2014-01-23 / Front Page

City: EMS claim untrue

Director defends level
of service provided

MANISTIQUE – The Manistique Department of Public Safety EMS is looking to clear up any confusion over the services they are trained to offer. The effort comes following comments made by the co-owner of a potentially up and coming private ambulance service in the area.

According to MPS Director Ken Golat, the citizens of Schoolcraft County should take comfort in the fact that the city offers highly trained individuals who are qualified to respond to medical emergencies.

Golat said Shelly Baker, coowner of Rapid Response One, Inc., recently claimed in a Pioneer Tribune article that the city’s EMS does not provide a variety of services that a higher level EMS could offer. Those services, according to Baker, include: cardiac monitoring and care with administration of medications and treatment prior to hospital arrival; pain management; treatment of illness at the scene with intravenous fluids and medications; advanced airway management; advanced training in pediatric care; advanced training in trauma care; treatment with medications and fluid for diabetic emergencies; obstetrical care; and CPR and first aid training to the community.

According to Golat, this statement is untrue. He countered that the city offers: emergency cardiac care with administration of medications and treatment prior to hospital arrival; limited pain management; treatment of illness at the scene with intravenous fluids and medications; advanced airway management; limited advanced training in pediatric care; limited advanced training in trauma care; treatment with medications and fluids for diabetic emergencies; obstetrical care; and CPR and first aid training to the community.

“It is the department’s and the city’s opinion that we have provided a high level of quality medical care for our community,” explained Golat. “We are also diligently working toward the licensing for advanced life support or paramedics.”

According to the National Registry of Emergency Technicians, there are four levels of emergency service providers: emergency medical responder, emergency medical technician, advanced EMT, and paramedic. Each business or entity is licensed to perform under one of the above designations.

The city’s EMS service is currently licensed as an AEMT. This means its personal can provide basic and limited advanced emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergent patients.

According to the National EMS Scope of Practice Model, the city’s AEMT designation is common for rural areas.

“For many communities, Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians provide an option to provide high benefit, lower risk advanced skills for systems that cannot support or justify paramedic level care,” the report reads. “The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician’s scope of practice includes basic, limited advanced and pharmacological interventions to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with acute out-of-hospital medical and traumatic emergencies.”

A paramedic, on the other hand, can perform basic and advanced skills focused on the acute management and transportation of the broad range of patients.

“The paramedic’s scope of practice includes invasive and pharmacological interventions to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with acute out-ofhospital medical and traumatic emergencies,” explains the report. “Emergency care is based on an advanced assessment and the formulation of a field impression.”

While the city’s EMS service is looking to train its personnel as paramedics, therefore moving up a level in licensure, it has not yet been accomplished. In the meantime, Golat has proposed an ordinance which would ensure the city’s EMS is the primary responder for any emergency within the county once it is able to offer paramedic services.

If passed, as written, by the Manistique City Council, the ordinance would not directly affect the Rapid Response One EMS service until the city obtains its more advanced licensure. At that point, the city would hold the exclusive right to be the primary responder to any emergency medical services needed.

For more information on the differences in AEMT and paramedic services, visit www.michigan.gov/ems or www.nremt.org.

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