Vermont Recognizes SVMC for Support of Rescue Squads

For Immediate Release
3 April 2009
Media Contact: Kevin Robinson
802-447-5003

BURLINGTON — Southwestern Vermont Medical Center's (SVMC's) work to encourage rescue squads and improve care for patients before they reach the hospital received top marks from the State of Vermont March 28. The Vermont Office of EMS and Injury Prevention named SVMC Vermont EMS Hospital of the Year at its annual conference.

"Care that patients receive in the emergency department is only part of successful emergency care," explained Michael Lozito, EMS coordinator for SVMC. "Care that patients receive before they ever reach a hospital can often make the difference between life and death. The physicians and staff at SVMC are grateful to work with fine rescue squads in our area.

"Many squad members are volunteers, yet they are true professionals. They take quality seriously and are always looking to improve their skills or increase their training and education. Our goal at SVMC is to make sure our rescue squads have the resources they need to stay up-to-date on training to ensure patients who need us will get top-quality care."

The statewide award recognizes SVMC for supporting the EMS system in a host of ways including education, personnel development, medical direction, and quality improvement. The hospital was nominated for the award by the area rescue squads. Robert Maynard, an EMT intermediate in the Deerfield Valley Rescue Squad, submitted the nomination on behalf of all the squads in District 12, which includes all of Bennington County and the Deerfield Valley area of Windham County.

In his nomination letter, Maynard discussed six quality improvement projects District 12 squads have collaborated with SVMC on. These projects include:
Work to establish a central EMS and fire service dispatch, which is ongoing.

  • A district-wide mutual aid agreement, a formal agreement that allows squads to cover for each other when necessary.
  • A pilot program to test whether making on-scene blood glucose measurement would improve patient care.
  • Training and planning for a multiple casualty incident that included district-wide education and a special kit for multiple casualty incidents to be carried in each ambulance and first-response vehicle.
  •  Developing an EMS training council that oversees training and quality improvement and assessment for the entire district. The council also successfully launched a "Back to Basics" campaign to focus EMS providers on the key components of quality EMS care.
  • Developing a 12-lead electrocardiogram (EKG) program that will allow squads to transmit the EKG directly to SVMC from the field. The 12-lead EKG provides crucial information about the heart's function to physicians. When the project is complete, it will allow doctors to prepare to treat a heart attack patient before the patient actually arrives.

In the nomination letter, Maynard said the Emergency Department staff at SVMC "guides us with their knowledge and expertise… and encourages us to never stop working and improve anything we possibly can, which in turn improves the care we provide to patients. We are grateful for the expertise, leadership, friendship, and support they provide us."

The EMS system in District 12 has made great strides thanks to the cooperation between the squads and SVMC, explained Dr. Daniel Perregaux, Medical Director for EMS District 12. He added, "I am proud to be the medical advisor of such a robust EMS system."

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