Nature of EMS
About Emergency Medical Services
Emergency Medical Services, also called pre-hospital emergency medicine, provides rapid, on-scene medical care to the sick or injured. Ultimately, the goal of EMS is to transport patients to the nearest appropriate hospital for definitive evaluation and treatment, but EMS remains the first link in the chain of survival, stabilization and recovery.
Advances in medical technology, equipment, training and education have enabled EMS providers to prioritize, manage and treat a number of illnesses and injuries in the field. No longer is it necessary to scoop up a patient and run to the hospital. Instead, patients are able to receive life-saving intervention, corrective medical treatment and relief of pain long before they arrive at the hospital.
Jefferson County Ambulance Service is a Type I municipal EMS provider and is licensed through the Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services. We cover all of Jefferson County, an area of 536 square miles, employing eight full-time personnel (six paramedic personnel, one full-time billing manager, and one full-time EMS director). Additionally, we have 16 dedicated part-time personnel.
As of July 1st, 2012, Jefferson County Ambulance Service now operates two fully staffed and operational stations within Jefferson County. The stations are located in the City of Oskaloosa and in the City of Meriden are commonly referred to as EMS 1 (Oskaloosa) and EMS 2 (Meriden). Both of these stations are manned 24/7/365 by a Paramedic and EMT crew. In addition to the second station, Jefferson County has added an ambulance to the vehicle roster bringing the total number of EMS units to five. These units are dispatched by 911 Communications based on the geographic location of the call, assuring that the closest unit receives the call.
Trauma patients are those that have sustained physical injury. The nature and extent of the traumatic injury determines the type of care the injured patient should receive. All of these factors must be considered by the EMS crews in order to determine the appropriate hospital destination. This decision is made quickly by the team and, in most cases, results in ground transportation to the closest appropriate hospital.
There are occasions, however, that a patient may be transported via helicopter. This decision is made solely in the interest of time and for the sake of specialized services that the patient may require. But air transport is reserved for the critical patient in need of rapid, surgical consultation at the highest level of intervention. In our service area, KU Medical Center in Kansas City and Stormont-Vail Hospital in Topeka are the destinations of choice for the critical trauma patient.