Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Dorchester County EMS was recognized as the SC Large EMS System of the Year for 2012 at the SC EMS State Symposium conducted March 21 – 23 in Myrtle Beach. This award, presented to EMS Director Doug Warren, who was also recognized as the 2012 SC EMS Director of the Year, cited the department’s ongoing commitment to excellence demonstrated through achieving accreditation, in April 2012, from the Commission of Accreditation of Ambulance Services. Dorchester County EMS became just the second EMS agency in SC to achieve this highest level of credentialing available in the industry.
The award also recognized the department and County for their ongoing efforts to upgrade and improve its facilities. The FY 13 County budget provides funding to construct new stations to house crews and equipment in Ridgeville and Oakbrook. Also recognized was the collaborative effort, in the fall of 2012, between the department, County Council and County Administrator to replace cardiac monitoring equipment for the department. This purchase improves the speed and quality of EKG’s that are sent to area hospitals and thus improve the care is that is provided to critically ill heart attack victims.
Furthermore, the department was recognized for is community education efforts, promoting injury prevention through partnership with the High School Injury Prevention Coalition (HSPIC) and the Vial of Life program which provides a means for important information to be readily available to EMS crews for elderly patients or those with chronic illnesses. The Vial of Life program is coordinated by Lt. Josh Arrant and is available to anyone in Dorchester County. The HSIPC conducts programs through the academic year at all area high schools that choose to participate. Recent activities of the Coalition include “DUI Rodeos” and “W 8 to Tkt” educational programs.
The department’s efforts to plan and conduct a regional mass casualty exercise, which involved the EMS agencies from Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties, all area hospitals, Joint Base Charleston, several fire departments and law enforcement agencies, also received kudos from the awards committee. The exercise, conducted in May 2012 was so well orchestrated that the department has been tasked with planning the subsequent follow-up exercise for early summer 2013.
In accepting the award, EMS Director Doug Warren credited all members of the department who daily provide care to the citizens of Dorchester County and have made a commitment to excellence.
Bill Hearn, County Council Chairman, said, “On behalf of County Council and the citizens of Dorchester County, we congratulate the Dorchester County EMS Department and Doug Warren for their awards and thank them for their service, dedication and professionalism.”
The achievements of the EMS department will be recognized by Dorchester County Council at its meeting on Monday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m. in St. George.