Ambulance Association receives Service of the Year award

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn November 9, the St. George Ambulance Association received the 2013 Region 6 EMS Service of the Year award at the 33rd Annual Emergency Medical Services Seminar awards dinner held at the Samoset Resort. The State of Maine’s EMS Region 6 comprises Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties. The annual EMS Seminar is organized by Atlantic Partners EMS based in Winslow.

“I give a lot of credit for this award to the town of St. George,” says Adrian Stone, director of the Ambulance Association. “This community supports the ambulance service in ways other small communities haven’t. For St. George this service has been a priority.”

Not only is it unusual for a community the size of St. George to have a full-time paramedic on duty (this is the town’s second year of full-time coverage), says Stone, but having its own ambulance is also becoming a rarity.

In a letter to Stone the Awards Committee noted that the focus of this year’s EMS Service of the Year award is on agencies that have “a strong community connection.” The committee praised the ambulance association’s non-emergency health-related programs and services such as weekly blood pressure checks, annual flu shots, ongoing first aid and safety training and close collaboration with the Community Emergency Shelter Group.

Stone notes that this year, too, St. George’s Ambulance Association was one of 12 services selected to participate in a state-sponsored community para-medicine pilot project. “This program is a gap-filler,” he explains. “A physician can ask us to supply certain types of medical care in a non-emergency setting here in the field so that the patient doesn’t have to leave home to get that care.”

Stone says he gets calls from small towns all over the country asking him what makes the ambulance service in St. George so exceptional. “I tell them it’s the make-up of the community. Not only is there some affluence here to make financial support possible, but there are also people here who recognize the need for planning—they don’t want to wait for a disaster to happen before thinking about how to respond.”—JW

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