Crozer-Keystone EMS Answers the Call during Blizzard - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on January 27, 2016

Crozer-Keystone EMS Answers the Call during Blizzard

Crozer-Keystone Health SystemMedia Contact:
Katrina Stier
(610) 447-6314

Crozer-Keystone Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Answers the Call during Blizzard

When you need vital care and transport at the
scene of an emergency, Crozer-Keystone's
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will be there.

The first responders of Crozer-Keystone Health System’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) expect to be busier than usual when inclement weather is on the horizon. But when the Delaware Valley was hit with a record-breaking snow storm, the EMS team went above and beyond to ensure the safety of the community and Crozer-Keystone’s employees.

The EMS staff worked tirelessly in extremely adverse conditions this past weekend to ensure that emergencies throughout Delaware County were handled safely and efficiently. Many fire departments throughout Crozer-Keystone’s response areas collaborated with the EMS providers to respond to medical emergencies. With the support of these fire departments, critically ill patients were quickly “dug out” of their homes and transported to local hospitals for continued care.

“While we had several days to make preparations, all staff stepped up to ensure all vehicles, including our back up vehicles, were fueled and ready for use ,” said Robert Reeder, chief of the EMS South Division.

Bruce Egan, assistant chief of the EMS South Division, and Conlen Booth, chief of the EMS North Division, provided essential leadership during the blizzard.

“Bruce personally contacted the chiefs from our mutual aid fire departments while off duty on Friday and notified all staff what we were doing to ensure safe EMS operations throughout the weekend. We have protocols in place to ensure we have appropriate and safe staffing levels,” Reeder said.

EMS South Division credits the Chester City Fire Department, Brookhaven Fire Department, Aston Township Fire Department, Bethel Fire Department, Parkside Fire Department, Upland Fire Department and Tinicum Township Fire Department for all having additional manpower on duty in 4x4 utility trucks that can shovel, lift or even pull an ambulance out of a snow drift. For the South Division, Egan worked the weekend day shift and assistant chief Jeffery Witters worked the evenings.

“We were grateful for all the help we had coordinating with local fire departments. Deputy Chief Gary McAfee of Upper Darby Township reached out to me prior to the storm and informed me that he had dedicated three fire engines that would respond with the Crozer-Keystone EMS North Division paramedics on all calls in Upper Darby Township,” said Booth. “The addition of these fire engines and firefighters on medical calls was invaluable. In extreme weather conditions, the emergencies that fire and EMS agencies respond to become more dangerous and can be extremely time consuming thereby delaying our ability to be available for the next emergency dispatch. Thanks to the consummate professionalism and dedication of the Upper Darby Firefighters our paramedics were able to respond to over 100 emergency dispatches between Friday evening and Monday morning.”

“On night shift for the North Division was Lieutenant Kelly Epright. She was a rock star, coming in early and staying late to allow me the ability to help staff in the CKHS Command Center,” Booth continues.

In addition, the North and South Division safely drove more than 80 Crozer-Keystone employees (including physicians and nurses) to and from Crozer-Keystone’s four inpatient hospitals during the storm. Between EMS North and South, 11 EMS professionals came in extra to transport hospital staff from their homes to a Crozer-Keystone facility so that our patients could continue to receive care. The EMS teams also assisted in transferring essential blood products where needed for the health system.

When you need vital care and transport at the scene of an emergency, Crozer-Keystone Health System's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will be there: They have been providing compassionate emergency care to the people of southeastern Delaware County for more than 30 years.

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