KEMSA honors local EMS

Butler County EMS (BCEMS) was the recipient of the 2018 Career Service of the Year Award from the Kansas Emergency Medical Services Association (KEMSA). The “Honoring Our Own” awards banquet took place on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Kansas Star Event Center in Mulvane, Kan. during the annual KEMSA Conference & Expo.
BCEMS serves a population of 68,000 with a staff of 50 paramedics and EMTs.  Last year, they ran 5,750 emergency calls and 441 non-emergency calls.  For the past year or more, their innovative changes have focused on ways to enhance their services to the community through the use of data to improve the safety of the crew, patients, and the public.
For safety initiatives, BCEMS designed a new low-top sprinter ambulance allowing crews to remain seated during transport.  The units also have power cots and power load systems to decrease the workload for the crew members.  Along with the new ambulances came the need to review their use of lights and sirens.  Using outcome data and working with their Emergency Communications Center, they were able to change policies and respond to over 65% of their calls without the use of lights and sirens.  This had no adverse patient outcomes and improved the safety of the crew, patients, and the public.  Another safety initiative was addressed as the service created new uniforms for personnel to ensure they were visible on scene, especially roadways.
For patient care initiatives, BCEMS’ focus has been on providing high quality care to the patients they serve.  In order to do that, they improved their training program.  Most of the training is scenario-based and focuses on enhancing the care they provide.  Their new program allows crew members to get well over 100-hours of continuing education each year.  Cardiac arrest response has also changed as a patient care initiative.  In 2017, BCEMS received recognition as a Mission: Lifeline Silver Plus EMS agency by the American Heart Association. This recognition is based on the agency meeting multiple criteria over a 12-month period to improve the quality of care for cardiac, and especially STEMI patients.
For public outreach initiatives, BCEMS developed a Public Education and Outreach position to focus solely on reaching out to the community to provide trainings like Stop the Bleed, First Aid, CPR, and more.  They also help with the SafeKids program and car-seat safety checks along with interacting with the community at fairs, children’s events, and more.  This has greatly increased their visibility to the public.
The position of Quality Improvement Director has been created to help with data management.  This position is responsible for tracking and reviewing data in relation to patient care and operations.  The goal is to provide a better picture of how the service is performing when it comes to responding to emergencies and providing care to patients.
Overall, BCEMS has made significant strides over the last couple of years. Their new ambulance design was showcased at a nation show, EMSWorld Expo in Las Vegas, and had an article written about it in EMSWorld. Their patient care initiatives improved outcomes for patients across various disease processes and allowed more people to return to a normal lifestyle than ever before in Butler County. Lastly, their increase in public outreach will greatly enhance the public’s ability to assist in emergencies while improving prevention programs. BCEMS is committed to creating a safer environment for its crews, patients, and the public while enhancing the care they provide. They are committed to making a difference, which they have been able to do even better over the last few years.
This award recognizes a paid EMS system that exemplifies outstanding professionalism and service to the community it serves.  This award honors agencies for their dedication, teamwork, and commitment to EMS.
KEMSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of EMS in Kansas. KEMSA has members throughout Kansas and in surrounding states at every level of EMS.  KEMSA was formed in 1996 after members from several EMS factions decided to unite to have a single voice for EMS in Kansas.  Learn more at www.kemsa.org.