County Fire Marshal will chair regional EMS board
Apr 12, 2012 (Jackson County Floridan - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Jackson County Fire Marshal Chuck Sawyer was selected Wednesday as chairman of a new Emergency Management Services Committee involving several area counties.
His appointment came at the inaugural session of the committee, held at the Jackson County Emergency Management Services building in Marianna.
Jackson, Washington, Gulf, and Bay counties had representatives there, along with the Sacred Heart helicopter rescue team, Air Heart. Holmes, Walton, Calhoun and Liberty were also invited and are expected to join the group in subsequent meetings.
The committee was put together by Matt Lopez with Gulf Coast Medical Center. He said one of its main purposes was to create better communications between hospitals and the EMS providers who bring patients to their doors.
For instance, having a committee with all service-areas counties on board would help spread the word about important training options, and help the jurisdictions share information that could lead to extra learning opportunities. Lopez's hospital, for instance, is having its RNs ride along with EMS units so they have a better understanding of what the ambulance crews deal with in the field. The hospitals might be able to share in other training exercises as well, he said.
In another example, Lopez said having the committee is a good way to share and ultimately distribute vital information more efficiently to the crews on the ground. For instance, he said his hospital is undergoing renovations that will change traffic patterns for ambulances getting to the facility, and for the crews as the y move patients into the building for emergency treatment.
The committee plans to set up a Facebook account that crew members in each county can use to share their thoughts on regional issues. The committee members themselves will communicate with each other via e-mail.
The committee discussions can also help the counties pick up community outreach ideas. For instance, Jackson County's poster contest for children during Emergency Management Service Week drew positive response in the discussion, and may be adopted by other jurisdictions.
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