Streamlined for treatment

By Dean Shipley

May 8, 2014

Can five minutes make a difference in a person’s life? If the person’s health is potentially compromised in an emergency, it can.

That’s why the Central Townships Joint Fire Department (CTJFD) has entered into an agreement with Madison County EMS. When dispatched to an emergency scene and discovering a person in crisis, an EMT or paramedic with the fire department can start care procedures and sustain them until Medic 280 or 281 from the EMS arrives on the scene.

Central Townships covers Deer Creek, Monroe, Paint, Union and Oak Run townships, which surrounf the City of London.

EMS Chief Robert Olwin and CTJFD chief Brian Bennington have been working on the arrangement since 2013, and finalized the details recently.

“We went live with it May 5,” Olwin said.

Since that time, the system has been tested and proven reliable, he said.

It is particularly helpful in areas north of the city, or south within the Central Townships coverage area, he said. Purely because of location, an engine from a Central Townships station, either Newport or Lafayette, can reach a scene many minutes earlier.

Bennington said an EMT or paramedic rides on an engine and can start whatever procedure needs to be initiated, particularly in potentially life-threatening situations, such as shortness of breath or drug overdose.

Once the medic arrives on scene, a seamless transfer is made.

“There’s no gap in care,” Bennington said.

Both units are covered under the same drug licensing and carry the same drugs on board their vehicles.

“We run the same protocol,” Bennington said. “It’s streamlined for treatment.”

The streamlining provides the best service possible “and there’s no additional cost to the taxpayer,” Bennington said.

Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 17 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.