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Growth and Future of Mcgregor

This edition brings wishes to all from McGregor Memorial EMS for a safe, healthy and happy Holiday Season and New Year.

In reflecting back over 2015, I must give credit to the 70 volunteers and staff who give of their time and talent in the service of others. I contend there are few other volunteer organizations in New Hampshire where, collectively, volunteers give over 32,000 hours of service. McGregor members did just that in answering over 2000 calls to date this year! This is accomplished by fully staffing two ambulances and a paramedic 24/7. Yes, volunteers are provided sleeping quarters in our facility so they may immediately respond to an emergency. The days of calling members in from their homes to take the ambulance and respond have long passed.

McGregor’s mantra of “Committed to Compassionate Excellence” is a driving force within the organization. To further highlight this commitment, I am reprinting here the report I authored for the Town of Durham Annual Report:

2015 McGregor Memorial EMS Report

In writing my third annual report as Executive Director, I continue to marvel at the accomplishments of this remarkable non-profit organization. McGregor Memorial EMS just completed its 47th year of continuous emergency medical services and education to the communities of Durham, Lee, Madbury and the University of New Hampshire.

McGregor continues to deliver exemplary service at a very low cost to the Town. Local residents and UNH students and graduates volunteered nearly 33,000 hours ensuring that an ambulance and paramedic were available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. During 2014 McGregor responded to 1965 calls and, for high demand times, provided its third due ambulance to handle the “surges.”

Training and education remain cornerstones for providing quality, advanced level care, as well as in attracting new members and training the community at-large. We encourage all community members to get involved by:

  • Learning CPR and becoming First Aid certified – visit the Durham Public Library site or for more information. Information is also posted in Friday Updates

  • Volunteer for McGregor – medical and non-medical volunteers are needed. Visit for more information

2015 Accomplishments/Recognitions:

  • Responded to a record number of EMS calls with first and second due ambulances (i.e., nearly simultaneous multiple requests). Responses for a third due ambulance were answered 67% of the time thus reducing the need for a mutual aid ambulance. Call volume has surged over the past few years increasing from approximately 1600 calls in 2010 to 1965 calls in 2015.

  • For weekends during predictably busy times, staffed a minimum of two ambulances at all times, and frequently three. Also staffed four and up to six ambulances for high surge periods (i.e., UNH Commencement, Homecoming and concerts, as well as Halloween and Cinco de Mayo).

  • Implemented an off-duty response program designed to improve response times for second and third due ambulance calls.

  • Launched a successful recruiting campaign leading to the hiring of 3 per-diem paramedics, as well as welcoming an additional 19 new volunteer EMT’s – each of who undergo a 3 – 6 month training program in addition to their certifications.

  • Initiated an Advanced EMT program (meeting updated state requirement) via the McGregor Institute of EMS. To date, have trained approximately 100 EMT and Advanced students. Additionally, current McGregor EMT-Intermediates are transitioning to the more Advanced EMT level.

  • Conducted 27 CPR/AED, First Aid and Babysitting classes open to the public in Durham. 18 other classes were held in the Oyster River School District.

  • Trained nearly 6,000 students through McGregor’s CPR Safe program that is taught in schools, libraries, day cares, medical offices, businesses and religious institutions around the state.

  • Undertook the project of having Durham, Lee, Madbury and UNH designated as HeartSafe Communities through the NH Bureau of EMS. Its purposes are to:

  • Increase awareness of sudden cardiac arrest, its signs and symptoms

  • Increase the availability of community CPR/AED programs

  • Increase public safety agency AED availability

  • Increase placement, registration and availability of AED’s in public areas, businesses and schools

  • Assist in emergency planning for AED-equipped facilities

  • Developed concept and received approval from UNH to allow students in the Biomedical Sciences major to receive credit for attending active McGregor calls.

  • Launched a fund drive in December 2015 with over 6,000 mailings to community members, UNH faculty/staff, and McGregor alumnae.

  • One of two EMS agencies actively participating in Cardiovascular Multi-Disciplinary Team and Stroke Committee at WDH to better coordinate care provided outside the hospital with that provided in the hospital.

  • The Executive Director attended an Advanced Leadership class at the NH Fire Academy.

  • Members sit on a steering committee to develop a coordinated All Hazards plan including violent attacks.

  • Worked closely with Durham Police, Durham Fire and University Police Departments to provide coordinated emergency response coverage for multiple events including concerts at the Whittemore Center, Special Olympics, UNH Homecoming and Commencement, Cinco de Mayo and Halloween.

  • Participated in meetings for Strafford County Emergency Preparedness planning.

  • Designated as a backup service for State of NH Hampshire Bariatric Task Force. One ambulance modified to accommodate specialty bariatric transport equipment.

  • In November, member Patrick Ahearn was nominated for and received a “Spirit of New Hampshire Award” from VolunteerNH at their annual event at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. Pat also celebrated 40 years of service to McGregor.

Member Training:

  • In 2015, McGregor members earned over 1200 hours of continuing education credits through our monthly training meetings, crew chief classes, and probationary provider classes. McGregor provides these opportunities to its members free of charge!

  • McGregor successfully led several seminars in Respectful Leadership and Effective Communication, with 98% of our staff members and volunteers completing this training.

  • Presenters from Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Portsmouth Hospital, Somersworth PD, Catholic Medical Center, The NH Fire Academy, UNH Counseling Services, and The Rochester Homemakers offered their knowledge and expertise to our members at monthly training meeting.

  • In the spirit of preparedness and evidence-based medicine, staff members attended seminars on a variety of subjects, including cardiac arrest, threats in our schools, as well as a 3-day Active Threat Response Integration Course and a week-long immersive mass casualty course at the National FEMA Training Center in Alabama.

  • We offered our first Tactical Combat Casualty Course, and are looking forward to running this and other specialty programs in the near future!

  • More than ten of our members earned their upgrade to Advanced EMT in 2015, and over 20 new volunteers completed the required 3 – 6 months of training to become active members of McGregor.

  • McGregor continues to foster an atmosphere that is highly focused on daily training and education, and our members rise to this challenge to continuously better themselves as medical providers each time they are on duty. It would be impossible to quantify or place a value on the amount of mentoring, practice, and learning that goes on between our members.

2016 Goals:

  • Continue to provide a high level of emergency care to the Durham community at an extraordinarily reasonable cost.

  • Train and educate McGregor personnel to the highest level practical and to continue to purchase state-of-the-art equipment.

  • Remain the premier EMS training agency in southern New Hampshire.

  • Develop specifications and RFP for a new ambulance.

  • Purchase new portable radios to replace those no longer supported by the manufacturer.

  • Continue to implement the goals and strategies as established by the Board of Directors.

  • Expand the Board of Directors to include more community members and participation.

  • Continue to work in close cooperation with the Durham Fire and Police Department partners in jointly addressing the community’s needs.

  • Develop new and revise existing policies and procedures to better reflect the needs and expectations of the community.

  • Foster community relations and develop further partnerships with Durham’s business community.

Anyone interested in seeing us in action and/or desiring to ride with us is cordially invited to stop in at our facility at 47 College Rd., behind the Durham Fire Department.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Cote

Executive Director

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