Supercharged EMS car to the rescue

January 5, 2009 5:26:16 PM PST
A Raleigh EMS station has a new supercharged vehicle in its fleet.EMS Station 1 now has a Dodge Charger as a part of the Wake County Advanced Practice Paramedics program.

The purpose of the new vehicle and the crew assigned to it is to provide preventative care to patients and help free up ambulance paramedics who may be needed on another call.

"There are several diabetics we see on a regular basis on the same time everyday," EMS Director Dr. Brent Myers explained. "Instead of waiting on the call, we'll go there in the morning, see how they are doing, check their blood sugar, make sure they have all their insulin, prevent that emergency and keep them well rather than responding to that crisis."

In order to properly use the equipment in the new vehicle, Wake County used classroom and clinical training to prepare 17 paramedics.

"It's incredible and amazing that after being a paramedic for 20 years, it's like I'm a brand new paramedic starting tomorrow," Paramedic Christopher Gherardi said.

He said the new program will deliver care to those who need it most. "With the shortage of paramedics across the country, it's hard to get experienced paramedics to all the calls," Gherardi said. "And by doing this, we guarantee it."

They will also guarantee that mental health and substance abuse patients without a medical problem will get the proper care they need. Instead of going straight to the emergency room, those patients will be moved to Wake County facilities that specialize in their condition.

The hope is the new program will change the way EMS operates and improve emergency care.


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