TEMS Joint Ambulance District has busy 2012

TORONTO – The TEMS Joint Ambulance District had a busy 2012, with more runs completed, more training and a low average response time.

The emergency ambulance provider covering Toronto, Stratton, Empire and Knox Township had an average response time of 2.4 minutes in 2012, slighter lower than the year before, according to Clark Crago, TEMS chief of operations. “The response time is a little faster,” said Crago. “It depends on the geographic area we respond to. In 2011 we had 1,359 runs,” continued Crago. “Last year we had 1,459 runs – an increase of 100 runs.”

Crago also said while the department assisted other local emergency provider agencies with 82 calls last year, TEMS rarely required assistance from other agencies. “We had to call for assistance five times in 2012,” he said. “That was generally when we had multiple calls or multiple victims. We are very proud of that because no one else we know of can live up to that number.”

Crago said in 2012 TEMS received 627 calls on the daylight shift; 587 on the afternoon shift; and 246 calls on the midnight shift. TEMS transported 1,052 patients to Trinity Medical Center West; 178 to Weirton Medical Center; 36 to East Liverpool City Hospital; and eight to STAT MedEvac. He added it’s the patient’s choice which hospital to be transported to.

Off-duty personnel had to be called out for 260 emergency runs in 2012, while the total number of hours logged by personnel was 24,078. TEMS currently has five full-time and five part-time paramedics on staff, Crago said.

“We’re seeing an influx of calls where it’s gotten busier from the hours of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.,” said Crago. “What we’d like to see in the future is having more crews on duty available during our busiest hours. We also have additional 20 part-time personnel who are basic or intermediate emergency medical technicians.”

TEMS also performed 24 child car safety seat inspections in 2012 and distributed eight seats.

“We do have car safety seats available for qualified residents,” said Crago, adding the district hosted 36 cardiac pulmonary resuscitation classes for 218 people in 2012. “We hosted quite a few CPR classes in 2012. We’re currently setting up a bi-monthly CPR class for the public. The cost is $30 person per person.”

Last year TEMS acquired $6,000 in grant funds, Crago continued.

“Last year was a slow year for grants,” Crago said, adding grants are becoming more difficult to obtain. “The last week in 2011 we were awarded $160,000 from two grants for projects we completed in the spring of last year.

“In 2012 we did install our new heart monitors in ambulances that were obtained through a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant we received in the last week in 2011,” Crago continued. “Also, we put into use our new Power-Load lifts that were obtained through a grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workman’s Compensation (agency).”

Crago said the future of TEMS includes more training and updating emergency systems and equipment.

“For this year we’re currently refurbishing one of our older (ambulance) units and updating our portable radios,” said Crago, adding Jefferson County 911 is switching to a digital communications system.

(Miller can be contacted at mmiller@heraldstaronlne.com.)