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ASHBY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES
1998 has again been a busy year for the Ashby EMS. As most of you know it is becoming very difficult to attract trained EMTs to volunteer. Continuing education and teamwork is the key to keeping a service like ours up and running. I am hopeful that more of the community will come out in the next year to assist in our need for trained personnel. I am truly grateful for all the contributing members we now have. The additional service time during our hour of need is not to go unrecognized. It is a special individual who will jump out of bed at 3 am to render medical aid to a stranger, go back home for a few minutes of rest and then get up in the AM and go to work. All that for the gas money to do the call. We in the Ashby EMS continue to seek other ways to better serve our community and look forward to your suggestions and input. We continue to meet with the community and educate individuals on the operation of the service. I would like to join you in thanking all the members of the Ashby EMS for the quality service and dedication they all have.
The Ashby EMS also continues to work and meet with the Nashoba Valley EMS directors, a group dedicated to improving emergency medical services to community's like ours. The EMS members have been working around the changes in our area health care facilities, no longer able to bring most patients to Burbank Hospital, the hospital who a vast majority of our community received their health care for decades. This change is not only difficult for our community members but also to our EMTs who now transport to emergency departments so much further away. This again brings a greater stress to the EMT treating more serious illness or injury for a longer period of time. The changes in our health care are very concerning to all of our towns people as well as the Ashby EMS. We will continue to adjust as needed and make every effort to keep everyone notified of any change made.
1998 brought us well over 180 responses. This number is slightly lower than last year but again higher than our 10-year average. We continue to utilize the Advanced Life Support Paramedics from Patriot Ambulance Inc. and enjoy an excellent working relationship with them. 1998, sadly, was not a year as last was with out a motor vehicle fatality. The Ashby EMS wishes to encourage safe driver programs for all new drivers in hopes of lowering the motor vehicle injury/fatality rate in this country.
In light of our need to call for mutual aid ambulance service from time to time, we continue to work with the Fire and Police Departments and expand the availability of First Response patient care. The Police Department received a donation of an automatic defibrillator and we will be assisting them in their training and implementation of that device.
I would also like to thank the personnel from the Ashby Highway, Police and Fire Departments who respond to the call for help and make all Ashby Emergency Services a team effort. Without the help of all members of these departments our patient care would not be what it is today.
James A. Hyatt, NREMT/P
Director, Ashby EMS