EMS and Crime Double Maryland Medic’s Workload

Switching roles several times a day has its challenges


 
 

SCOTT McCABE, Washington Examiner | | Monday, July 12, 2010


As a flight paramedic, Maryland State Police Trooper 1st Class Greg Lantz says it's not uncommon to work in multiple counties in a single day.

But last week, he had to so at an especially quick pace.

Lantz responded Tuesday morning to a vehicle crash in Frederick County and flew a victim to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

Shortly before arriving at the hospital, he heard a police radio broadcast for an armed robbery and police chase that was happening in Montgomery County.

After dropping off the crash victim, Lantz directed his crew to fly to the area. When the robbery suspect was shot by police, he began to treat the suspect at the scene. Lantz then flew the man back to the Shock Trauma Center, arriving less than an hour after he had delivered the first patient.

The most unusual thing about that day, Lantz said, was "how quickly things evolved."

Lantz said he's used to switching roles several times a day, but it sometimes poses challenges. It can be hard, he said, to "figure out whether to be a medic or a police officer."

But the opportunity to work in both of those roles is why Lantz, a seven-year veteran of the state police, joined the force.

He said he had been a firefighter and paramedic in Prince George's County and wanted to move into law enforcement. The state police job, he said, gave him the opportunity to still be a paramedic.

State police officials also praised the quick work of Lantz's crew last week.

"The expertise of our helicopter crews enables them to readily switch roles from providing aerial surveillance support to providing rescue services, emergency medical care and aerial medical evacuation without missing a beat, or more importantly, wasting precious minutes which can be so important to a critically injured person's survival," Maj. A.J. McAndrew, head of the state police aviation command, said in a statement.



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