EMS workers: Your life is their mission

Loujane Johns
On Saturday, April 12, EMS, fire departments and law enforcement from throughout Yates County took part in a simulation of a bus carrying individuals with disabilities. About 75 rescuers and Yates ARC personnel acting as “victims” participated. Rescuers extracated the driver, aide and passengers from the bus.

Emergency Medical Service is provided to Yates County residents around the clock.  This year’s national EMS week theme is “Your Life is Our Mission.” Let’s take a look at how their response to a call for help evolves:

The first person involved in the Chain of Survival is the 911 dispatcher. This person has been trained to answer calls in a calm, professional manner. It is their job to review the situation and quickly dispatch the needed equipment and personnel. 

While they are getting things rolling, they may also be dealing with a hysterical person on the phone. Another dispatcher may be given the the task of giving CPR or other instructions over the phone.

Fire Department first responders often reach the scene of an accident or illness call before an ambulance arrives.  These volunteers often provide a valuable  link in the Chain of Survival for the patient by beginning intial care.  The next people to arrive are the ambulance crew. 

In Yates County, Dundee, Middlesex and Penn Yan Ambulances respond. They take the patient to the next level of care by bringing more equipment and providing basic life support. 

Crew members are often Emergency Medical Technicians, who must complete about 160 hours of training to be re-certified every three years. 

The driver is responsible for getting the patient and the crew to the hospital safely. 

He must be familiar with the location of equipment on the rig to bring to the medics and aid in loading and unloading the patient.

In certain situations, an Advanced Life Support (ALS) Unit may be called to a scene.  In Yates County, Medic 55 operates out of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital.  This person can start IV’S and offer a higher degree of medical interventions enroute to the hospital.

If a person is critically ill or injured, a helicopter may be called to the scene.  In most of these cases, a patient can be taken from the scene or landing zone and will arrive at a trauma center in eight to 10 minutes. 

When the patient is taken to a local hospital by ambulance, they are triaged (evaluated) by the emergency room nurse, seen by a doctor who specializes in emergency medicine and treatment begins. 

Emergency care involves a lot of people, each making their own contribution.

This also includes law enforcement and fire police, who keep the scene safe. 

Fire rescue squads stabilize vehicles and bring patients out of precarious situations to EMS crews.  Yates County is fortunate to have dedicated people who are willing to go into difficult scenes, see people at their worst and sometimes witness heart-breaking outcomes, and be part of a life-saving or life-starting effort

Fire department, EMS, and law enforcement personnel work together in the triage area