Blooming Grove Increases Paramedic Service
By Eugenia Moskowitz
Blooming Grove Ambulance has increased its service to the community it serves by adding a permanent paramedic to its staff as of last week. Chief Paramedic Brian Bates said, “We decided to do a trial run with a second paramedic on duty from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. as of last July, when we noticed our call volume was going up for the first half of 2018.”
The ambulance service has one paramedic truck and one ambulance which is normally staffed 24/7. A second ambulance is on reserve for second calls in the district, as well as for community events. “Adding a second paramedic allows us to staff the second ambulance,” Bates said, making three vehicles now available to cover the community’s needs. “In 2018, we responded to 1,723 calls in the community, which makes us a very active ambulance service.”
When Blooming Grove Ambulance saw an increase of 186 calls in 2018, higher than the regular yearly increase, Bates decided to try the expansion of service. “It has worked out very well,” he said, “adding to both the health of the community as well as the health of the ambulance department, so the board made it a permanent situation. We are very pleased with how well it’s worked out.”
What started many decades ago as solely a volunteer service offering basic life support by EMTs has grown into a professional service offering advanced life support from paramedics, thus bettering patient outcomes. “Our area is more populated than it used to be, and to match that, we have been very fortunate, and are very happy, to be able to increase our services,” Bates said. “The addition of our second paramedic will directly help people experiencing any kind of medical emergency in our area.”
While being a service which staffs full-time paid paramedics and full- and part-time EMTs, the ambulance is also home to a dedicated group of volunteers, many of whom handle second calls in the district, so that someone in need doesn’t have to wait for an available ambulance from a different town to answer the call. When seconds matter more than minutes with patients being treated in the pre-hospital setting, the ability to have more fully staffed ambulances ready-to-go cannot be overestimated.
He added that the ambulance is always looking for volunteers to join, and anyone age 16 and over is welcome to fill out an application. “The experience gained by volunteering with the ambulance for young people going into nursing, emergency response fields such as paramedic or EMT, or law enforcement, as well as health care fields including pre-med or medical school, is invaluable,” Bates said. The ambulance also welcomes adults of all ages who wish to serve their community. Learn more by going to http://www.bloominggroveambulance.org.
CAPTION: Always available 24/7, the vehicles at Blooming Grove Ambulance are fully stocked and ready to go now with a new permanent full-time second paramedic. (Photo pr