When an accident or incident occurs, Emergency Medical Services providers are the first ones on the scene, giving care to those in need.
Because of that care, local hospitals are able to continue treatment. It’s a relationship that calls for teamwork.
“It’s very much a team effort in taking care of people,” said Dr. Beth Lux, emergency room physician at New London Family Medical Center (NLFMC). “I just love the work that EMS does.”
Kirk Vandenberg, lead flight nurse on ThedaStar, agreed. “What they do truly matters,” he said.
And in many cases, time is of the essence. “Seconds count,” said Dr. Cary Tauchman, an emergency room physician at Riverside Medical Center (RMC). “We need EMS providers to be there, quickly assess a situation and give the best care possible in any situation.”
The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) kicks off the 39th annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week on May 20 with events in communities across the nation, as well as several national events organized around the theme "EMS: More Than a Job, A Calling."
National Emergency Medical Services Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line." EMS providers include paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders, firefighters and police, some paid, some volunteer.
Local hospitals rely on the care EMS provides. “EMS is always front line,” said Dr. Lux. “They get out there, they get the initial assessment.”
At the scene, EMS stabilizes a patient or provides basic care needs. Emergency departments are in contact with EMS the whole time. Through the communication, they assess needs, call doctors and staff to be ready, all before the patient arrives.
“We rely on that communication to continue the care provided by EMS,” said Dr. Tauchman. “They have life-saving skills, making EMS a critical part of the patient’s care both at the scene and at the hospital.”
At NLFMC, the work of EMS does not stop at the door, said Dr. Lux. Teamwork continues as the hospital staff takes over but EMS is still there, ready to assist, she added.
“When they come in, especially out there because it’s rural, the EMS stays to help,” she said, noting they have provided an extra set of hands in many cases. “They don’t pack up and leave.”
Teamwork is a crucial factor between EMS and ThedaStar when working to provide timely, life-saving intervention, said Vandenberg. “It’s only going to work well if it’s as a team,” he said.
Local hospitals and ThedaStar strive to have good relationships with EMS, said Vandenberg. “It is a team concept for sure and we support the work they do on a daily basis,” he said.