Fire Sta­tion #16 rolls out new medic unit

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

On Mon­day, Au­gust 1st, the Golden Ring Fire Sta­tion #16 wel­comed a new ad­di­tion to their ranks. The sta­tion is now equipped with new, state-of-the-art medic unit, the fourth one in the Bal­ti­more County Fire De- part­ment’s EMS fleet. The Golden Ring sta­tion was given the unit be­cause it is con­sid­ered a “high-vol­ume sta­tion,” mean­ing that it goes out on mul­ti­ple calls a day.

“They’ve strate­gi­cally placed the four units in

ser­vice in dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the county to meet that need,” said Fire Cap­tain Ti­mothy Ham­lett.

Sta­tion #16 is so busy be­cause the area it serves is so highly pop­u­lated. With so many town­homes and apart­ments crammed in one area, the Golden Ring crew is help­ing a lot of peo­ple with a lot of dif­fer­ent ail­ments. While they pri­mar­ily serve the Rosedale and Es­sex neigh­bor­hoods, it’s not un­com­mon for the sta­tion mem­bers to be called out to places all over Bal­ti­more County.

That’s where this new unit, which is op­er­ated dur­ing the “busy times”, or Mon­day through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m, comes in. Equipped with up-to­date tech­nol­ogy and new fea­tures, the unit makes the jobs of the EMS pro­fes­sion­als eas­ier while cre­at­ing a less stress­ful ex­pe­ri­ence for the pa­tient be­ing trans­ported.

For ex­am­ple, Ham­lett said one of the best new fea­tures in the newer medic mod­els is an au­to­mated stretcher that rises and low­ers with the push of a but­ton.

“This has prob­a­bly been the big­gest change in EMS and it’s been the great­est help,” he said. “It helps with the back and ex­tends ca­reers.”

The elec­tronic stretcher can hold pa­tients up to 700 pounds and only takes one per­son to op­er­ate it, even with a heav­ier pa­tient, as op­posed to the old sys­tem which re­quired two or more lifters.

“It’s a lot eas­ier on the pa­tient too, es­pe­cially those that have back in­juries or el­derly pas­sen­gers. When you man­u­ally lift them, you kind of have to jerk them up and it’s a lit­tle rough, no mat­ter how gen­tle you try to be,” said PM Ryan Ever­son. “This has re­ally helped pa­tient care. Once we sta­bi­lize them quicker, we can get them to the hos­pi­tal quicker.”

At 27 feet long, the ve­hi­cle is three feet longer than the older model which Ever­son said gives him more room and al­lows eas­ier move­ment when the ve­hi­cle is in mo­tion.

There are other seem­ingly smallscale changes, such as a new sus­pen­sion sys­tem that cre­ate a less bumpy ride and safety locks on the draw­ers and cab­i­nets. There is also a built-in car seat in one of the chairs, which is im­por­tant since many of the cases the sta­tion re­sponds to are mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents.

“These fixes may seem triv­ial, but through the years of ex­pe­ri­ence and peo­ple rid­ing in the back, these kinds of en­hance­ment re­ally make it bet­ter for the pa­tient,” said Ever­son.

He added that since the unit makes many calls on busy high­ways like 6-95 and Route 40, the new unit has brighter, more re­flec­tive lights on the out­side that can be seen from over a half mile away which makes the ve­hi­cle more iden­ti­fi­able to other driv­ers, alert­ing them of them in­ci­dent, while pro­tect­ing the rid­ers be­ing cared for.

All the changes in the new unit were guided by the feed­back of medic crews and a push to make the tech­nol­ogy more user-friendly. Ham­lett said it took sev­eral years of anal­y­sis to cre­ate the most ef­fi­cient ve­hi­cle while de­ter­min­ing where they would be as­signed.

There are four other med­i­cal units in Bal­ti­more County, one is in Mid­dle River and the other two are on the west side, in Wood­lawn and Pikesville. The Golden Ring unit costs ap­prox­i­mately $340,000 and Ham­lett said they are dis­cussing the idea of plac­ing more of the ve­hi­cles in other parts of the county.

“They’ve found that it’s helped out the sys­tem so much so they’re talk­ing about bring­ing in an­other unit or two in the fu­ture,” he said.

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