Beaufort County is working to improve and expand their EMS service. The county hired their first ever director of EMS, and have hired a consultant to look at ways to improve the current system.
John Flemming, the Director of EMS for the county, said one of their big initiatives is to make all crews in the county paramedic level.
“It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity, and it means the difference of our loved ones,” Flemming said.
By being at a paramedic level, crews can perform and administer life saving services, particularly for trauma and cardiac patients.
“Get more medications, and be able to justify a couple things, more things in the field,” said Samuel Williams, Captain of Aurora EMS.
Williams said one of the challenges crews currently face is the time to respond and transport patients. He said they generally take patients to either CarolinaEast in New Bern, or Vidant Beaufort in Washington. Aurora EMS uses the golden hour rule, which gives them an hour from the time of the incident to have the patient at the hospital.
“A lot of times we don’t reach it because of the time getting to the patient, treating the patient, and then going to the hospital,” Williams said. “It is a challenge.”
Another issue is making sure crews are nearby high call areas. Flemming said one way to do that is to station crews in areas where they know they will be receiving a lot of calls. Currently, Flemming is concerned with the Blounts Creek and Bath Township areas.
Aurora EMS is scheduled to become paramedic level on July 1st.