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By Guest Editorial Dave Lapof
Operations Manager, Klicitat County EMS District 1 

'Triage': a column by the county EMS district

 

January 24, 2018



Well, January brought with it some interesting changes. The EMS District officially took over all responsibilities for the operation. Aside from a few paperwork hiccups, the transition was seamless, the crews responded to calls for service, and we began the New Year just like any other day.

Just before Christmas we took delivery of our remounted ambulance. The box (module) was transferred to a 2017 Dodge chassis. On Jan. 3 we took another ambulance up to Braun NW in Chehalis to do the same process, remounting onto a new chassis. We are playing catch up as our fleet is very aged and we currently are down two ambulances. We have had to place in service one of our two-wheel drive ambulances at the Dallesport station as a result. It goes without saying this puts a strain on our response capabilities and our finances but we cannot operate without dependable ambulances.

To save money, we did not have the module repainted or the chassis striped or lettered. We hope to have the striping completed later this spring, so if you see a plain white chassis out of the Goldendale and Dallesport stations, you’ll know why.

February will bring a new program to Klickitat County. Who We Play For (whoweplayfor.org) is a program that preforms ECG assessments on students grades seven to 12. This nonprofit organization offers this service to detect any abnormalities to students to prevent sudden cardiac events, especially those involved in sports. Their staff with the help of our districts employees will do a 12-Lead assessment and sends the results off to a cardiologist in Portland. Paramedic Maria Roeder-Simms took this project on and Paramedic Bruce Brending is helping her while she is instructing the new EMT class. Speaking of which, Fire Chief Wes Long from District #3-Husum helped get a new EMT class off the ground and Maria is the lead instructor, so that she can become state certified as a Senior EMT Instructor (SEI). The class had 30 students from across the county and is a pilot program in the State of Washington as the class is held in Husum but also being remotely taught via the internet to Goldendale students.

The EMS District is supporting this program with book keeping, equipment, and extra lab instructors. These new EMTs will be a great benefit to the citizens of the county and allow everyone to be better served.

The Board of Directors of the District will begin to review our fiscal future and look at what we need to do to make us competitive in the Market place with retaining and recruiting new employees and to keep ahead of our equipment needs. We will keep you appraised as this conversation moves forward, but until then thank you for your continued support and we wish you a very happy and safe New Year.

 

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