EMR - Emergency Medical Responder Program

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dustin J. Hill, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. Dustin J. Hill

    Dustin J. Hill Deputy Chief


    The GCVRS regrets to inform you that despite having amassed approximately 467 signatures on the EMR - Emergency Medical Responder petition, the Grainger County Mayor, Mark Hipsher, ultimately denied this program. The Grainger County Commission did not vote on this program as it only needs approval from the Grainger County EMS Director (Roger Ritchie), the Grainger County Medical Director (Mark Holland) and the Grainger County Mayor (Mark Hipsher).

    The EMS Director and Medical Director have made it clear that Grainger County needs this program but the County Mayor denied the program. We are disappointed in the outcome, but we will not give up the fight to provide the best possible service that we can provide and will continue to fight for this program. Thank you for your continued support.

    Grainger County Mayor Mark Hipsher
    8095 Rutledge Pike #100
    Rutledge, TN 37861
    Phone: (865) 828-3513

    To educate yourself further on the EMR program, here are some links that break down what an individual and organization must go through to obtain and maintain certification and what each level of service each EMS Professional may practice.

    Emergency Medical Responder

    The primary focus of the Emergency Medical Responder is to initiate immediate lifesaving care to critical patients who access the emergency medical system. This individual possesses the basic knowledge and skills necessary to provide lifesaving interventions while awaiting additional EMS response and to assist higher level personnel at the scene and during transport. Emergency Medical Responders function as part of a comprehensive EMS response, under medical oversight. Emergency Medical Responders perform basic interventions with minimal equipment.

    Educational Requirements: One of the eligibility requirements for licensure at this level requires successful completion of an accredited Emergency Medical Responder training program.

    EMS Scope of Practice - "The Do's"

    Emergency Medical Responder Course

    EMS Licensure Requirements

    NREMT Guidelines

    Rules of the Tennessee Department of Health
    Bureau of Manpower and Facilities
    Emergency Medical Services Division

    As you can tell, individuals go through extensive training, numerous hours of training and money spent (out of their own pockets in our case) in order to provide these services. It doesn't end there. Individuals must maintain their certification through refresher courses regularly.

    EMR - Emergency Medical Responder - "What is it?"

    This program would ensure that able bodied, nationally and state certified/licensed individuals of the volunteer departments in Grainger County, could respond to medical emergencies and provide basic life saving medical treatment. For the ones that remember the "First Responder" program in the past, it's basically the same thing, only renamed and revamped.

    For instance; if three of the counties four ambulances are tied up on other calls of service, and the remaining ambulance was in Washburn, and a medical emergency was happening on Lakeshore Road at the highway 92 intersection, the response time from Washburn to Lakeshore would likely be around 45 minutes to an hour whereas EMRs could respond within minutes. That's a long time to wait for help. If this program were approved, licensed and certified emergency medical responders within the community that are a part of the volunteer organizations in our county could respond and provide life saving care until EMS arrived. It could mean the difference between life and death.

    Grainger County Medical Director, Doctor Mark Holland, and the EMS Director, Roger Ritchie, are all for the program. The only cost to the county on the GCAA side would be around $500 to purchase the books needed to teach the class. That's a one time allotment of $500 to purchase the course material. The class would be for organizations in our county that don't already have Nationally and State certified EMRs and the cost for testing and obtaining the required licensure would be placed on the individual and not the county.

    As far as liability goes, each department would carry their own insurance. GCVRS has done this for years. Each EMR would fall under the direction of the Medical Director. In the EMS world, all protocol and guidelines operate off of a doctors license. Protocol is set by the Doctor which allows certified medical responders to perform up to the limit set by the Medical Director. Any practice beyond that scope would be a liability, yes. BUT; seeing as how individuals have gone through the same testing and classes that EMS do, they wouldn't take their licensures for granted and operate outside of the set terms. We are doing this to help our community, not cause it harm.

    There are clauses in the resolution that allow organizations not wanting to participate to do so. However; several agencies in our county are willing to participate with GCVRS leading the way alongside GCAA. GCVRS already has 10 Nationally and State certified members on our roster and a fully supplied emergency vehicle ready to go. We have been working on this program for about a year and a half and we have followed the proper channels to ensure its enactment. We have been involved in numerous meetings with department heads, the State of Tennessee and different agencies across East Tennessee.

    There wouldn't be any other costs associated as the GCAA already has an instructor on payroll and is being paid to provide instruction on numerous other things anyways. It's really a huge benefit to the community and the people that live here. I hope I answered your questions and if you have any further questions please feel free to ask. We will continue to fight for this program and to provide the best possible service to the community that we love. Thank you for your time and unwavering support.

    To the best of our knowledge, the Mayor believes the citizens do not wish to have this program. During the commission meeting the Mayor was asked if he recommended the program to which he replied "Not right now."

    As far as specifics, he did not elaborate. One would logically conclude that having GCAA (Grainger County Ambulance Authority), the County Medical Director and 467 total signatures between both, online and paper, petitions would show massive support and interest. For reasons unbeknownst to us, he declined the program.

    We, and other volunteer emergency organizations in Grainger County, are still committed to pursuing this program and ask that, since petitions won't suffice, that you do contact the Mayor directly to show support.

    The Mayor may be contacted during normal business hours at 865-828-3513. If he's not in, please leave your name, number and the reason for your call in a message for him. If you wish to mail him a letter, the address is: 8095 Rutledge Pike #100, Rutledge, TN 37861.

    We appreciate your continued support and attention to this matter.

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