GHS Kicks Off the 37th Annual Emergency Medical Services Week
On Monday, Granville Health System (GHS) helped kick off the 37th annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week which runs from May 16 to 22. All across the country, hospitals and agencies are celebrating this year's theme, "Anytime. Anywhere. We'll be there." EMS teams are highly trained emergency care providers and often the first responders to the ill and injured patients in and around Granville County.
“Nationally, this week is about recognizing EMS personnel, who serve on the ‘front line’ in the fight to save lives in emergency situations,” said Edward Bartels, Director of Emergency Services at Granville Health System. “This week is a time to honor Granville EMS personnel for the vital, lifesaving emergency services they provide to our community.”
EMS is one of the most visible elements of the emergency health care system. Today’s ambulances are highly specialized mobile intensive care units and today’s Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) attend hundreds of hours of classroom education for their initial certification. Paramedics, the highest level of field medical providers, attend thousands of hours of initial education and internship time. In addition, EMTs and Paramedics must recertify their license every four years and attend hundreds more hours of continuing education to maintain their certification. This training covers all aspects of acute emergency care and is intense and rigorous.
“We also believe it is important to recognize the professionals who, behind the scenes, are committed to partnering with and training EMS providers,” said Martin Bragg, Director of Granville County Emergency Services. “The GHS Emergency Department works as a training platform, providing RN preceptors for developing Granville County Paramedics, EMTs and Medical Responders. Without these vital individuals, the EMS system and professional staff would not receive the full spectrum of training.”
In fact, it is the strong collaboration between the Granville Health System Emergency Department and Granville County EMS that helps ensure a superior level of continuity of care and customer service is provided to residents of Granville County. Strong practice relationships amongst EMS paramedics, First Responders and GHS Nursing and Medical staff continue to support the effectiveness of this community service.
Last year, Granville County Emergency Medical Services’ 7 stations received more than 6,600 calls for emergency medical assistance through the 911 system in Granville County. “The men and women serving our area as EMT workers deserve our appreciation and thanks,” said Bartels. “We’re pleased to recognize them during EMS Appreciation Week, but we should also remember to acknowledge their dedication in our community every day.”
Today’s EMS system, with Paramedics and EMTs working in tandem, brings the first hour of Emergency Room care to the patient’s side no matter where the patient may be. EMS focuses upon providing immediate stabilizing care that stops or slows the progression of the acute disease process or damage from any injury, protects the patient from further aggravation of the condition, and impacts their long-term continuity of care. This care reduces Mortality, or loss of life, as well as Morbidity, or future quality of life. Calling 911 during a medical emergency produces better outcomes than does simply driving a seriously ill or injured person to a hospital. Early intervention in cases such as a heart attack or stroke can mean the difference between a full recovery or those conditions leading to long-term disability.
Always call EMS if someone needs immediate medical treatment. To make this decision, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the person's condition life-threatening?
- Could the person's condition worsen and become life-threatening on the way to the hospital?
- Does the person require the skills or equipment of paramedics or emergency medical technicians?
- Could the distance or traffic conditions cause a delay in getting the person to the hospital?
If your answer to any of these questions is "yes," or if you are unsure, it's best to call 911. Paramedics and EMTs can begin medical treatment at the scene and on the way to the hospital and also alert the emergency department of the person's condition en route.
When you call for help, speak calmly and clearly. Give your name, address and phone number; give the location of the patient and describe the problem. Don't hang up until the 911 Telecommunicator tells you to, because he or she may need more information or want to give you instructions.
Be ready to help while you wait for emergency services to arrive. Action can mean anything from applying direct pressure on a wound, to performing CPR, or splinting an injury. It may also mean keeping the person calm and telling emergency responders what you know of the person's accident, illness or medical history. Never perform a medical procedure if you're unsure about how to do it.
Do not move anyone involved in a car accident, injured by a serious fall, or found unconscious unless he or she is in immediate danger of further injury. Do not give the person anything to eat or drink. If the person is bleeding, apply a clean cloth or sterile bandage. If possible, elevate the injury and apply direct pressure on the wound.
If the person is not breathing or does not have a pulse, begin rescue breathing or CPR. If you do not know how, or have concerns about performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, the American Heart Association has endorsed "hands-only" CPR. This means "pushing hard and fast in the middle of the victim's chest with minimal interruptions," at a rate of 100 compressions per minute. The pop song "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees is approximately 100 beats per minute, which is a helpful way to remember how fast to perform compressions. Continue chest compressions until the ambulance arrives.
For more information, visit http://handsonlycpr.org/.