ALBANY, GA (WALB) –When you have a medical emergency, every minute counts. The response time for Dougherty County ambulances is faster than average, but some new equipment could help paramedics get to you even faster.
Dougherty County EMS has been approved for a grant to purchase wireless Internet cards to install in ambulances. They say not only will the technology improve their paramedics' efficiency, but it will also improve their overall patient care.
On average, Ambulances in Dougherty County respond to 52 emergency calls a day, and on average, it only takes them five minutes to respond, but when paramedics are dealing with a critical patient, every minute counts "Right now we are trying to keep up with what is on the pager, trying to keep up with 60 to 70 calls a day it's quite a bit," said Sam Allen EMS Supervisor.
Today Dougherty county EMS announced to Commissioners they were approved for a grant through the Governors Office of Highway Safety for five wireless Internet cards, that will go in ambulances, "Anytime we are able to get sophisticated life saving equipment it not only helps them do their jobs better, but its a big plus for the citizens of Albany," said Bobby Tripp, EMS Director.
One of the wireless devices will go in the Supervisor's truck, which will allow him to see where the units are at all times, instead of relying solely on a pager. "If a call comes in that is a few blocks away, we will know that unit is nearby we can get them there instead of sending a unit from another territory," said Allen.
It will also help paramedics identify medication faster, "Medications that are out on the streets are changing so much where there is no way we can keep up with it," said Allen.
So instead of searching through a handbook, or calling the hospital now a paramedic will be able to access the information they need from the Internet in their trucks. "This way we know what it is, what the side effects are and how to treat that out in the field," said Allen.
They hope to have this equipment in the next 30 to 45 days.
It will also give paramedics the capability of completing their reports faster so they can turn those over for review, and focus on their performance out on the streets.
E-M-S officials say the state is also looking at putting in a G-P-S tracking system... So during a disaster... The Georgia Emergency Management Agency will be able to help route ambulances and provide information to responding