Squier delivers EMS annual report
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
Joe Squier, department manager for Harrison County Emergency Medical Services, spent the last Harrison County commissioners’ and council meetings presenting the 2020 annual report for EMS.
He said he was proud of some of the numbers that his team was able to improve on while still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that the team currently has 29 licensed paramedics, 10 advanced EMTs and 24 basic EMTs. While the number of paramedics dropped slightly from 2019, he said the department was able to increase its number of advanced EMTs. The average employee is 41.9 years old, and collective amongst the staff there is nearly 1,000 years of experience.
Squier said he was excited to relay information to both governing bodies that for the fifth year in a row Harrison County EMS received a Lifeline Award from the American Heart Association. The one received this year was the Mission Lifeline Bronze Plus award.
“This is an award that recognizes good service from emergency responders,” Squier said. “I am so very proud of the quality of service we provide to our community.”
EMS received 6,718 calls in 2020, averaging about 18.4 calls a day. Squier said that during the peak of COVID, around April 2020, EMS was averaging about 12 calls per day, which he attributed to most callers not wanting to risk going into the hospital in an attempt to avoid the virus.
Harrison Township allots for about 40% of those calls, which Squier said is due to numerous long-term care facilities and many businesses being located in the township.
Harrison County ambulances average 77.9 minutes for time on task, which starts from the time an ambulance is dispatched to when it is available again. This was one of the numbers Squier was proud of, as the team was able to shave some time off from the 2019 number, which was 84 minutes.
The average time spent at the scene was 18 minutes, also down from 2019’s 18.5 minutes average time.
Air medical transport requests increased slightly, but the number of actual transports were down, with an average of just more than two transports a month and 27 patients total throughout the year.
Of the patients who requested EMS services, the average age is 60.3 years old. While 22% of emergency room visits are for kids, only 5% of EMS calls were for a child. Squier also noted that he keeps track of cardiac arrest numbers to pass along to the American Heart Association and that EMS responded to 41 cardiac arrest incidents in 2020. The average age of cardiac patients is 64.1 years old, up four years from 2019.
Squier also was pleased to inform the governing bodies that based on patient survey rates, everyone seems to be satisfied with service, noting that all areas on the survey were higher than the previous year except for one, which was only down two one-hundredths of a point.
“I’m very pleased with all the results of this report, and especially all that we were able to accomplish during the midst of a pandemic,” Squier said.