EMS Week, May 15-21, 2016, is a special time of the year for EMS providers and the community. The City of Bristol Tennessee is proud to partner with other EMS providers and professional organizations for the community’s EMS Week awareness bash which is scheduled for May 14, 2016. The bash will begin at 9:00 am and end at 1:00 pm on May 14th at Anderson Street Park. The Bristol Tennessee Fire Department encourages everyone to stop by for a visit, look over the equipment, and get to know some of the professionals who serve you, your family and your community.
EMS Week is observed to recognize and honor those who devote their time and energy toward providing emergency medical care. Bristol Fire/Rescue provides EMS with 54 shift personnel, whom are trained to the level of Advanced EMT (AEMT) and 18 who have earned advanced training to the level of EMT-P (Paramedic). Maintaining minimum staffing levels and providing the highest level of care possible is also achieved by employing 6 part time paramedics. Utilizing part time paramedics for fill-in roles when full time personnel are absent due to scheduled earned time off saves the city thousands of dollars each year while also allowing the department to maintain the same level of care. The Bristol Tennessee Fire Department responded to 4,182 EMS related calls in 2015 with an average EMS emergency response time of 6:02.
The primary function of the EMS system is to provide acute care but additional responsibilities include accident and injury prevention, treatment of chronic conditions, and educating our community about health issues. The duties of AEMTs include scene assessment, emergency management, emergency transport, documentation, and equipment/vehicle maintenance. The EMTs also perform critical tasks which enhance a patient’s chance of survival, lessen pain, and/or reduce the potential for extended disability. EMTs are trained in a myriad of capacities that enable them to rapidly and safely treat and transport the sick and injured.
The Paramedic is a highly trained and skilled medical professional who can perform some duties in the field that are normally done by a physician in a more controlled environment. Paramedics can examine, evaluate, and treat patients with equipment and medications usually only found in the emergency departments of hospitals; this initial, emergency care is often the deciding factor as to whether a patient survives or not. Paramedics are used as emergency care practitioners on ambulances, or on first response emergency vehicles, but the scope of their role is rapidly expanding too many other areas. In some communities, paramedics are the sole or highest trained medical provider in their area.