EMS Community Partners Help Southcoast Health Save Lives

A close partnership is essential between hospital emergency department staff and local emergency medical service (EMS) personnel, who often must help diagnose and begin treatment for victims of accidents or serious illnesses.

National EMS Week is May 21-27, serving as an official time to recognize and thank the personnel from more than two dozen towns and organizations Southcoast Health works closely with. Every day, EMS professionals transport patients from throughout the region to Southcoast hospitals in an effort to save lives.

Jacquelyn Miller, Southcoast Health’s Trauma Program Manager, says, “80 percent of the approximately 1,800 patients who are treated annually at the St. Luke’s Level II Trauma Center in New Bedford arrive via ambulance.”

“The care that EMS provides is incredibly important to effective treatment.”

Because of the opening of the Level II Trauma Center, EMS crews no longer have to transport critically ill or injured patients to trauma centers in Boston and Providence, which means shorter transport times when seconds count. It also means ambulance crews can spend more time in service to their home communities rather than driving several hours round trip.

“Trauma centers are a huge benefit to smaller communities,” says Jackie, explaining that  ambulances can spend more time in our region and less time out of service during transport to the hospital.

When a patient arrives at the St. Luke’s Trauma Center, medical staff meet immediately with the EMS crew to understand both the patient’s symptoms and vital signs, as well as the care that already has been administered on the way to the trauma center.

Southcoast doctors regularly conduct lectures for EMS crews to ensure that they have the latest and best information about how to treat trauma patients. “We are thankful for our partnership and close relationship with EMS,” Jackie says. “They work with us to save lives.”

Visit Southcoast Health Partners with South Coast EMS | Southcoast Health for more information.