and our paramedics conduct regular continuing education classes. Our department members have served on the IV, AMI, Stroke, Safety, Disaster, Critical Care and Hospital Zone Committees and participated in the recent mass public H1N1 vaccination clinics held by the PA Department of Health,” Quinn adds.
Taylor Hospital Emergency Medical Services has been serving the community since 1981. They provide primary services for nine municipalities and backup mutual aid to an additional 10 communities. Taylor’s department consists of three advanced life support unit aid cars. The department also partners with Collingdale Fire Company #1, providing a paramedic to their two-man ambulance crew 24 hours a day. The department has 17 full-time staff and 10 PRN staff members, all trained and certified in CPR, ACLS, Pediatric ALS and Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support.
“We work well together as a team, not only at Taylor Hospital but also with the other hospitals in the health system. We are very proud of our commitment to the community,” says Jerome Casey, director of EMS at Taylor.
In addition to providing emergency medical services to the community, Crozer-Keystone offers a comprehensive Emergency Medical Services Training Institute in conjunction with Delaware County Community College. The program trains health care professionals to provide care at the scene of an emergency as a paramedic. For more information about this program, call (610) 447-6297.
For more information about CKHS EMS services, visit http://ckhsems.crozer.org.