In the last column, I asked if we can be proactive. People would likely respond with a resounding “Yes!” yet acting on that response requires significant effort. We must always ask ourselves, “How can we do it better?” I’m often asked as to what part of operations do I refer to and the answer is simple, “Everything!” Not trying to improve on everything leads to complacency, boredom and lack of interest. It also allows undesirable cultures to evolve as people create their own solutions.
Can an EMS service constantly improve? Are you treating patients with their comfort and outcome always in mind? Has a patient treated by your service ever been contacted later in time to see how they are doing? Are you utilizing the very best techniques and equipment? Are you critiquing even the slightest call with your crew? Are you letting those with less experience be in-charge of a call? Are you mentoring others? The list can be exhaustive yet constant improvement is proactive in nature.
May 18 – 24, 2014 marks EMS Week, a national program designed to recognize those in EMS. Instituted in 1974 by President Ford, the American College of Emergency Physicians have been at the forefront in recognizing those who have dedicated their careers to EMS. While recognition should not be reserved for one week out of the year, I do want to publicly recognize the outstanding dedication, devotion and sacrifices made by our 75 volunteers and 12 paid, part-time staff. Often forgotten are the times where family and social events are not attended due to scheduling or totally interrupted due to an emergency. Holidays, for many, have been celebrated at the station or hospital. All of this is done with the intent and desire to serve others and, if not for a moment, improve the quality of life for someone who’s day has not gone well.
Look for the banner hanging over Pettee Brook Lane in Durham as we recognize our volunteers and thank them for all they do.