Pike County Advanced Life Support (PCALS) released its 2012 Annual Report last week. This 20 page report is intended to provide information regarding the operations of PCALS during 2012 to elected officials, other emergency service agencies and the general public.
In 2012, PCALS responded to 1,389 incidents in 31 different municipalities and PCALS units travelled over 78,000 miles.
Pike County ALS units 401-2 and 401-5 and Shohola Fire Police at a medical emergency in early 2012.
Automatic Vehicle Locators (AVLs) were installed in the remaining PCALS vehicles. First implemented in 2011, AVLs allow the Communications Center to track the location, direction traveling and speed of ALS units in real-time. The system is integrated with Google Maps so in addition to regular street maps, the Communications Center has access to satellite imagery, high resolution aerial photography, terrain maps, a live traffic feed and street view photographs.
Mobile and portable radios were either reprogramed or replaced to comply with Federal Communications Center narrowbanding requirements. The change to narrowband frequencies is to increase the efficiently and availability of the radio spectrum in the UHF and VHF private land mobile bands. This in turn will provide for less interference with extended specialized mobile radio such as cellular telephones.
PCALS added one additional medication to its pre-hospital treatments, bringing the total amount of medications and IV solutions carried on PCALS units up to 37. PCALS continued to provide quality improvement data to the regional department of health regulating ambulance services.
PCALS was awarded Pocono Medical Center’s STEMI Cup Award for an emergency incident that occurred in January of 2012 in which a patient had a heart attack in the Pocono Mountain Lake Forest Community. The award was given for PCALS’s role in the “door to balloon angioplasty” time of 28 minutes. It is the fastest time for Pocono Medical Center in the 2011-2012 reporting year. Door-to-balloon is a time measurement in emergency cardiac care, specifically in the treatment of a STEMI, “heart attack”.
PCALS increased its educational requirement for personnel to triple what the Pennsylvania Department of Health requires. In March, several personnel from PCALS attended the EMS Today Conference in Baltimore, MD and in October, several personnel attended the 17th Annual Pocono EMS Conference in Pocono Manor, PA. Throughout the year, PCALS provided several courses for the volunteers of local fire departments and ambulance squads. PCALS was also reaccredited as a Continuing Education Sponsor for an additional three years. This accreditation allows the Pennsylvania Department of Health to give continuing education credit to those EMS providers who attend classes sponsored by Pike County Advanced Life Support.
In order to improve our communications, PCALS launched a new phone system consolidating several numbers into one incoming number – (855) PIKE-ALS / (855) 745-3257. This number now has an emergency extension that will be answered 24/7.
In July, Emergency Medical Services of Northeastern Pennsylvania (EMS of NEPA), an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Department of Health conducted the triennial inspection of PCALS. EMS of NEPA completed an inspection of PCALS’s records to ensure that PCALS has developed and maintained all required documents. In addition, EMS of NEPA inspected each emergency response vehicle ensuring that it is equipped and supplied for advanced life support service.
PCALS participated in several public outreach activities including parades, special event standbys and public health campaigns. Fundraises included a Spaghetti Dinner at the Delaware Township Municipal Building, a Penny Social at St. Vincent’s Church, a Tricky Tray at the Delaware Valley High School and the annual Lottery Calendar Fundraiser.
To request a copy of the full Pike County Advanced Life Support 2012 Annual Community Report or if you have any questions about PCALS call (855) 745-3257.