Rely on the Experts in an Emergency

No one wants to think about the “what if…” medical emergency questions. But if you find yourself needing emergency response, isn’t it great to know that Trinity Health Grand Haven’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team is as expert as they come?

Prior to 1969, there was no such thing as an ambulance service. Patients who could not drive but needed to get to the hospital for an emergency called the funeral home. It seems strange now, but it made sense back then. The hearses had roomy spaces where patients could lie down flat if necessary.

Thankfully, things have changed. When you call 9-1-1 today, some of the most highly trained and effective paramedics in the region will drive up your driveway and they’ll be driving what amounts to an emergency room on wheels.

Here are three important things you should know.

First, at least one person in every THGH ambulance is a paramedic. What does that mean? A first responder, such as a firefighter, receives approximately 11 weeks of training. A paramedic receives 18-24 months of education (6-8 times more). However, school is just the beginning. Paramedics must also complete a 250-hour internship, and significant ongoing education every year. These are extremely well trained professionals.

Second, our paramedics initiate care immediately. It might seem like the purpose of an ambulance is to transport a patient to the hospital quickly. And while that’s certainly part of the equation, it’s not the most important part. Our paramedics can assess a patient and then start treatment right away…before they ever leave your driveway.

That’s important for a third reason, which is patient outcomes. Our paramedics know the science behind getting the best possible patient outcomes, and they have the training to deliver that care. They can insert breathing tubes, administer narcan in cases of opioid overdose, run EKGs, and much more. For example, if someone is having a heart attack, the paramedics can start medications and monitoring, and provide CPR if needed. Once the patient is stable enough, then they head to the hospital. Science has shown us that the faster we can start treatment, the better the outcomes will be, so we start right at your home.

Important Steps for You and Your Family

We know it’s not fun to think about needing emergency care. However, there are a few important steps you can take to help keep yourself and those you love safe.

1. Take a CPR class. You never know when your knowledge of CPR will save a life. Those few minutes might mean the difference between life and death for someone you love.

2. When in doubt, call. If you or someone you love is experiencing serious symptoms, call 9-1-1. You’ll get faster care and avoid putting anyone else at risk on the road.

3. Apply reflective address stickers. Make sure your address is clearly marked with reflective numbers so that EMS drivers can find your house.

4. Complete a File of Life. The first thing paramedics have to do is figure out your health situation and medications. Download this emergency form, complete it, and post it in a prominent place (ex: on your refrigerator) so that the paramedics can find it quickly.






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