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May 2016 Department Discovery: Emergency Medical Services

The May Department Discovery shines a light on the Campbell County Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department.

A very visible part of our organization, the EMS department cares for the sick and injured through prevention, response, intervention, and transport to a medical facility. Every day, our EMS crews are called upon to help others through one of what may be the most frightening times of their lives. These professionals often also provide a sense of security and relief during chaotic and challenging situations.

The EMS department at CCH is a dedicated group of 15 full-time and 30 PRN (as needed) professionals who are Paramedics, Intermediate EMTs, Advanced EMTs, Basic EMTs and EMT/RNs. Crews in Gillette and Wright are staffed and ready to be there for members of our community during their darkest hours at a moment's notice. In 2015, EMS responded to more than 3,411 calls.

These pre-hospital professionals also provide contracted services for multiple events including rodeos, stock car races, motocross, roller derby, and anything else. In fact, this department is making preparations for the National High School Finals Rodeo at CAM-PLEX on July 17-23. The 68th annual rodeo will bring approximately 1,500 contestants from 41 states, five Canadian provinces, and Australia. And our EMS crew will be on-hand to provide emergency assistance if needed.

Some EMS staff are nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians who can perform free car seat checks through Safe Kids Campbell County. These car seat checks take roughly 30 minutes and our technicians will train parents and caregivers to install and adjust their car seats properly. Inspections are held on Wednesdays by appointment at the Emergency Medical Services Base, 502 Stocktrail Ave. (Please call 307.688.SAFE (7233) to schedule.)

The crew also provides ambulance tours to many different age groups and allows these groups to get a feel for what EMS professionals do on the job, and the life-saving equipment that they work with. Recently, Cub Scout Troop 61 spent some time with EMS learning about first aid. The boys in the troop made their own first aid kits, and obtained their Junior Paramedic Badge. Check out the photos on our Facebook page.

These professionals put many hours into maintaining their skills and knowledge. Every April, this department works with CCH's Professional Development department to put together EMS University, which provides an opportunity for emergency medical professionals to learn and discuss relevant patient care and management issues, as well as a chance to network, meet, and stay connected with other EMS professionals. This year, the event attracted more than 400 professionals, and held a competition dubbed Game of Tones where participants were required to test their skills by working through several emergency scenarios, from heart attacks to mass casualties. You can see more information about the event, and a video compilation of Game of Tones, at www.cchwyo.org/EMSU.

May 15-21, CCH is celebrating National EMS Week to honor these professionals for the good work that they do for our community. Please join us as we celebrate them. A big round of applause to the Emergency Medical Services department staff! Thank you for all that you do for keeping our community safe.