EMS Providers Get Skills and Equipment to Better Care for Kids
For the City-Times
Taking care of children during emergencies is challenging. Emotions run high and EMS providers have to rely on skills, protocols and equipment they do not have an opportunity to use very often. In Portage County, only three to four percent of the calls our EMS responders answer are for kids under the age of 15.
Beginning in 2006, the Stevens Point Woman’s Club, a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), partnered with Portage County EMS to give the children of Portage County the best EMS care possible. Since the beginning of the project, the Club has donated over $22,000 to purchase supplies, equipment and training for EMS responders of all levels in the County.
Thanks to the Club’s support, thirty-two first responders and emergency medical technicians took an eight-hour Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals (PEPP) class during two different offerings in Stevens Point. Additionally, 100 EMS providers of all levels have access to twelve different on-line pediatric emergency courses. A new child manikin was purchased for use in the hands-on PEPP classes and for future trainings. The manikin simulates a five-year-old boy and can be used to practice a wide variety of basic and advanced level care.
Portage County EMS responders are also better equipped to respond to calls involving young patients. The Club purchased 55 emergency “jump-kits” that contain pediatric emergency supplies and equipment. The gear is divided into compartments that can be pulled out and used based on the patient’s weight.
“With the wide variety of emergencies that may involve children, it is important that we are as prepared as possible. The pediatric jump kits and training have made me feel more confident responding to pediatric calls,” said Bancroft EMS First Responder Ethan Meddaugh.
The ambulances also now have pediatric-sized back boards to immobilize injured children and Ferno Pedi-Mate® devices to secure children to the ambulance cots. These devices not only improve care but also make transportation safer for the children and the EMS providers.
“Without the support of the Stevens Point Woman’s Club we would not have been able to complete any of these projects. This is truly a great example of the community supporting high quality care for our children,” said Portage County EMS Medical Director Tim Vayder, DO, FACOEP.
For more information contact Michael Fraley with Portage Co. EMS at [email protected].