More Training For Ambulance Crews
Many Missouri ambulance districts don't know about it yet, but a law signed last week by Governor Nixon aims to improve coverage and emergency care in rural counties of Missouri.
Mark Schaefer, an administrator in the Osage Ambulance District, said this will help.
"All rural areas will benefit from the bill based on the fact that they'll have a greater level of skill going to the patients," said Schaefer.
Schaefer said response time won't improve to rural areas, but intermediate EMT's will get greater training and be able to assist patients better. Intermediate EMT's will now perform techniques like starting IV's and work on airway management.
Schaefer said the goal is for intermediate EMT's to do jobs that paramedics do now. He said this is important because many small rural counties cannot afford fulltime paramedics. Schaefer said many small areas have a hard time retaining paramedics because paramedics may receive training in small areas but then leave those areas to earn more money in bigger cities.
Jason White, a board member of the Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association said these newly trained intermediate EMT's will fill the gap left by the absence of paramedics.
Patty Bexton, the Director of Nursing at Westphalia Hills Retirement Center, said her patients receive good, quick care, but people that live in less populated areas off county roads don't receive the best care. She said these new services will allow medical personnel better training and education to stabilize patients in critical need who have long commutes to nearby hospitals.