Thursday, November 15, 2018

Letter to the Editor: More Responsive Care


Dr. Tober recently discussed issues facing EMS and Marco Island. With the shared dedication of emergency personnel in mind, I would like to expand on a few points.

1) The County has 26 ambulances in service. With a Marco COPCN, and the negotiated interlocal agreement between Marco FD and the County, Marco will add three needed ambulances to the system for a total of 29 ambulances.

2) BLS: CPR-trained Marco police officers are often first on scene. The County doesn’t include their response time in data showing Marco BLS response is “nearly 50% longer than the recommended standard,” even though the officers are recognized by the County with the prestigious Phoenix Award each time they save a life.

3) Marco personnel are rotated off the ambulance during a busy 48-hour shift. During season, it’s common practice for county paramedics to be mandated to work 48 hours. This can mean 48 consecutive hours awake or with minimal sleep while serving as the lead paramedic on a CCEMS ambulance unit.

4) The latest data released by the County EMA board shows that Marco units arrived on scene within eight minutes 95%of the time. County units on Marco met that goal 85%of the time. Of the approximately 2000 medical calls on Marco for that period, 300 calls did not meet the standard for CCEMS. What was the impact of the delay on those 300 patients? Does the QA process track the medications given and patient outcomes for them?

Pursuing a COPCN isn’t about disparaging the hard work of County medics. It’s about working together to deliver more responsive care to Marco residents.

Andrea Leiner, ER RN/Paramedic

Marco Island

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