Community Paramedic Program discussed at Sheriff Advisory Meeting

Salisbury,McIntosh,HoffmanSheriff Casey Salisbury hosted Dr. Joseph Hoffman, the Medical Program Director for Mason County Emergency Medical Services program, at the monthly Sheriff Advisory Meeting held at Spencer Lake.

Sheriff Casey Salisbury said, “Bringing our citizens, medical, fire, and law enforcement representatives around the same table to explore potential life-saving, and resource-saving programs is vital to meeting the needs of Mason County.”

Dr. Hoffman discussed the future development of a community paramedic program.  Paramedics would be able to respond to calls in the field to treat and release patients that may not need to be transported all the way to the hospital.  Mason County’s emergency medical services including fire districts, Medic One, hospital districts, local tribes, and other home health providers are teaming up with Mason General Hospital to help reduce hospital readmission and reduce the frequency of 911 non-emergency callers.

Fire Commissioner Kelly McIntosh represented the North Mason Regional Fire Authority and also the Mason County Fire Commissioner’s Association as current President.  The fire districts include a large emergency stakeholder group of diverse resources who are working with Dr. Hoffman and the hospital to develop this community paramedic program.

Dr. Hoffman also provided information about the importance of fall prevention and CPR certification for family members and that these simple steps can make all the difference in helping to save the life of a family member.

Dr. Hoffman also discussed opiate overdoses which occur in Mason County and the application of Narcan, a drug that reverses the effect of opiate use.  With the rise of opiate overdose, Narcan may be administered by first responders and could have a life-saving impact in local rural communities.

The traditional roles of law enforcement, medical and schools are changing reflecting the changes in society. Police are now administering Narcan and attending mental health training.  Fire agencies are now involved in active shooter training and tactical emergency roles with police.  School district staff are now dealing with active shooter and mass evacuation training.  These are challenging times for first responders and school districts.  Partnerships, mutual aid, cooperation and timely decision making are critical for leaders at this time.

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