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JEMS Founder James O. Page Honored

A Worthy Honoree
The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) has dedicated next month’s keynote to an EMS pioneer. The James O. Page Memorial Lecture and Keynote Address will begin the NAMESP’s Scientific Assembly and Trade Show, Jan. 13–15, in Florida.

Page, widely referred to as the father of EMS, founded JEMS in 1979 and served as its publisher until 2001. He died suddenly
in 2004.

NAEMSP Program Chair Kevin Mackey, MD, says that after a decade of dedicating the memorial lecture after C. J. Shanaberger, a paramedic credited with identifying and shaping the legal and ethical framework of contemporary EMS, it seemed time to find a new EMS honoree. Page was at the top of the list of possibilities, and the NAEMSP board unanimously approved him as the perfect choice. “We were looking for someone who literally changed the face of EMS,” says Mackey.

Keith Griffiths, JEMS’ founding editor, will present the first lecture. “Keith is the natural choice because of the depth and breadth of his knowledge of Jim,” Mackey says.

Griffiths says Page always had a special affinity for the NAEMSP and imagines Page would chuckle and say, “Anything that reminds EMS people about their roots is a good thing,” in response to being chosen as the subject of a memorial lecture.

We give a thumbs up to the NAEMSP for recognizing the profound influence James O. Page continues to have on EMS. This is yet another way to keep his memory alive. We also congratulate the NAEMSP for memorializing EMS pioneers.

Record Rates
Recently, Littleton (Colo.) Fire Rescue set a record for direct admission to the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at HealthOne, Swedish Medical Center in Englewood. From the time EMS arrived on scene to when cardiologists in the cath lab performed a ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) procedure, only 44 minutes elapsed.

Littleton Fire Rescue EMS Chief Wayne Zygowicz, a JEMS Editorial Board Member, says that under the direct admit protocol, if a paramedic diagnoses a STEMI patient after a 12-lead ECG, they can call the hospital to get permission to bypass the emergency department and go directly to the hospital’s cath lab. Zygowicz says this saves valuable time and potentially decreases cardiac damage and subsequent rehabilitation time.

HealthOne’s EMS Field Supervisor Randy Pennington says the door-to-balloon time for this case was 15 minutes. “Everything fell into place,” he says. The cath lab
staff was on site and ready to go when the patient arrived.

The direct admit program requires trusting paramedics’ skills and decision making. Pennington said there was some hesitation when they began the program about seven years ago. But after extensive training, the paramedics make appropriate decisions at least 80% of the time. The cardiologists say they can live with that success rate. And so can we.

We applaud Littleton Fire Rescue for implementing a program that saves time with a trip in the fast lane to the cath lab, ultimately helping more patients survive.

Clever Training
Short parking rigs on the third floor of their training institute, Good Fellowship Ambulance and Training Institute of West Chester, Pa., has developed a unique simulation environment. Their practical room is designed with six identical double door “ambulance” storage closets that contain BLS equipment commonly found in
an ambulance.

“Our EMT students are assigned to an ambulance, responsible for checking their gear each class night and use it regularly during practical sessions,” says Bill Wells, executive director for Good Fellowship. “We use accordion wall dividers that extend to 10 feet between each ambulance to simulate the rear compartment and give the students a realistic space to practice in.”

We commend Good Fellowship Ambulance for making the most of their limited space to create an effective simulation environment for students. JEMS

 

This article originally appeared in December 2010 JEMS as “Last Word: The Ups and Down of EMS.”
 



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