By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
EMS Director Shelia Marsh reported to the Ambulance Authority board members that over half of the staff at EMS was out sick with COVID or other illnesses. Marsh herself had been sick and was just starting to get well. Marsh said they were still trying to keep crews in the field.
Marsh also reported that they were having issues getting needed narcotic medications for the ambulances. Marsh said she was working with other hospitals to see if they can order the needed medication from them since St. George Medical Clinic can no longer place the order for them.
A new part-time crew member is being hired. The new hire is not currently trained so she will be working with either Marsh or Scott Kennedy on Wednesday’s.
Marsh stated to the authority, “There has been some talk about the medical chase vehicle, and I do not think either one of us (Marsh and Kennedy) is going to do that. That is actually our certification on line when we go out like that by ourselves. If one of us feels uncomfortable doing that then we are going to stick together as a team and not do that.”
A medical chase vehicle is described as a non-transporting EMS vehicle, also known as a fly-car, response vehicle, quick response service (QRS) vehicle, or fast response vehicle, is a vehicle that responds to and provides emergency medical services (EMS) without the ability to transport patients.
Marsh explained by saying, “The state legislature states that when an emergency medical vehicle rolls out the door it is to be properly staffed and that is not with one person taking a vehicle and going to a scene by their self. Before that would be considered a chase vehicle which means chase and not going before the ambulance does to take of people.
Ambulance Authority President Dennis Filler then reported on 911 call analytics. Filler said, “We have sliced and diced 14 months of 911 data. The reason we are using the 911 data is because that is where our business originates from. When a call comes in, we are only allowed to take someone in an ambulance if they call 911 directly and from that an incident is logged in. We have partnered with the call center to get data out of their system as best as they can provide. We are making additional data calls but working out the mechanics of it, this is the data we have been able to obtain.”
From the data collected the authority was able to determine that were seven mutual aide calls in July and 13 in August. That is 20 in two months verses 21 total for all of last year. Mutual aide calls are when another county responds to a call when the local EMS is unavailable. There is basically one crew three quarters of the time with two crews only running on two days a week.
The table of data codes categorizes the calls not the treatment assessment. There were 58 codes listed with the highest percentage in the personal injury category. The data showed that there were fewer calls during the middle of the week and between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. is when 69 percent of the calls come in to 911 last week.
Authority members discussed what would be the biggest return of investment when placing crews to work. The data shows that during the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. shift one crew can handle 50 percent of the load, while the other crew is possibly taking transports. Transports are classified as pre-arranged transportation taking patients to doctor’s appointments and/or hospitals or a hospital requesting a transport of a patient to a higher facility.
The authority is continuing to work on fundraising by placing an ad in the local newspaper and mailing out flyers asking for donations. If the EMS Levy passes on this November’s ballot, the authority board hopes this will be a one-time request of the residents in Tucker County.
The authority is also working on two questions and answers public meetings to be held before the election. They will announce the dates in the upcoming weeks.
Commissioner Mike Rosenau informed the authority of the legislator law that restricts the Commission from publicly speaking for or against the proposed EMS Levy tax. Per state code 3-8-11, “By any other means attempt to intimidate or exert any undue influence, in order to induce such a person to vote or refrain from voting, or on account of such person having voted or refrained from voting, at any election.” “Good government is not for it or against it, we are for the people’s choice.”
The next Ambulance Authority meeting will be held on October 4, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. in the Tucker County Courthouse, 211 First Street, Parsons, WV, 26287.