•July 27, 2016•
Bethany Fire and Ambulance Protection District, emergency medical services (EMS) was recently downgraded to the Basic Level, due to staffing issues.
The state Emergency Medical Services Systems Alternate Rural Staffing and Response issued the downgrade, which now requires one first responder and one Basic EMT.
Ambulance calls that are treatable and transportable at the a basic level may now be accomplished without an intermediate on board.
The benefit of alternate staffing is that the ambulance is still equipped at an Intermediate level and can run as an advanced care ambulance when an Intermediate is available.
The Basic response includes stabilizing the patient and begin transport with the option of requesting an advanced care intercept either from Sullivan or en route to Decatur.
This should result in fewer dropped calls and continue the tradition of excellent care for the patient,
Bethany has four EMT Basic staff starting intermediate/paramedic training. Currently five licensed first responders, 12 Basics, four Intermediates and two paramedics are on BFPD staff.
Anyone wishing to volunteer may contact the department at 665-3726.
Previously the BFPD ambulance was licensed at the Intermediate level which requires an EMT/I available 24/7 and response to every ambulance call.
Bethany, as with other volunteer departments,has a shortage of volunteers for both fire and emergency services.
When an Intermediate was not available, Bethany relied on mutual aid from surrounding departments, often with themselves short on staffing. Intermediates provide an advanced level of care including IV therapy and cardiac monitor interpretation.