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Committee hears role of dispatch, first-responders

The committee looking into emergency services in Van Buren County met June 19.

A representative of the statewide trauma call system talked about coordinating emergency calls and said that the closest hospital might not always be the place to transport patients, depending on their condition.

The committee also heard from Kim Manville, 911 dispatch coordinator. She outlined the routine for sending emergency responders to a 911 call. She said if there are more than two emergency calls and both Southern Paramedic Services ambulances are out, protocol is to contact Fairfield Bay emergency responders. Manville said 911 Dispatch sometimes calls on out-of-county ambulances near the scene if necessary.

Jeana Williams, county emergency management coordinator, outlined procedures followed by first responders. She said the county works on a tier approach, initially calling on first responders, all of whom are fire department volunteers. She said the Clinton and Holley Mountain fire departments do not take part as first responders. Williams said the first responders work closely with ambulance services.

The second tier, Williams said, is usually a call for specialized equipment, and the third tier is the call for ambulance services.

County Judge Roger Hooper said he has been in contact with other counties to see how they handle their emergency services. Most of the other counties have contracts with an ambulance service, he said.

Brian Tatum of the Van Buren County Rescue Squad said there are a couple of doctors who would like to address the board and discuss what they would like to see in an ambulance service.

Hooper said enough information has been gathered and it’s time to begin discussions on solutions.

The next meeting of the committee is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 5, in the Quorum Court room of the County Courthouse Annex on Highway 65.

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