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Lima Memorial Health Focus: Growing Needs of our Vital EMS Community

Lima Memorial Health Focus: Growing Needs of our Vital EMS Community

posted on: 5/2/2018 3:14:28 PM

Health & Fitness Guest Columnist
Doug LaRue
Lima Memorial Health System EMS Manager
Alger EMS Chief

Like many people, I am sure you have gotten used to hearing acronyms and abbreviations, but haven’t taken the time to really learn what they stand for. Take EMS for instance. Have you ever wondered what EMS stands for? EMS or Emergency Medical Services is the team of people you call when you need urgent medical care. In addition to medical personnel, an EMS team is often made up of personnel from your local fire and police departments. The EMS provides the people you need when you are at your most vulnerable state in a medical crisis. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, EMS is there for you!

This year, my wife and I are celebrating our 25thyear involved with EMS. Yes, we both have this as our profession and we both cannot imagine not doing it. In fact my daughter and son-in-law are also involved. I remember very vividly the day I became interested in what would become my career. At the time, I did not know what EMS was. I was sitting at my in-law’s house (who also happened to be EMS personnel) and all of a sudden a very loud “squelch box” alarmed with a voice stating, “You have a man down, not breathing, CPR in progress.” My mother-in-law sprung into action, running out the door to respond. I recall thinking, what is going on? The call for more manpower was repeated over the squelch box during that episode. Wow! Talk about a real eye opener for me, and an instant adrenaline rush. I knew that day this was something I was going to get involved with. My mother-in-law was my introduction to EMS and became my true inspiration to pursue the career. She is now my “angel and hero” in EMS. As I am now in my 25thyear in EMS, the same theme still holds true today – we are still in need of more personnel through volunteer EMS providers.

Did you know that a high percentage of EMS departments in this region are classified as “VOLUNTEER” EMS?  This means many people choose this profession because they love helping people. These individuals respond to the station when their department is “toned out” or paged for a call and more often than not are responding from their home. Whether you are a paid department or a volunteer department, we are all struggling with the same issues we had when I first started 25 years ago – lack of trained personnel. Many EMS providers work full-time jobs and choose to volunteer with their local EMS because of their love of helping people. Personally, I find it hard to describe the feeling you get when you help someone in need. I would like to encourage you to get to know your local EMS departments. Stop by and say hello, and ask questions. The opportunity is always there to get involved. Being in the EMS profession is rewarding in so many ways. EMS is a “TEAM” sport, and the bond that EMS providers have for one another is truly remarkable. EMS personnel encounter individuals in their home or place of business, at a very scary time. Through expertise and trust, EMS providers truly make a difference for the patient and their family. Not only do EMS providers love helping people, we love helping our communities. There are so many ways to get involved in the EMS world. If you are interested in becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Emergency Medical Respondor (EMR) and learning about pre-hospital medical treatment and what to do in an emergency, Lima’s own Apollo Career Center’s Adult Public Safety division has programs and classes to get you started. Many EMS departments in the region sponsor individuals in return for supporting the EMS in a variety of ways.

Lima Memorial Health System has a rich history of supporting our EMS Community. We are proud to provide EMS Medical Directorship to many of the region’s EMS & Fire Departments. We know the importance of keeping first responders up-to-date, and we continually strive to equip them with ongoing education to enhance their knowledge and training through a vareity of educational opportunities. In addition, our EMS team will sponsor agencies in their endeavors to advance the health and wellness of our community. Whether it be helping with an equipment purchase or assisting with symposiums, we are all in this together. As a verified Level II trauma center and accredited Chest Pain Center, our Emergency Center works hand-in-hand with our area EMS departments to be prepared for the most urgent situations. Lima Memorial is committed to supporting the needs of our EMS partners. Our Emergency Room is staffed 24/7 with board-certified Emergency Medicine Physicians, advanced practice providers, and an experienced, compassionate Emergency Center team. I encourage you to visit our EMS web page at for the latest Emergency Medical Services updates. 

Rest assured if you call 9-1-1, someone will respond. If you are looking for a way to volunteer or bring joy to your life I encourage you to consider becoming a part of your community’s EMS department. I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to put a smile on a patient’s face knowing you do made a positive and comforting difference in their life. Your area EMS departments need help. If you have ever wondered if serving your community in this capacity might be right for you, stop in and talk with them. They would be happy to hear from you and let you know what their job is all about. At the end of the day, we are all here to make our communities “a safe place to call home”. To learn more, contact Doug LaRue, EMS Manager at LMHS, at dlarue@limamemorial.orgor by calling 419-226-5178. I would love to talk to you about what I love!

Originally published in The Lima News Health and Fitness section.

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