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Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices: Keep­ing youth safe and con­nected

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Our chil­dren learn to raise their hand, tie their shoes, and say the al­pha­bet, but how of­ten do we, as par­ents, teach our chil­dren safety and the im­por­tance of emer­gency per­son­nel? Chil­dren are of­ten afraid in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions. It is im­por­tant for young peo­ple to learn safety skills and in­ter­act with first re­spon­ders in a re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment be­fore a dis­as­ter so first re­spon­ders can act quickly in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions.

To sup­port our younger res­i­dents’ safety, the Charles County Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices hosts an an­nual Teddy Bear Clinic as a part of cel­e­brat­ing Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices for Chil­dren’s Day (EMSC). The clinic will be held at 6 p.m. Thurs­day, June 23, at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium (11765 St. Li­nus Drive, Wal­dorf). The day is a time to meet emer­gency per­son­nel, ask ques­tions and make con­nec­tions. The day is a cel­e­bra­tion of the chil­dren in our com­mu­nity and a chance for them to have fun while learn­ing safety skills.

Chil­dren are in­vited to bring their sick or in­jured teddy bears for re­pair to the Teddy Bear Clinic. There will be new stuffed an­i­mals avail­able, too. Chil­dren can see am­bu­lances and trucks, and walk through a learn­ing house to learn about fire safety and 911 calls. This is a great op­por­tu­nity to teach your chil­dren the value of safety in a fun, re­laxed set­ting.

Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices (EMS) is a com­mu­nity-based pub­lic ser­vice whose pres­ence is vi­tal to chil­dren in need. EMSC Day pro­motes high-level emer­gency care given by EMS providers with pe­di­atric emer­gency skills.

Our EMS has well-trained, ca­pa­ble and pro­fes­sional per­son­nel who pro­vide es­sen­tial life­sav­ing ser­vices to res­i­dents. The EMS high per­for­mance car­diopul­monary re­sus­ci­ta­tion (CPR) ini­tia­tive has in­creased the car­diac ar­rest re­sus­ci­ta­tion rate to 54 per­cent. The ini­tia­tive’s suc­cess is a re­sult of em­ploy­ees per­form­ing CPR and ed­u­ca­tion for by­standers.

The Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices has spe­cial teams com­posed of emer­gency med­i­cal tech­ni­cians and paramedics, in­clud­ing a marine unit that func­tions in wa­ter res­cue sce­nar­ios and rou­tine stand­bys at events. There is a tac­ti­cal team that works closely with the po­lice, and a haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als di­vi­sion, which re­sponds to calls such as chem­i­cal leaks and spills, or in­fec­tious dis­ease. From pro­vid­ing CPR to de­liv­er­ing ba­bies, the EMS per­son­nel work to save and im­prove lives.

The Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices par­tic­i­pates in many events that ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing the Charles County Fair, Touch-A-Truck event, “Fill the Fire Truck” Food Drive, church meet­ings and South­ern Mary­land Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive’s an­nual meet­ing. The EMS team also has a pres­ence at county events as med­i­cal standby, such as races, me­mo­ri­als and South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs base­ball games.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices, visit www. CharlesCoun­tyMD.gov or fol­low the Face­book page at www. face­book.com/Charles-County-Depart­ment-of-Emer­gency-Ser­vices-279579562209774/.

Wil­liam Stephens is the Charles County di­rec­tor of the depart­ment of emer­gency ser­vices

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