Message from Larry Hansen, EMS Director
Year two of operations brings exciting opportunities for ECEMS
It’s hard to believe that we are already in the second year of operations serving the residents of and visitors to Emmet County. The road staff, supervisors and billing office personnel have been so busy getting the service up and running and providing service that the last 14 months have flown by. Just when we think we have a moment to relax, the tones sound and another emergency is handled!
The past year has gone extremely well for our crews as we settled into operations. In 2015, we responded to 4,432 requests for service. We transported patients from McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital to many nursing homes, residences, and other hospitals throughout the state. We also brought patients from outlying hospitals in the region back to McLaren for higher level of care treatment.
Because of the increase in demands for service, we added a 12-hour day-time ambulance to our fleet. Our statistics show we have a higher volume between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., so the day ambulance is staffed for that timeframe. We still have eight ambulances in our fleet, but we now have extra crews covering the service area.
We have also implemented a vehicle replacement plan. Our plan is to replace our 2009 McCoy Miller ambulance in 2017 and replace the others as the mileage increases. The industry standard is to replace ambulances when they have 250,000 to 300,000 miles. We project the next replacement will be due in either 2019 or 2020 barring unforeseen circumstances. Because Braun ambulances were bought, we feel we can remount the ambulance box on a new chassis and save approximately $60,000 when replacing the vehicle.
We are also planning to purchase an E-Car. This will be a first-response vehicle that is manned by one Paramedic who will respond to emergencies when more manpower is needed, when all ambulances are busy or it is the closest vehicle when a call comes in. The E-Car will be supplied with everything the ambulance has onboard and will be equipped to handle advanced life support procedures.
We are excited to announce our new building site on Eppler Road for Station #1, our main hub in Petoskey. Finding the proper available site took a lot of work and research by many people. Drive time studies to major intersections and main highways were conducted along with population and run-density studies; the Eppler Road site rose to the top in meeting our criteria.
We are also very excited to be moving into the new station in Mackinaw City in April, Station #3. This building will house one crew and allow for a second crew to be housed when needed and as our run volume increases. Two ambulances will be kept in the facility, with the second being used as a back-up response vehicle.
Dr. Randy Galloway is our new Medical Control Director. Toward the end of 2015, Dr. Charleton relocated to the Cincinnati area and continues his practice there. We were very fortunate to have him on the team during the transition period and he was very supportive of the ECEMS plan. We look forward to working with Dr. Galloway. He has been an emergency physician at McLaren for a number of years and is well-known by our staff. Even more importantly, he knows our staff very well also. He has jumped into his new position with both feet and I am confident his skills and background will be a welcome addition to the EMS community.
Staff education continues to be an important focus for us. The field of pre-hospital emergency medicine changes very rapidly and it is up to us to keep the staff abreast of these changes. Our education staff has also been busy teaching classes for the first responder services in the area. Our community event staff has also been working closely with our education staff to provide community-based education and community events throughout our service area. We always look forward to meeting the public and letting them see the equipment and rigs we use on a daily basis when responding to emergencies.
My staff and I are looking forward to the rest of 2016 and all the exciting opportunities that will surely accompany the year ahead. We all take the care of the citizens of and visitors to Emmet County very seriously and will continue to provide the best possible service we can.