Georgia Department of Human Resources                                                                          Volume 5, Issue 3

        D iv i s i o n o f P u b l i c H e a l t h , O f f i c e o f P r e p a r e d n e s s                              FALL 2008

                       O FFICE                    OF        E M S / T RAUMA N EWS
                                                                   I NFORMATIVE            C URRENT             D EPENDABLE

                               STATE OFFICE                                 hope to be able to share more details in the next newsletter. Be

                                OF EMS AND                                  on the lookout for more information!
                                                                                      I also want to take a moment to thank you for your ser-

                                 TRAUMA                                     vice to your fellow citizens in our state. As we enter this holiday
                                                                            season, please take a moment and enjoy some time with your
                                                                            family and friends. I know many of you work more than one job in
                                  UPDATE                                    EMS, and in doing such, you spend more than half your time at
                                                                            work, serving the needs of others. You, as EMS professionals,
                                                                            more than most people, know how precious life is. Please take a
                                                                            step back and give your family and friends an extra hug or hand-
                             . . . from the Director                        shake and relish those moments with them.
                                                                                      I also want to let you know that the Georgia State
                                                                            budget is in bad shape. You may have heard that all state agen-
           Greetings once again from the Georgia Office of Emergency        cies have been ordered to cut budget’s by 6% and reduce all
Medical Services. I want to take a few moments to give you an up-           travel. That cut has taken place. The Georgia Office of EMS has
date on what’s happening within our office and our profession. As you       had 3 positions in our Skyland office cut due to the current
read this, the weather is starting to get a little cooler. Hurricane sea-   budget crisis. We have also had at least 2 positions in our re-
son is nearing a close and the Holiday season is coming up quickly.         gional offices lost to the budget crisis. Additionally, we have had
           First, I would like to thank each of you that prepared to re-    all out of state travel canceled and have had to reduce all non-
spond to our coast, or the Gulf region in response to the rash of hurri-    essential in-state travel. Unfortunately, this has reduced our pres-
canes that developed this year. While we had a limited response as          ence at the conferences and out in the EMS Community. I can
we were watching our own coastline, many of you were standing               assure you that we are doing our best to keep our level of service
ready to help evacuate our coastline as well as respond to our fellow       as high as we possibly can. We have heard that the State is pre-
countrymen in the Gulf. Your preparedness and readiness kept our            paring to order another 2% cut to all state agency budgets (total
citizens safe and assured that Georgia’s EMS could respond if the           of 8%), with a plan to make a total of a 10% cut in our budget. The
need to evacuate developed.                                                 Governor has also released a plan to reorganize the Department
           In Georgia, we just completed our license renewal cycle.         of Human Resources. This plan would create a Department of
We appreciate your patience as we worked through the process. In an         Health, which would be comprised of the current Department of
effort to improve our services to our EMS Providers and our EMS Pro-        Community Health, and would also contain Public Health (which
fessionals in Georgia, you can now verify your EMS Personnel license        EMS is currently located in). This new Department of Health will
online. Just navigate to our main web-page (         be led by current DCH Commissioner Dr. Rhonda Medows. At this
programs/ems/index.asp) and click on the link on the right hand             point, we are not completely sure where the Office of EMS will be
navigation bar titled “ Georgia EMS Personnel License Verification.”        located. We will do our best to keep you updated as this process
You can search by first and last name or by license level and license
                                                                            moves forward.
number. Please feel free to check your status, and notify us immedi-
ately if you feel there is an error. If you have failed to renew your li-             Lastly, I want to encourage you to take care of yourself:
cense prior to the June 30, 2008 deadline, your license status is           both mentally and physically. I know you each work long hours
considered “lapsed-failure to renew.” However, it isn’t too late to get     under a very large amount of stress, and we (yes we) typically
into compliance! You have until December 31, 2008 to pay the late           develop poor eating habits and typically put off healthcare and
penalty fee and the renewal fee and renew your license. Per our             preventative visits for ourselves. Please try to find a healthy
Rules and Regulations, if your license is not renewed by December           hobby – away from EMS or public safety that will allow you some
31, 2008 it will be considered “Revoked- failure to renew.” You are         mental down-time. We need you to look after yourself – so you
not able to work in Georgia unless you have a valid EMS License with        can be there to serve those in their time of need. You need to set
an “Active” status. Please contact your Regional EMS Office or the          the example. If you smoke – please consider quitting as soon as
State Office of EMS if you have any questions regarding your license        possible. If you are overweight – please consider a sensible diet
status or late renewal.                                                     and exercise. If you need someone to listen to a bad call you re-
           The Georgia Office of EMS in conjunction with the Public         sponded to – please contact a regional EMS office. If you are not
Health Office of Preparedness are developing an online CEU portal           involved in our profession – please get involved with our state-
that will allow Georgia EMS Personnel to log in to our website and          wide association, national associations, your local EMS Councils
take online education modules. This will be an excellent platform for       and our statewide Councils: GET INVOLVED! Our state, as well as
us to share new technologies in EMS with you, as well as new treat-         our profession, needs you to make good choices so you can be-
ment protocols and review many other topics that impact our profes-         come an active participant in shaping the future of Georgia’s
sion and patient care. We are very excited about this project and           EMS.
Page 2                                                                                       O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

           TRAUMA CARE NETWORK                                                   Inside this issue:
                                                                       Trauma Care Network Update                               2
          By Renee Morgan, Trauma Systems Manager                      EMSMDAC & EMSAC Updates                                  3

          In June the Trauma Care Network Commission rolled               Conferences / New Health Department           4
out the formulary for the disbursement of $58 million. The                Manager’s Conference                          5
dollars infused into the trauma system were to provide a
“shoring up” for the troubled trauma system. This allocation              2008 GA EMS Awards                            6
was for the 2008 budget year only. Our goal is to develop real-
istic opportunities for sustainable funding that will put Georgia         GEMSIS Update                                 12
on the right tract for future trauma development. Included in
the funds were uncompensated care reimbursements for hos-                 Health Benefits of Tea                        14
pitals, physicians and EMS. In the table below you will see the
                                                                          Memorial Notes                                14
breakdown of the allocated funds.
          In September of this year we were hit with critical             Remembering Our History                       15
State budget cutbacks. In the process of these cutbacks the
highlighted funds in the table below were “frozen”. These                 Your Life - Our Mission - My Honor            16
funds have not been released and there is a possibility that
they will not be reestablished. As for the Uncompensated Care             Medic Alert                                   17
piece for EMS, those funds were received by the Medical Col-              EMS-C Information                             18
lege of Georgia (MCG) in Augusta and the process is moving
forward for those funds to be distributed to the EMS commu-               EMS Education - My View                       19
nity.                                                                     EMS Region News                               20
          In the past few weeks many Georgia licensed, ground
ambulance services should have gotten packets from MGC                    EMS-C Kids Corner                             31
helping them to identify patients that were transported to des-
ignated trauma centers in 2007. If your service did not receive           NREMT Prep Course Information                 32
a packet then most likely you had no patients transported to
trauma centers during 2007.                                               Educational Opportunities                     33
          EMS also has the option to request reimbursement
for scene calls where patients were transported by air to desig-
nated trauma centers. If you have
patients that may qualify for this un-
compensated care piece you should                                                           Amount           % of Total
contact our office for further instruc- Trauma Center Readiness Costs                        $ 17,888,539    30.4%
tions, or the trauma coordinator at Capital Grants for LI & LII Trauma Centers              $   4,148,602    7.0%
the receiving, designated trauma cen- Level IV Trauma Center Costs (2)                       $   200,000     0.3%
ter. You will need to provide the PCR
information and the name of the pa-      Uncompensated Care Costs                            $ 17,888,539    30.4%
tient to see if they met trauma criteria Total Trauma Center Allocation                     $ 40,125,680     68.1%
and are entered into the trauma reg- Trauma Physician Allocation
istry. Further information on the defi-
                                         25% of Trauma Center Readiness Costs                $  5,962,846    10.1%
nition of trauma criteria patients and
the process for reporting uncompen- 25% of Trauma Center Uncompensated care                 $   5,962,846    10.1%
sated care was sent to services by e- Total Physician Allocation                            $ 11,925,693     20.2%
mail from the Regional EMS offices EMS/Pre-Hospital Allocation
several weeks ago.                       EMS Competitive Grant Program                      $   4,000,000    6.8%
          Our office, along with MCG
                                         EMS Uncompensated Care                              $  1,479,945    2.5%
will assist you in this process. If you
have questions, don’t hesitate to con-   GPS & Automatic Vehicle Locater System              $   996,452     1.7%
tact me.                                 Total EMS/Prehospital Allocation                   $   6,476,397    11.0%
Office:   404-463-5419                Oversight & System Development
Cell:     404-569-3119
Pager::   404-382-3744                Trauma Commission/System Plan & Dev                $      375,000            0.6%
Fax::     404-463-5395                Total Oversight/Development Allocation             $     375,000             0.6%
                                      TOTAL 2008-09 GEORGIA TRAUMA FUND                  $   58,902,769            100.0%
Page 3                                                                                                O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

     EMSMDAC UPDATE                                                            EMSAC UPDATE
                                         The Georgia EMS Medi-                  Like EMSMDAC, the Georgia
                                cal Directors Advisory Council         EMS Advisory Council has had a very
                                (EMSMDAC) has had a very active        active summer.
                                summer, with meetings held in                   At the August meeting, the
                                July and September. One of the         new members of EMSAC, as appointed
                                actions taken was the election of      by the DHR Commissioner, were
                                officers, with Dr. Jill Mabley re-     seated. They are:
                                turning to another term as Chair       •   Region 1 EMS: Bud Owens
                                and Dr. Robert Cox returning as
                                                                       •   Region 2 EMS: Scott Masters
                                Vice Chair.
                                         One of the areas that
                                                                       •   Region 3 EMS: Benny Atkins
                                EMSMDAC has been involved              •   Region 4 EMS: Dr. Robert Cox
         Dr. Jill Mabley                                                                                             Courtney Terwilliger
                               with is that of ambulance diver-        •   Region 5 EMS: Lee Oliver
sion. Dr. Mabley, Dr. Cox, and others have been participating          •   Region 6 EMS: Courtney Terwilliger
on a task force created by the Georgia Hospital Association
(GHA) to examine the issue and determine if solutions can be           •   Region 7 EMS: Joe Robinson
identified and implemented. Common definitions are being               •   Region 8 EMS: Ann Lamb
developed for the various saturation levels and it has been de-        •   Region 9 EMS: Paul Genest
cided to use the National Emergency Department Overcrowding
Scale (NEDOCS) system to gauge the saturation level of emer-
                                                                       •   Region 10 EMS: Don Cargile
gency departments. It was noted that designated trauma cen-            •   EMSMDAC: Dr. Jeff Linzer
ters will use a different scoring system because saturation lev-       •   EMS Providers: Bernie Restrepo
els in them cannot be accurately identified with NEDOCS.               •   EMS Educators: Carol Crockett
          Another topic EMSMDAC has been debating is that of
drug-assisted intubation, using medications other than paralyt-
                                                                       •   EMS-C: Kristal Claxton Smith
ics, and whether or not is has a place in the prehospital care         •   ACCG: Ashley Meggitt
environment in Georgia. A full discussion of the topic is ex-          •   GMA: Ted Baggett
pected to occur at the next meeting of EMSMDAC.                        •   MAG: Dr. John Harvey
          Another issue the group focused on at their last meet-       •   Trauma Nurses: Debra Kitchens
ing is the emerging national trend of dispatch initiated aspirin
administration. Many of the agencies using medical priority            •   Trauma Surgeons: Dr. Jeffrey Salomone
dispatch have protocols that allow dispatchers to suggest aspi-        •   Pediatricians: Dr. Natalie Lane
rin for those patients over the age of 16. Some concern was            •   EMS Directors: Shane Garrison
expressed regarding the patient’s age.
                                                                       •   Consumers: Tom Schneider
          Due to the state budget shortfall and other economic
factors, EMSMDAC is moving forward to amend the Bylaws to              •   At Large: Pete Quinones
permit audio and video conferencing for meetings.                      •   At Large: Ernie Doss
          Dr. Mabley noted that two vacancies currently exist on       •    At Large: Ben Hinson
EMSMDAC. The first was created when Dr. James Augustine                EMSAC Officers are: Chair - Courtney Terwilliger; Vice Chair - Lee
moved to Washington, DC. The second was created by the res-            Oliver; and, Secretary - Ann Lamb.
ignation of Dr. Zeb L. Burrell, Jr. Dr. Burrell was one of the first             EMSAC, like EMSMDAC, made two recommendations to
                                                                       the State Office of EMS regarding pediatric issues. The first motion
members appointed to EMSMDAC when it was created in the                passed by EMSAC stated: The EMS-C sub-committee of EMSAC
late 1990s.                                                            recommends that eight (8) hours of the biennial required forty (40)
          EMSMDAC meetings are open to the public and EMS              hours of continuing education be related to pediatric patients.
providers are encouraged to attend.                                    That requirement will be for all levels of licensure and will not in-
                                                                       crease the total number of required continuing education hours.
                                                                       The second motion stated: The EMS-C Sub-Committee of EMSAC
                                                                       recommends that a pediatric protocol manual (electronic or
                                                                       printed format) be added to the required equipment list for regis-
                                                                       tered ambulances.
                                                                                 EMSAC is involved in many statewide issues such as di-
                                                                       version, trauma systems funding, alternative testing methods, EMS
                                                                       audits, and surveys. Meetings are open to the public and EMS
                                                                       providers are encouraged to attend.
Page 4                                                                                       O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

                                                                EMS EDUCATORS CONFERENCE
         GEORGIA EMS                                                 Conducted in one of Georgia’s most beautiful settings at

         CONFERENCE                                         Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, the 2008 Georgia EMS Educa-
                                                            tors Conference attracted over 200 instructors from across the
                                                                     Prior to the conference, several preconference workshops
                                                            were conducted. Among them were Geriatric Education for EMS -
        The annual Georgia EMS Conference was held
                                                            Provider and Instructor; Prehospital Trauma Life Support Instructor
August 26 - 29 at the Marriott Riverfront Hotel and Con-    Course; International Trauma Life Support Instructor Update; and,
ference Center in Savannah. Over 200 people attended        Teaching the New Kids on the Block.
the event.                                                           One of the Gulf hurricanes played havoc with the event,
        The keynote address was delivered by Randolph       causing the cancellation of a couple of speakers from Texas.
                                                                     Topics covered during the conference included “The Dis-
Mantooth, better known to many as Firefighter / Para-       appearing Endotracheal Tube,” Left Behind - Responder Initiated
medic Johnny Gage from TVs “Emergency!” series. The         Patient Refusals,” “Molding EMS Professionals for Patient Care. . .
once popular television series was the first to bring       and Then Some,” and “EMS Program Accreditation.”
EMS to the forefront and to the attention of Americans
nationwide. It caused many people to ask the question,
“Why don’t we have something like that in our home-
                                                                NEW DEPARTMENT OF
town?” Mantooth presented a unique journey into the
history of modern EMS that paid homage to the vision-
aries who overcame innumerable obstacles to create                 Governor Sonny Perdue released the findings of the Health
                                                             and Human Services Task Force, which calls for a new Depart-
the nation’s first fire-based paramedic programs.            ment of Behavioral Health encompassing the mental health and
                                                             addictive disease programs currently housed in the Department
                                                             of Human Resources.
                                                                   “Since DHR’s creation 35 years ago under Governor Jimmy
                                                             Carter, our state’s growth and healthcare needs have changed
                                                             dramatically,” Governor Perdue said. “This restructuring of DHR
                                                             recognizes those changing needs and puts in place a framework
                                                             for a more efficient, effective delivery of these critical services.”
                                                                   In addition to a new department focused solely on behavioral
                                                             health, the proposed reorganization plan calls for merging the
                                                             Department of Community Health with the public health and
                                                             health regulation programs of DHR to make up a reconstituted
                                                             Department of Health. Current DCH Commissioner Dr. Rhonda
                                                             Medows would lead the new Department of Health.
                                                                  The remaining social services under DHR would become the
                                                            Department of Human Services. Programs included in this depart-
                                                            ment would include Developmental Disabilities, Aging, Division of
                                                            Family and Children Services (DFCS) and Child Support. Current
                                                            DHR Commissioner B.J. Walker will lead the new Department of
                    Randolph Mantooth
                                                            Human Services.
                                                                  The proposal calls for legislation to be introduced when the
        One of the annual highlights is the preconfer-      General Assembly convenes next January with the transition to the
ence ACLS Competition sponsored by Southeastern             new agencies occurring on July 1, 2009.
Emergency Equipment. The winning team this year was               “It has been exciting serving with my fellow legislators and
Deborah Gibson, David Crosby, and Laurie Coombs             governor’s staff as we look to transform the delivery of health and
                                                            human services in Georgia,” said Senator Renee Unterman. “This
from MedStarOne in Savannah.                                has been a lot of work and there still is a lot of work to do. This is a
        Among the topics covered at the conference          step in the right direction and I look forward to working closely with
were “Pulmonary Hypertension / CHF in the Field,”           the agencies, legislature and advocacy communities on these im-
“Taser’s - Remove or Not?,” “Burn and Blast Injuries,”      portant changes.”
                                                                  In addition to Sen. Unterman, three other legislators served
“The Miracle of Life. . . Almost,” and “Toxicology in the
                                                            on the task force: Sen. Jack Hill, Rep. Ben Harbin and Rep. Mark
Prehospital Setting,” among others.                         Butler.
        The 2009 Georgia EMS Conference will be held        “This is a positive step on the road to correcting our mental and
August 12 - 14 at the Marriott Riverfront in Savannah.      public health systems,” Rep. Butler said. “It is a huge step for this
                                                            administration to pull these fragile lives out of this larger mix to get
                                                            them the help and attention they need.”
    Georgia Association of EMS 2008 Manager’s Conference

                                    November 19 – 21, 2008

              Mountain Creek Conference Center, Callaway Gardens
                              Group: GAEMS-Management Conference
                                         Rate: $109.00/night
    (Includes access to the park. The hotel will honor this rate for 3 days prior & 3 days after the

                                                      This year’s management conference will include
        Billing Pre – Conference                     many new features, including presentations by Fitch
   This year, GAEMS will also be offering a 9        and Associates, choices of workshop sessions, VIP
  session pre – con by Fitch and Associates            speakers, a brief on the Georgia Trauma System
designed specifically to educate EMS directors       grant fund, and many other new features! For more
   and administrative personnel about better            information, email
 practices for billing and collections. This will     A special price of 215.00 will be offered to those
  be offered at a special rate of $125.00. For        who attend both the manager’s conference and the
        more information, please email                                     pre – con.

                          2008 GAEMS Management Conference Registration
                      GAEMS Member $125.00 Provider Non-member $140.00,
          Director/Physician Non-member $175.00 (Provide a copy of membership card)
Mail completed registration form and check made out to: GAEMS, P.O. Box 4626, Macon, Ga. 31208
Last Name:_______________________________ First Name:_____________________________
State:________Zip:____________ Employer:__________________________________________
Home Phone:_____________________________ Work:
Certification: ____________________
Email: _________________________________________________________________________
Late Fee Additional $30.00 after October 17, 2008                         No Refunds after October19, 2008
Page 6                                                                                  O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

              .   2008 GEORGIA EMS AWARDS
        The annual Georgia EMS Awards Banquet,            ultimately survives to discharge from the hospital to a vi-
celebrating the 35th anniversary of Georgia’s EMS         able productive state. The 2008 recipients of the Simon
system, was held May 27th at the Georgia Public           Award were JEFF CARTER and GEORGE OXENREIDER from
Safety Training Center in Forsyth. Several hundred        Polk County EMS and KIM MARSHALL and KRISTEN
people attended the banquet, considered by many to        PIERCE from Rural Metro Ambulance Service.
be the premier event in EMS in the state.                         The Joe Lane Cox Award is presented annually by
        The GAEMS Legislative Star of Life Awards         the North Georgia Region 2 Emergency Medical Services
are given each year by the Association in apprecia-       Council to an individual who has made a substantial contri-
tion to those members of the Georgia Legislature          bution to the promotion and advancement of EMS. The
who have shown their dedication to the health and         individual need not be employed in EMS, but has, like Joe
safety of Georgia citizens by supporting efforts that     Lane Cox, unselfishly donated his or her time and efforts
enhance the EMS profession’s ability to provide ex-       to continue the improvement of EMS in Georgia’s EMS re-
cellent pre-hospital care. GAEMS Chairman Court-          gions and at the state and national levels. The 2008 re-
                                                          cipient of the Cox Award was BARRY CHURCH, formerly
ney Terwilliger presented the GAEMS Legislative
                                                          with Habersham County Emergency Management Agency.
                                                                  The Mary Beth Bowns Excellence in Trauma Care
                                                          Award is presented annually in memory of Mary Beth
                                                          Bowns who was an EMT on the streets of Atlanta. She lost
                                                          her life in an automobile crash on July 11, 1997, a few
                                                          days before her 23rd birthday. She had just been accepted
                                                          to the physician’s assistant program at Emory University
                                                          and was excited about furthering her education. Her fam-
                                                          ily has sponsored the award since its inception to provide
liger expressed his appreciation to each of them for
                                                          recognition to an individual or agency who has given out-
their dedication to and recognition of EMS as an es-
                                                          standing care to an injured patient. It also recognizes that
sential service.
                                                          individual or agency for their leadership role and the pro-
        GAEMS Chairman Courtney Terwilliger pre-
                                                          motion of quality trauma care within their agency and com-
sented the annual GAEMS Chairman’s Award. The
                                                          munity. The recipients of the 2008 Mary Beth Bowns Ex-
GAEMS Chairman’s award is given each year, by the
                                                          cellence in Trauma Care Award were CHRIS SHEW and ED
Chairman of the Board of Director’s of the Associa-
                                                          WILBORN from Puckett EMS.
tion to an individual who has demonstrated extraor-
                                                                  The Georgia EMS Educator of the Year Award is
dinary leadership capabilities in the support of the
                                                          presented annually by GAEMS. This award is presented to
Emergency Medical Services profession in Geor-
                                                          an EMS Educator that has contributed significantly to EMS
gia This individual’s high personal and professional
                                                          education at the community, regional, and/or state level.
standards are an inspiration to colleagues and other
                                                          Contributed significantly is defined as going far above and
professional organizations with whom we work. The
                                                          beyond the call of duty, whether in the direct delivery of
2008 recipient of the Chairman’s Award was LEE
                                                          patient care or in programs offered to the community that
OLIVER of The Medical Center of Central Georgia
                                                          enhance the standing of EMS and/or the education of the
                                                          public. Any currently licensed Georgia Level I, Level II, or
        The first of the state awards presented was
                                                          Level III EMS Instructor who is involved in providing in-
the Dr. Joseph E. Simon Pediatric Award of Excel-
                                                          struction to EMS professionals and others. The recipient of
lence which was created to recognize individuals or
                                                          the 2008 GAEMS Educator of the Year Award was KRISTAL
organizations for outstanding emergency medical
                                                          CLAXTON SMITH of Central Georgia Technical College.
care provided to pediatric patients. It is named in
                                                                  The Dr. Zeb L. Burrell, Jr. Distinguished Service
honor of Atlanta pediatrician Dr. Joseph E. Simon,
                                                          Award of Excellence is presented annually by the North-
the creator of the Pediatric Life Support (PLS)
                                                          east Georgia Region 10 Emergency Medical Services
Course. To qualify for the award, the nominee(s)
                                                          Council to an individual or organization for outstanding
must have cared for a pediatric patient who sus-
                                                          contribution to the development or enhancement of pre-
tained a life threatening injury or illness and through
                                                          hospital emergency medical care. Named in honor of Dr.
the rapid assessment, appropriate management,
                                                          Zeb L. Burrell, Jr. of Elberton, the recipient is one who
and prompt transport by the prehospital providers,        CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE. . .
Page 7                                                                                 O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

AWARDS. . . continued                                    Methodist Church in Bolivia. In the mid-1950s, Dr. O’Neal
typifies the high ideals, irreproachable character,      was elected Mayor of the City of Elberton. In the late
and extreme unselfish dedication to EMS that is so       1970s, he became involved with the training of Elbert
typical of Dr. Burrell and makes him one of Georgia’s    County’s EMS personnel, and for several years after that,
most outstanding EMS pioneers and leaders. Crite-        he served as medical director for the Elbert Memorial Hos-
ria for the award includes outstanding contribution      pital EMS and as a member of the Northeast Georgia Re-
to the development, implementation, and delivery of      gion 10 EMS Council. In 1980, Dr. O’Neal was appointed
emergency medical services in the state of Georgia;      State EMS Medical Director, a position he held until his
demonstrated leadership and personal commitment          death on October 21, 1993. In May of 1990, Dr. O’Neal
to the achievement of excellence in EMS programs;        became director of the state’s Emergency Health Section,
the nominee’s role in causing emergency services in      a name he later had changed to the Emergency Medical
his or her community or the region to be improved,       Services Section. Dr. O’Neal was also instrumental in im-
expanded, or otherwise enhanced; and, the nomi-          plementing standing orders, easing the procurement of
nee’s efforts or involvement in activities to            pharmaceuticals, expanding the EMT Instructor program,
strengthen public awareness and support of EMS.          reorganizing test administration, revising the patient care
During his career, which is far from over, Dr. Burrell   report, and creating a positive, flexible, and functional re-
has earned numerous honors and awards and                certification program. The recipient of the 2008 O’Neal
achieved many successes, including the overall de-       Award was TIM BROGDON of South Georgia Medical Cen-
velopment of the regional EMS concept in northeast       ter EMS.
Georgia from implementation through zoning and                    The Georgia Association of EMS established the
trauma center designation. He served many years          Excellence in Leadership Award to recognize excellence in
as Northeast Georgia Region 10 EMS Medical Direc-        leadership in the Georgia’s EMS System with the following
tor and Associate Regional EMS Medical Director.         criteria.: the chosen recipient will have proven to the
He is a member of the Georgia EMS Medical Direc-         GAEMS Board of Directors by a recommendation process
tors Advisory Council and continues to serve as the      that he/she is an established leader in the EMS field in the
EMS Medical Director for Elbert County EMS. The          state of Georgia; the chosen recipient will have proven to
2008 Burrell Award recipient was CAPT. MARIE             the GAEMS Board of Directors by a recommendation proc-
HARRELL of Columbus Fire and EMS.                        ess that he/she is an advocate for the entire EMS System
         The Dr. John B. O’Neal, III EMS Pioneer         in the state of Georgia; the chosen recipient must be a
Award is presented annually by the Southwest Geor-       member in good standing with the Georgia EMS Associa-
gia Region 8 Emergency Medical Services Council to       tion; the chosen recipient will have proven to the GAEMS
recognize an individual in Georgia for his or her un-    Board of Directors by a recommendation process that he/
selfish contribution to the development of Georgia’s     she is an excellent leader in EMS and his/her work and
emergency medical services system. John Barnwell         leadership skills have proven to make a difference in a
O’Neal, III was born on October 22, 1920, in the         positive way to the entire EMS System in the state of Geor-
Pierce County town of Blackshear. He attended            gia; and this award will be held in the highest esteem by
South Georgia College and the University of Georgia      the GAEMS Board of Directors and considered to be the
before obtaining his medical degree from the Medi-       highest award offered to the members of GAEMS.
cal College of Georgia in 1944. In 1945, he married      The recipient of the 2008 Excellence in Leadership Award
Dr. Phyllis Johnson of Elberton. He served in the        was SAM R. CUNNINGHAM of the Georgia Office of EMS
United States Army Medical Corps during World War        and Trauma – Region 7.
II and received an honorable discharge with the rank              The Charles B. Gillespie, M.D. Distinguished Geor-
of Captain. In 1948, he began a medical and surgi-       gia EMS Medical Director Award, was presented by GAEMS
cal practice in Elberton. While Dr. O’Neal is best       for the first time this year. This award is presented to the
known for his medical practice, he also excelled in      physician who has served consistently as an Emergency
many other areas, including business, politics, and      Medical Service Medical Director in a single Georgia Re-
community leadership. He served on many boards           gion or community for no less than 5 years and meets the
and committees, including the Bowden Commission          following criteria: the recipient must be a United State Citi-
on Efficiency and Economy in Government during           zen, possess a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteo-
Governor Carl Sanders’ administration and as Chair-      pathic Medicine degree and has provided consistent, meri-
man of the Elberton Civic Center’s Board of Trustees.    torious service in the science and art of Emergency Medi-
He was instrumental in building the Elberton Civic       cine clinical and administrative leadership; the recipient
Center. He and Dr. Phyllis, as his wife was fondly
referred to, were medical missionaries with the          CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
Page 8                                                                              O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

.2008    GEORGIA EMS AWARDS. . . continued from previous page
must have provided exemplary and exceptional ser-
vice that benefits and supports the Emergency Medi-
cal Technicians, Physician Practitioners and those
whom he has or is treating; and, the recipient must
have shown continuing dedication to the principles
of medical ethics and made outstanding contribu-
tions to the community in citizenship and public ser-
vice above and beyond the call of duty as a practic-
ing physician. The recipient of the Charles B. Gilles-
pie, M.D. Distinguished Georgia EMS Medical Direc-
tor Award was DR. JILL MABLEY of Cherokee County
         Annually, the Georgia Association of Emer-
gency Medical Services presents the Georgia EMT of
the Year Award to a currently certified EMT, Cardiac
Technician, or Paramedic whose primary responsibil-
ity is providing direct patient care and who has con-
tributed significantly to EMS at the community, re-
gional, or state level. Members of the GAEMT Board
of Directors are not eligible for the award, nor are
EMS directors, administrators, and supervisors who          Lee Oliver (L), recipient of the GAEMS Chairman’s
do not routinely deliver direct patient care as a pri-               Award, and Courtney Terwilliger
mary responder. The recipient of the 2008 Georgia
EMT of the Year Award was MARTHA ANNE McCARTY
of Upson Regional Medical Center EMS.
         The Georgia Emergency Medical Services
Director of the Year Award is presented annually by
the EMS Directors Association of Georgia. The com-
mittee utilizes several criteria in determining the re-
cipient, including the degree of involvement in both
EMS and non-EMS related activities; contributions to
EMS at the local, regional, state, and national levels;
involvement in EMS activities and organizations at
the local, regional, state, and national levels; the in-
dividual’s EMS education; EMS affiliations; work his-
tory; and, awards received. The 2008 recipient of
the Georgia EMS Director of the Year award was
CHIEF DAVID McCALL of Harris County EMS.
         The Georgia Emergency Medical Service of
the Year Award is presented annually by the Georgia
Association of Emergency Medical Services to a cur-
rently licensed Georgia EMS provider that exempli-
                                                           Jeff Carter and George Oxenreider, recipients of the
fies outstanding professionalism and service to the
community it serves. An objective and rather lengthy        Dr. Joseph E. Simon Pediatric Award of Excellence
process is used in selecting the recipient from
among the nominees submitted. The 2008 recipient
of the Georgia EMS of the Year Award was CHERO-
Page 9                                                                           O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

              .   2008 GEORGIA EMS AWARDS

                                                     Ed Wilborn (second from left) and Chris Shew (center),
                                                        recipients of the Mary Beth Bowns Excellence in
                                                      Trauma Care Award, with Renee Morgan (L) and Ed
                                                                      and Connie Bowns (R)

    Kristen Pierce and Kim Marshall (not shown),
   recipients of the Dr. Joseph E. Simon Pediatric
                 Award of Excellence

  Barry Church (center), recipient of the Joe Lane
  Cox Excellence in EMS Award, with Jack Moody
             (L) and Will Lockwood (R)               Capt. Marie Harrell, recipient of the Dr. Zeb L. Burrell,
                                                        Jr. Distinguished Service Award of Excellence
Page 10                                                                          O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

.2008     GEORGIA EMS AWARDS. . . continued from previous page

  Tim Brogdon (center) recipient of the Dr. John B.
  O’Neal, III EMS Pioneer Award, flanked by Robert
           Vick (L) and Danny Edwards (R)

                                                       Dr. Jill Mabley, recipient of the Charles B. Gillespie,
                                                      M.D.          Distinguished Georgia EMS Medical Direc-
                                                               tor Award, with Dr. Charles B. Gillespie

                                                         Sam R. Cunningham (L), recipient of the GAEMS
                                                         Award of Excellence in Leadership, with Courtney
                                                                          Terwilliger (R)
    Chief David McCall, Georgia EMS Director of
                    the Year
Page 11                                                                    O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

.2008     GEORGIA EMS AWARDS. . . continued from previous page

                                                     Waylon White, EMS Training Officer and Dr. Jill
                                                   Mabley, EMS Medical Director, accept the Georgia
                                                   Emergency Medical Service of the Year Award from
     Kristal Claxton Smith, recipient of the EMS
                                                                 Courtney Terwilliger
   Educator of the Year Award with Steve McNure

                                                   Special recognition was given to the Region 1 EMS
                                                    Honor Guard for their assistance at the Banquet

               Martha Anne McCarty
              Georgia EMT of the Year
Page 12                                                                                  O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

                                         GEMSIS Update
         .The GEMSIS direct entry option for filling out patient care reports is becoming very popular. Most medics
with a little training find it very easy to use and far better than the old bubble sheets. A secondary benefit is that it
has the potential to provide the most complete data possible for use by the agency and to the state. In addition to
the obvious asset of no cost to the EMS agency it gives the agency a multitude of options that most are finding very
useful. The options allow each agency to tailor the PCR to their own specific needs. A few of the options are high-
lighted here.

The Interactive Physical Assessment has been shown to be easy to use and accurate in its ability to provide assess-
ment information. You turn on the Interactive Physical Assessment when you set up your service on GEMSIS by
going to View Run Options and Resources and choosing Interactive Physical Assessment to turn it on.
 V o l u m e 5 , I ss u e 3                                                                             Page 13

Another option is the narrative format. Again go to View Run Options and Resources and choose Auto Narrative
and turn it on. It allows auto narration in three formats: Medical Abstract, Sequential Narrative and SOAP Narra-

There are many other options available and with our close working relationship with Image Trend there will be even
more as GEMSIS develops.

In addition to the options, when the agency sets up their staff and vehicles the information becomes available in
drop down boxes on the PCR form so the medic does not have to type the information in.

For more information visit the GEMSIS web site Knowledgebase where all PCR information and directions are available.
Page 14                                                                                O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

       HEALTH BENEFITS OF TEA                               beverage, making it your best choice for weight loss.
                                                            Pass on the diet soda, loaded with sugar and bone-
                    Tamber Fuller                           weakening bubbles, and go for tea.

Delicious, low calorie, and brimming with antioxidants,     It is best to drink tea unsweetened and without milk,
tea is quickly becoming the most commonly consumed          which can minimize some of the health benefits. To
beverage worldwide, after water. Even in the U.S., its      sweeten the tea without the extra calories, forgo the
popularity is rapidly growing. And why not? With the        sugar and try instead honey, stevia products, or a stick of
health benefits you stand to gain, you, too, will want to   cinnamon.
drink up.

                                                            The Healthy Varieties of Herbal Teas
Soak UP The Health Benefits
                                                            Aromatic and chock full of amazing health benefits,
It is no wonder that tea is the beverage most commonly      herbal teas are made from various leaves, roots, bark, or
enjoyed by centenarians around the world. Tea is full       flowers. Here are just a few:
of powerful antioxidants that improve concentration,
                                                             *Ginger: Soothes the digestive system and keeps your
gently boost energy, and make people happier. The
                                                            energy fired up.
free radical-inhibiting property of tea is more potent
than that of vitamin E, and tea is a proven preventive       *Chamomile: Settles the stomach and is calming and
and treatment for atherosclerosis (hardening of the ar-     soothing for the nervous system.
teries). The polyphenols in tea, especially the cate-        *Peppermint: Increases healthy gastric secretions, re-
chins, are powerful antioxidants that help ward off dia-    laxes the intestines, and settles the stomach.
betes and cancer.                                            *Dandelion: Detoxifies and supports healthy liver func-
To get the most health from your tea, brew it fresh from     *Valerian: A natural herbal substitute for sleeping pills.
tea bags or loose leaves and herbs, as instant and bot-      Now go and enjoy your tea!!!!!!!!!!!!
tled teas contain less active compounds. Let the tea
steep for three to five minutes to extract the most bene-
ficial compounds. Drink to your health!
                                                               MEMORIAL                                PAG E
Cut The Morning Coffee
For many people, the first thing they reach for in the       ROBERT O. (BOB) BENNETT, EMT-I
morning is coffee. Although it may initially give you a
jolt, coffee actually depletes your vital essence,           Robert Osborne Bennett, EMT-I of Kennesaw,
"borrowing" energy that you didn't have in the first         formerly of Ellijay, died July 17, 2008. He was
place.                                                       born April 12, 1945 in Columbus. In 1979, after
                                                             becoming an EMT, he opened Starlife EMS in the
Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant. It      Buckhead area of Atlanta.
causes you to experience stress, anxiety, a racing
mind, and even insomnia, working against your at-            VIVIEN POWER
tempts to relax the body and calm the mind. A health-
ier alternative to coffee is herbal tea. On average, a       Vivien Palmer Power, 67, of Atlanta, died August
cup of black tea contains about one third of the caffeine    13, 2008. She was a former EMT for Metro Am-
you would get from the same cup of coffee. Green tea         bulance Service and Time Line EMS.
contains about one sixth of that amount.
                                                             VINCE SHAFFER, EMT-P
Of course, caffeine content will vary depending on the
particular tea and the brewing time. One way to natu-        Vince Shaffer, Veteran Paramedic and EMS edu-
rally decaffeinate your tea is to steep for 45 seconds.      cator, died August 1, 2008, from a bout with
pour out the liquid but keep the tea leaves, then add        cancer. Shaffer was a positive influence on
fresh boiling water and let steep for 3-5 minutes or         Georgia’s EMS system, particularly the Cobb
longer to allow the beneficial polyphenols to be ex-         County area, for almost five decades. His funeral
tracted from the tea.                                        was attended by many of his former students.

Aside from the health benefits, tea is a zero-calorie
 V o l u m e 5 , I ss u e 3                                                                       Page 15

                                                                  trated on outlying areas that are farthest from our dispatch
   REMEMBERING OUR                                                center,” Young explains. “And teaching is not limited to CPR.
                                                                  We also offer Red Cross first aid, and through Bainbridge
       HISTORY                                                    Junior College, CIM training.
                                                                            “All of Decatur County’s deputy sheriffs have CIM
         Those of you who are regular readers of the              training. So does Faceville’s Volunteer Fire Department.
Newsletter know that we initiated this section a couple           (Faceville is a small community near the Florida line and
of editions ago. The purpose is to go back in the past            about 11 miles from Bainbridge.) When we have a Faceville
and relive some of the moments that brought us to                 call, we notify the Fire Department and ask them to respond.
where we are today.                                               We meet them at the scene, provide additional treatment if
                                                                  necessary, and bring the patient on in. They’re functioning
         The following article was published in “EMS              as rapid responders or first responders and helping the peo-
News,” the official publication of the Georgia Emergency          ple of their community.”
Health Section (the name of the State Office of EMS at                      Young adds that two Sheriff’s Department men are
that time) on November 15, 1977. The likely author of             EMTs while the local police squad boasts four. Several EMTs
the article was Bennie Lou Carr.                                  are employed by local industry. “We believe in ‘numbers’
                                                                  training,” Young stresses. “It’s the only way for a rural
    ON THE ROAD IN DECATUR COUNTY                                 county to go. We’re a high accident area. We have a lake
                                                                  area, Amtrak, Florida access roads that carry heavy tourist
          An interview with Decatur County Ambulance Ser-         traffic between Alabama, Georgia and Florida as well as a lot
vice (DCAS) Supervisor Jack Young is a trip. A good one.          of transport trucks. The accident potential is great - and we
Here’s a supervisor who runs a fine service, has imple-           have ‘em. And heart problems are universal. We’re 20 min-
mented an impressive community education program, and             utes away from portions of the county. No way we could
is admittedly proud of the unit, its personnel, his county        reach someone in cardiac arrest in time to save him.” Con-
and the people who support EMS there.                             tinuing, he says, “If we can get enough people trained in Red
          The support is tremendous. Over $10,000 in local        Cross First Aid, in CPR, in CIM, then we’ll be improving the
money has been donated to DCAS in 1977. The county                chances for survival in these outlying areas.”
commission provides adequate operating funds - without                      It would be difficult to quarrel with that philosophy.
hassle. Local business and industry are extremely coopera-        The most significant thing about DCAS’ community education
tive. Media outlets, the local paper which is operated by         program, if we may make an editorial comment, is that
Sam Griffin, son of former Governor Marvin Griffin, and           they’ve done it all themselves - the planning, organization,
local radio stations are generous with coverage. The local        promotion, funding and implementation.
hospital allows EMTs to participate in inservice training pro-              Besides these impressive training accomplishments,
grams alongside their staff. Collections during 1976 were         Decatur County has other interesting achievements to point
better than 50%, indicative of citizen support. And citizen       out. One involves the federal agency of Occupational Safety
participation in DCAS training programs may be unparal-           and Health Administration. OSHA officials have not required
leled in the state.                                               first aid rooms in several local industrial plants, pointing to
          Decatur County’s unit, with seven of its nine EMTs      high-quality prehospital care and fast response times of the
certified as CPR instructors, has trained some 800 people in      county service. That’s an almost unheard of acknowledg-
CPR this year. They own three adult manikins, one Re-             ment in the annals of federal regulation by OSHA.
cording Anne, two babies and an intubation model. Contri-                   Another centers around equipment. DCAS has two
butions paid for the equipment. They have access to four          effective, low cost items worth mentioning. One is a Life-Pak
additional adult “dolls” that’re locally owned.                   4 adaptor, a 12-Lead EKG they purchased for about $255.
          “It’s not unusual for us to arrive at the scene of an   Another is an extrication tool made by SNAP-ON-TOOLS
arrest and find CPR already in progress,” says Young. “Our        that’s a portable hydraulic cutter complete with its own air
students are often there when they’re needed. It’s a good         tank which costs about $350. Easier to carry and use, it of-
feeling to develop a program like this and then experience        ten eliminates the need for the heavy, costly Hurst tools.
the results.” They have a long-term goal: CPR training for                  Problems? One of the main ones right now has to
10% of the county’s approximate 23,000 residents.                 do with training of cardiac technicians. Young explains,
          To sharpen their own skills, the Bainbridge based       “There aren’t enough category one and two hospitals around
crew is required to run Recording Anne strips, EMT by             to afford the clinical experience being required. We want and
EMT, every two to three weeks. “CPR is a precise proce-           need this training and certification. So far, meeting require-
dure,” Young points out. “If we’re going to perform well as       ments under present criteria has been impossible.”
EMTs and as instructors, we have to be sure of our own                      If a rural county without an appropriate training hos-
capabilities. We have four confirmed ‘saves’ this year,” he       pital can solve this problem, we’d bet it’ll be Decatur County.
adds.                                                             The lawn around their headquarters is close clipped; it does-
          Some classes are taught to particular groups - life-    n’t grow very long under their feet. That we found out on
guards, industrial plant employees, firemen, church groups.       the road in Decatur County.
Others are open to the general public. “We’ve concen-
Page 16                                                                                    O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

    Your Life – Our Mission – My Honor                    honor. There are many new EMS folks that may not
                                                          yet understand, but I do. My life has been enriched by
                By Kelly Buddenhagen                      the lives I have shared these times with; partners,
          Paramedic, Gilmer County EMS, Georgia           friends, communities and strangers. Each call molding
                                                          and shaping the ever-constant reminder — I am
         Gasping for breath, no strength to move,         trusted without question to make a difference in their
 pain ripping through my chest; I struggle to dial        lives when they feel like their lives are ending. Holding
 three simple numbers: 9 - 1 - 1. Time stretches by       a hand, brushing away a tear, comforting the lonely;
 the minute, seeming like hours as I strain for air,      skills we should be tested on that were never men-
 will I survive to when help arrives? I think about my    tioned in the texts.
 children, my parents, scenes start flowing in front              People often ask me what the worst call I have
 of my eyes, I think of how this can’t be happening       ever had was, most all of us have been asked. Most of
 to me — too young, too healthy, too much to do.          the answers I hear describe a horrific scene, often
 Where are they, it seems like hours since I dialed, I    involving children, truly so it is. I too have many calls
 am fading — what will they think when they find          that fit the description, but the worst call is still ahead
 me?                                                      as we know. My answer often surprises those who like
         Startled by the noise, I can’t stop my heart     to hear the gory details, because the worst call I ex-
 from pounding. This is it, this is what I have trained   plain is different. The call I dread the most — the call
 so long for — I am ready, I am so prepared, I am         in which I forget what an honor it is to serve another
 ready to save a life. So many things to think about:     human being with presumed trust with another’s life.
 get the right address, know the quickest route,                  In a career with the average burnout is 5-10
 watch the other traffic, my truck is ready, my part-     years, I am privileged to serve a community that trusts
 ner is ready, I am ready, go over in my head — A for     me to do the right thing, in the right way, at the right
 airway, B for breathing. Now I know what my in-          time, with the right skills. I am honored to be in a pro-
 structor meant that practice turns into instinct if      fession that knows what to do when they walk in to
 you do it right.                                         someone’s life at the worst time, under the worst cir-
         I was never asked for my credentials, never      cumstances and remind them that we are all worth
 questioned as to my morality, just inherently            saving.
 trusted to do the right thing, have the right educa-
 tion, use the right skills, and know what to accom-
 plish without question. I will never forget the eyes
 of my patient, longing for me to help, trusting my
 every move. It could have been your mom, but for
 the time I was present — she was mine. I remem-
 ber the instructor telling me about the feelings I
 would have, but I never thought it would affect me.
                                                           With more than 15 years of experience working on an
 I know the skills; I practiced for hours to get them      ambulance and teaching students, paramedic instructor
 right, to be the best. My instructor was right; the       Kelly Buddenhagen is motivated by one simple objective:
 real skills aren’t in the book.                           serving the public.
         Fifteen years later I am no longer startled by    “I see these young folks coming in from a different genera-
 the tones in the station, surprised only by the ever-     tion from when I went in,” said Buddenhagen, of Gilmer
                                                           County EMS in Ga. “Sometimes their motivation is not in
 increasing violence of the world. I still read, study,    the ‘public service’ mindset. I instill it in them if they don’t
 learn and practice — EMS is not a place to become         have it.”
 complacent. The ever changing treatments, new             Buddenhagen, the winner of the EMS1 2008 Excellence in
 drugs, new challenges; keeping up to date is a full-      EMS Award for her original piece, ''Your Life - Our Mission -
                                                           My Honor,'' hopes to reach other providers as both a para-
 time passion. I still remember that first call, and       medic and a casual writer.
 many more since. The thing I remember the most —
 is that when someone calls for help — regardless of             REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF EMS1.COM
 the reason, my being on scene is a privilege and                 http:/
Page 17                                                                        O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

On November 1, the Alzheimer's Association Safe         ability to return the person safely to their loved
Return program introduced a new alliance with           ones,” said Ginny Helms, VP of Programs of the
MedicAlert® to bring you MedicAlert® + Alzheimer’s      Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter. All of the
Association Safe Return®. The program was cre-          other features of the Safe Return program will stay
ated for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related    the same.
dementia who may wander or become lost. MedicA-
lert is well-known for its identification jewelry for
                                                        If you are interested in our Free training or if you
people who have all types of medical conditions.
                                                        have any questions, please call Kim Franklin at the
Under the new partnership, MedicAlert will maintain
                                                        Alzheimer's Association Georgia Chapter Headquar-
and provide life-saving, detailed medical histories
                                                        ters at 404-728-6064.
for all of its members. In an event that a person be-
comes lost or is found, MedicAlert + Safe Return will
provide first responders with information such as
drug allergies, medications or any illnesses the
missing or found person may have. The new pro-
gram serves two purposes; it provides emergency
medical information and assists in an event of a
wandering incident. “The new partnership will only
enhance the wonderful program we already have by
providing important medical information on the indi-
vidual who may become lost. This will enhance our

                                    Alzheimer’s Training
                                   Now Available to EMS
   Recently, DHR approved training for the Alzheimer's Association to train EMS statewide.
   The Alzheimer’s Association has been training Law Enforcement for 4 years and Firefighters
   for almost a year now and decided to branch out to include EMS. Since EMS professionals
   often come in contact with persons with Alzheimer’s            Disease or a related dementia, this
   training is designed to prepare medics for encounters with those individuals and to alert you
   to the resources that exist to assist during a possible crisis. This training will be provided in
   either a 2 or 3 hour block on Alzheimer’s Disease, Wandering, Safety Risks, Behaviors, Com-
   munication Techniques, Mattie’s Call, types of calls to expect, the Identification Program,
   called Safe Return, a video, activities, and much more. This training is available statewide to
   cover each region. The program identification number is SOEMS-2007-005-CE and the title
   is The Alzheimer's Association Safe Return Program: Saving Lives Together. This
   training is offered free and the instructors will come to your site/training center. If you are in-
   terested in this training, would like to join an existing class, or have any questions, please call
   Alice Hoffmann at the Alzheimer’s Association Georgia Chapter Headquarters at 404-728-
   1181, ext: 244.
V o l u m e 5 , I ss u e 3                                                              Page 18

                             Top 5 Incidents Leading to Death or Serious Injury
                                         to Infants Are Preventable
                        Provided by: The Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health
Page 19

                                   EMS EDUCATION. . . MY VIEW
                                              David T. Foster III, MLS, EMT-P

         EMS Education has always been a very controver-                    We are both. I am not sold on the process
sial subject during the 32 plus years that I have been in-          that has required this, but do agree we need to have
volved in our profession. When I started, in June of 1976           an accountability process for our educational system.
as a volunteer firefighter, I was exposed to EMS by way of                  With all these changes, it appears that the
attending the EMT-A (Ambulance) course at the former                emphasis is on more academic credibility. As educa-
Walker Technical Institute (Northwestern Technical Col-             tors we should be academically ahead of our stu-
lege) in Rock Spring, GA. The next step was to take the             dents. After all, we are Educators, and no longer just
Advanced EMT program that was the precursor to what                 an instructor. I too felt for many years that all I
today is known as Paramedic. However, in Georgia, we                needed was to ‘know the skills” I was teaching. In
had a mid level Emergency Medical Services certification            the past few years though, I realized just what the
called Cardiac Technician. Many of us choose this route,            value of a formal, collegiate education brings. Expos-
and to this day, we still have a few practicing CT’s.               ing ourselves to the rigors or learning psychology,
         In the 1980’s NHTSA (National Highway Traffic              world literature, communications, philosophy and
Safety Administration) formerly known as DOT or the De-             other liberal studies courses expands ones knowl-
partment of Transportation released updates for the cur-            edge base, broadens our perspective, and enables us
riculum and added the EMT- Intermediate 1985 level of               to better understand our students in this global world
certifications. Then again in the 1990’s we had revisions to        we live, work and teach in. If we truly want to be-
EMT-B (Basic) which replaced EMT-A, EMT-Paramedic, and              come recognized by our peers as “Professionals” we
the addition of the EMT-Intermediate 1999.                          need to advance academically.
         Many states struggled as to which levels of certifi-       With all this said, it may be time for EMS to finally
cation/licensure they would adopt, and to this day we still         join together. I have heard the complaints that we
have a hodge-podge of levels that is still not fully reciprocal     are the “red-headed step-child” of not only Public
between states. Now we are approaching the end of the               Safety but also Public Health. This will not change if
first decade of the 21st century and we are facing a total          we remain segregated by our own submission. Yes
revision of our levels of certification/licensure. The new          we work long hours, many times at two or more ser-
curricula are going to reflect our changing world and the           vices. We are not paid equally with our peers in our
practice of our profession.                                         related professions (in many locales). We are sleep
         The forthcoming levels will be; EMR (Emergency             deprived, and have no voice. The time has come that
Medical Responder) to replace First Responder in response           we as a profession unify or fade away to be rele-
the nomenclature of all Emergency Services being consid-            gated to just another technical skill worker. We need
ered First Responders, or the first to respond. First Re-           to support our profession by being an active member
sponders are now EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement and other               of our profession and create a unified voice. I know
initial responding agencies. Next we will see an EMT                what you are saying, “We disagree on too many is-
(Emergency Medical Technician) followed by and A-EMT                sues to unify”. Then let me propose this. Let’s come
which will be an Advanced EMT. The highest level of pro-            together and find some common ground. A few is-
vider will remain the Paramedic Level. The key to this revi-        sues, maybe 2-3 can unify us. Maybe we need a fed-
sion is based simply on the “Depth and Breadth” of what             eral lead agency that does nothing but address EMS
each level will need to know and do. For Educators the              issues. Maybe we need to join together for a strong
challenge appears to be how to decide where to place our            show of force to our legislators and those that can
emphasis in developing our programs and sufficiently                allocate funding. Whatever the issues, we have to
meeting the curriculum.                                             become one. One force, with representation, that will
           Coupled with these changes is the advancement            stand up for all.
of our profession. NREMT, following the recommendations                              ————————————-
of the EMS Education Agenda of the Future, is requiring             David Foster is a 32 year veteran of EMS and Fire Service
National Accreditation of all programs which teach Para-            having served at the local, regional, state and federal level. He
medic for our students to sit for the NREMT Paramedic               is the President-Elect of the Georgia Association of EMS Edu-
                                                                    cators Division, Education Division Coordinator at Hutcheson
Exam in a few more years. This is not a bad thing, as it
                                                                    EMS in Ft Oglethorpe, GA and an Assistant Professor in the
strengthens our professional accountability and brings us in        College of Business and Leadership with the Virtual College
line with all other allied health programs. However, some           at Ft Hays State University in Kansas. He holds degrees in Fire
may still argue we are Public Safety and not Public Health.         Science/EMS Management (AAS) Disaster/Emergency Man-
I for one see EMS as the bridge that connects the two.              agement (BS) and Organizational Leadership (MLS). He can
                                                                    be reached via email @
Page 20

                       NORTHWEST GEORGIA REGION 1
                                                       DR. ERIC NIX
                                                      HONORED BY
                                                      REGION 1 EMS
                                                            Dr. Eric Nix
                                                    was the webmaster
                                                    for the Region 1 EMS
                                                    website while he was
                                                    employed as a para-
                                                    medic with Gordon
                                                    County EMS. He con-
                                                    tinued to maintain the
                                                    site while attending
          LINDA AVERY RETIRES                       medical school and throughout his residency in Con-
        Linda Avery, Administrative Assistant of    necticut. He recently began his career at an emergency
the Region 1 EMS Office, recently announced         department in the northern Metro Atlanta area.
her retirement, effective October 31. She has               The Region 1 EMS Council honored Dr. Nix at
worked for the EMS program for seventeen            their August meeting in Calhoun.
years. In addition to her routine tasks, such as
answering and assisting with the telephone
calls, she has also been the primary administra-
tor of the Region’s patient care reporting pro-
                                                        CHATTOOGA COUNTY RECEIVES AEDS
gram. As such, she has been a tireless and
valuable member of the GEMSIS workgroup.
        A retirement party was held for in her
honor on September 23 at the Region 1 EMS
Office. The Region 1 EMS Council also plans to
honor her at their next meeting on October 16
at Floyd Medical Center in Rome.
        Until the end of October, you can contact
Linda by telephone at 706.295.6175 or via email
                                                    Beginning second from left: Herbert Dodd, Director of Chattooga
                                                    County EMS; Jim Cutcher, Region 1 EMS Training Coordinator; Jeff
                                                    Mullis, Georgia State Senator; David Loftin, Region 1 EMS Director;
                                                    Barbara Massey Reece, Georgia State Representative; Barry Eng-
 EMS COUNCIL VOTES ON FLOYD                         land, Chief of Chattooga County Mutual Aid; and, members of Chat-
                                                    tooga County Fire Department Mutual Aid Group.
 AND PAULDING COUNTY ZONES                                 The Region 1 Office of EMS presented 5 Phillips
       The Region 1 EMS Council voted to af-        Heart Start AEDs to the Chattooga County Fire Depart-
firm the recommendation of the Transportation       ment as a result of the efforts of State Representative
Committee to not open zoning for Floyd and          Barbara Massey Reece and State Senator Jeff Mullis and
Paulding Counties. The Floyd County zoning          the Georgia Rural Health grants. In addition, money for
request was tabled by the committee for three       6 more defibrillators was given to the Chattooga County
months while requiring both services operating      Mutual Aid Association by Rep. Reece and Sen. Mullis.
in the zone to submit monthly reports to the        Pictured is the check being presented on behalf of the
EMS Council.                                        Georgia Department of Community Affairs for $5,000.
                                                    This will bring to 11 the total number of AEDs given to
                                                    Chattooga County by Rep. Reece and Sen. Mullis.
                                                                                    Page 21

                            NORTH GEORGIA REGION 2
       At 1114 hours on February 23, 2007, the
Forsyth County Fire Department responded to an
alarm of a construction worker trapped below grade
at a construction site in a subdivision. The worker
became trapped when the trench in which he was
operating collapsed, confining him against the foun-
dation of a structure and covering him with approxi-
mately eight feet of dirt. Coworkers initiated rescue
attempts and 911 was immediately notified.
                                                          2008 Georgia EMS-C Conference Successful
                                                                    By Tim Peebles, Region II EMS-C
                                                                The 2008 Georgia EMS-C Conference was
                                                        held June 4 and 5, 2008 at the Georgia Mountain
                                                        Center. Approximately 120 participants registered
                                                        for this year’s conference, headlined by the wit and
                                                        knowledge of Dr. Lou Romig, founder of Jump-
                                                        START triage for pediatric patients.
                                                                A pre-conference was presented on Pediatric
                                                        Cardiac Arrest Management by Children’s Healthcare
        Upon arrival of Forsyth County Fire Depart-     of Atlanta (CHOA) and an educational workshop
ment units, technical rescue operations were begun.     about pediatric vehicle restraints was presented by
Access to the patient's airway and an artery were       Ms. Sharon Conrad and Randall Townley.
made first and advanced life support efforts were               The 2009 Conference is planned for June 3
put in place by Fire Department paramedics. As          and 4, 2009, featuring Dr. Ed Racht, Medical Direc-
Fire Department technical rescue technicians contin-    tor of Austin / Travis County (TX) EMS.
ued the task of securing the site and removing the              Mark your calendars now. The 2009 Confer-
dirt from the patient, he was kept conscious            ence is already shaping up to be the best yet.
and alert and continuously reassured by fire person-
nel. Assistance was received from the Forsyth
County Water and Sewer Department with a vac-
uum truck brought to the site to assist with dirt and
debris removal. Mutual aid was also received from
the Gwinnett County Fire Department technical res-
cue team so as to increase the available number of
technical rescue technicians on site. Despite a lan-
guage barrier, good communications proved to be
crucial in gaining and keeping the patient's trust
throughout the operation. After two hours and ten
minutes of diligent efforts, the patient was re-
moved from the trench, in a stable condition, and
transferred to an awaiting medical evacuation heli-
copter for transport to a trauma center. A total of
26 Forsyth County Fire Department personnel and
                                                                    Vendor Area at EMS-C Conference
five apparatus responded to the incident.
Page 22

                                 METRO ATLANTA REGION 3
                                             STUDENTS ON CALL

                                                               eight-hour shifts. Supervisors are on call in twenty-four
                                                               hour shifts and often put in forty hours a week or more.
                                                               During special events, such as in late October when the XIV
                                                               Dalai Lama was at Emory, time spent on duty increases ex-
                                                                       “The volunteerism on this unit speaks volumes of
                                                               the character of our medics and thir unconditional devotion
                                                               to Emory’s well-being and safety,” said past Emory EMS
                                                               chief Josh Rozell who graduated in May with a degree in
                                                                        Unlike Commencement, most days are quiet, with a
                                                               call or two per shift. Downtime is spent in the group’s head-
                                                               quarters, a converted office in the North Decatur Building.
                                                               But when the call comes, the adrenaline flows and all en-
                                                               ergy is focused on getting to and helping a patient in need.
AT THE READY: Chris Meshberger and Chief Kevin Smith                    “You never know exactly what the situation will be
await their next call in the Emory EMS office on North Deca-   like until you get there,” said Smith during an April shift that
tur Road.                                                      involved a car accident with minor injuries. “You don’t want
        Commencement serves as the last day of work            it to be a bad situation, but if it is, you know that you have
for the student volunteers who staff Emory Emergency           the ability to make a difference.”
Medical Services. But, due to the thousands of visitors                 Last fall, Emory EMS responded to 351 calls, with an
on campus, it’s usually a demanding day as well.               average response time of 3.5 minutes. The unit’s territory
         “With this many people, statistically you’re go-      includes the Emory campus and adjacent businesses and
ing tohave a certain number of incidents,” said Emory          roads. Recently the unit responded to a call in less than two
EMS Chief Kevin Smith, a senior in marketing, as he sat        minutes and provided life-saving medication to a staff mem-
in uniform under a tent set up near the Quadrangle             ber having a severe allergic reaction. In another case, med-
during the University ceremony. “We’ve had a few               ics stabilized a staff member having a heart attack.
calls already this morning, and there will probably be a                “Being here, right on campus, allows us to get to
few more.”                                                     patients when they need it most, especially during the criti-
        No less than an hour later, Smith was en route         cal ‘golden hour.’ In some cases, it really is a life-or-death
to the School of Public Health ceremony, where a               situation,” said Dan Hootman, assistant director for emer-
woman in the audience had collapsed. As her family             gency preparedness, who graduated with a dual degree in
watched anxiously, he and a fellow student volunteer           organization and management and economics.
helped to lift her gently onto a stretcher and into a                   There are fewer than a hundred such student-run
waiting ambulance.                                             EMS units at colleges around the country and Emory’s is
         The student-run, volunteer force of forty pro-        among the best in the nation, says Emory Police Captain
vides EMS coverage for campus as a unit of the Emory           Ray Edge, administrator of the unit. Roger Neustadt was
Police Department. All of the student volunteers are           the founding director of the EMS / Emory First Responder
certified EMT professionals who complete a yearlong            Unit in 1992. “If it were not for Roger’s passion and persis-
class of 260-plus hours of training beyond the 200             tence, there would be no EEMS today,” says Edge.
hours required by the state.                                            Sarah Zeff Aschkenasi was part of Emory First Re-
         “There really is no typical student that signs up     sponders from 1992 to 1996 and went on to attend Harvard
for Emory EMS,” said Daniel Sperling, a junior sociology       Medical School. “I’m a pediatrician at Washington University
major and incoming chief of operations. “The individu-         in St. Louis, and my experience opened many doors for me,
als that we look for are anyone with the drive and en-         in terms of getting into medical school and residency, but
thusiasm to give 110 percent.”                                 more importantly, in practical ways,” she says. “Many of the
          Two-person teams work around the clock on            CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
                                                                                                Page 23

                                 METRO ATLANTA REGION 3
skills I learned at Emory are ones I still use today. . . In     TRAUMA CARE IN CRISIS
not being afraid to face unfamiliar situations.”
        During the recent National Collegiate EMS                       Several members of Georgia’s General Assembly
Foundation Conference, Emory EMS was honored with              hosted a statewide briefing called “Trauma Care in Crisis”
the top “Striving for Excellence Award” and best cam-          at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot in Atlanta on Sep-
pus video of the year. Emory EMS does extensive                tember 29.
community outreach. The group hosted the largest                        Organizers noted that, “As we prepare for the up-
single-venue CPR training event in the country last fall
                                                               coming legislative session, trauma care is on the top of
for more than six hundred people. They provided alco-
                                                               many legislative agendas. While we are facing a very
hol awareness education for fellow students and re-
                                                               challenging budgetary crisis, we must find a way to move
cently organized a drunk-driving demonstration for
                                                               this issue forward. We understand that for a comprehen-
Druid Hills High School. Also, they will cosponsor this
year’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
                                                               sive trauma system to be operating at an optimal level,
                                                               each sub-system must also be operating in an efficient,
         “They exhibit a level of dedication rarely seen
                                                               coordinated manner.
in the workplace - and they do so as volunteers,” said
Emory Police Chief Craig Watson. “They are a critical                   During the meeting, organizers presented a snap-
part of Emory’s public safety.”                                shot of the major systems and challenges and the impor-
                                                               tance of integrating these systems and taking a regional
                                                               approach on the delivery of trauma care for all citizens of
                                                               Georgia, in both urban and rural areas.
                                                                        It was noted that part of a comprehensive system
                                                               involves a coordinated effort among all Trauma Centers.
                                                               In addition to discussing the regional approach to the de-
                                                               livery of care, speakers also discussed the critical impor-
                                                               tance of and the integration efforts among the Level II, III,
                                                               and IV Trauma Centers. That includes getting patients to
                                                               the appropriate center at the appropriate time, collecting
                                                               standardized data, and the repatriation of patients.
                                                                        Representatives from the private sector dis-
                                                               cussed what has been done to help better position Grady
                                                               Hospital as the Level I Trauma Center covering the largest
                                                               portion of Georgia’s population as well as the significance
                                                               of the other Level I Trauma Centers in Augusta, Savan-
                                                               nah, and Macon.
                                                                        The meeting, facilitated by Wayne Reece and As-
Article by Beverly Clark. This article originally              sociates, featured 30 speakers. Among them were Dr.
appeared in Emory Magazine, summer 2008, and                   Jeffrey W. Runge, former Assistant Secretary for Health
is reprinted with permission.                                  Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of the U.S. Department
                                                               of Homeland Security; Dr. Gary Nelson, President of
                                                               Healthcare Georgia Foundation; Michael Young, President
                                                               and CEO of Grady Health Systems; Dr. Patrick O’Neal of
                                                               the Georgia Office of Preparedness; Dr. Jeffrey Salomone,
                                                               Deputy Chief of Surgery of Grady Memorial Hospital; Rep.
                                                               Ben Harbin, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee;
                                                               Sen. Cecil Staton, Chairman of the Science and Technol-
                                                               ogy Committee; Rep. Mickey Channell; Sen. Don Thomas
                                                               of the Health and Human Service Committee; and, Bob
                                                               Dallas, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway
                                                                                 Page 24

                              WEST GEORGIA REGION 4
     REGION 4 EMS EDUCATION                               ATTENTION INSTRUCTOR AND
      COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES                                 INSTRUCTOR-CANDIDATES
                                                               Instructors and instructor candidates
        The Education Committee of the West            should direct their concerns to the Region 4 Office
Georgia Region 4 Emergency Medical Services            of EMS & Trauma. Recent economic develop-
Council continues a strong commitment to edu-          ments have resulted in changes for the State Of-
cational offerings for the EMS personnel of the        fice of EMS. The Region 4 OEMS in LaGrange has
region.                                                been tasked with managing the processes for li-
        The most recent continuing education           censed EMS instructors throughout the state, from
opportunity was a dynamic 12-Lead ECG inter-           qualifying through licensure.
pretation class sponsored by the committee and                 During 2007 and 2008, the SOEMS has
offered at huge savings to the students. Other         held four Instructor Qualifying Examinations and
classes recently presented by the committee in-        evaluated nearly 200 candidates. The IQE is an
clude Advanced Burn Life Support, Pre-Hospital         intensive examination of knowledge and skills that
Trauma Life Support, Pediatric Life Support, and       is required of EMT and Paramedic Instructors. All
12-Lead ECG Interpretation, to name a few.             of the prerequisites for instructor licensure can be
Captain Steve Folden, Chairman of the Educa-           found at
tion Committee, urges medics throughout the            index.asp.
region and beyond to take advantage of these
continuing education opportunities.
                                                       Watson,       Re-
                                                       gion 4 Program Director, encourages medics inter-
                                                       esting in becoming instructors to visit the website

                          CENTRAL GEORGIA REGION 5
   REGION 5 EMS FOR CHILDREN                                   They introduced themselves to the EMTs,
                                                       Paramedics, and Firefighters in attendance and
        On July 30, Region 5 Emergency Medical         collected goodies along the way. The children
Service for Children hosted its annual EMS-C Back      were also treated to clowns, balloons, and
to School Picnic. This event was intended to be        games.
held in May during EMS Week, but had to be re-                 Regional EMS Week Poster Contest Win-
scheduled due to the storms that came through on       ners were awarded following the meal.
Mother’s Day.                                                  Special thanks to all of the CGTC EMT-P
    Medics and their families from across the region   students, Kristal Claxton-Smith, all participating
were invited to celebrate with a family cookout.       ambulance services, and all of the other volun-
Additionally, EMS-C volunteers, STAR Kids, and         teers for all that they did for the Region 5 EMS-C
EMS Week Poster Contest Winners were invited as        Back to School Picnic.
special guests. All children were asked to dress
like their favorite EMT or Paramedic. Prizes were
awarded for the best costume.
    While EMS-C volunteers prepared the meal pro-
vided by Emory Flight, Mid GA Ambulance Service,
Houston County EMS, Macon Bibb Fire Department,
the children were encouraged to tour the visiting
ambulances, fire trucks and Emory Flight Helicop-
Page 25

                            EAST GEORGIA REGION 6
      AUGUSTA TECH’S EMERGENCY                      Fighter and Law Enforcement programs.
       SERVICES TRAINING CENTER                             The Center features several large class-
                                                    rooms, a covered outdoor area and a large staircase
                                                    for use in scenarios. Ernest Quattlebaum is the
                                                    paramedic technology program director for Augusta
                                                    Tech. Sue Putnam is the lead instructor for the
                                                    Paramedic program and Nancy Aldridge-Dye is the
                                                    evening EMT Instructor. The Instructors are de-
                                                    lighted with the new dedicated space and thankful
                                                    for the support from Terry Elam, school president.
                                                    "The monies used to construct this building were
                                                    from local sources, and it was by far one of the
                                                    easiest projects to get completed,” said Elam.

       Augusta Technical College held the ribbon
cutting for it's new Emergency Services Training
Center on Friday September 26, 2008 at 10:00 a.m.
The building, which was constructed with local
money, provides a centralized training center for
Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Fire-
                                                           Page 26

                    WEST CENTRAL GEORGIA REGION 7

        The Columbus Civic Center was again the site
of the ninth (9th) annual Muscogee County DUI Crash
Reenactment on September 23. Approximately 3,000
students from high schools throughout Columbus,
Phenix City (AL), and other counties watched in awe as
dozens of members of public safety organizations
staged a crash reenactment involving a head-on colli-
sion between a truck and a car, each of which was car-
rying two high school students.
        Utilizing sophisticated audio-visual systems
and a real time response into the Civic Center, public
safety agencies demonstrated the events that must
take place at a crash to save the lives and minimize
the injuries of those involved. Information displayed
on giant screens hung over the action on the floor pro-
vided injury prevention messages and pertinent statis-
tics related to driving under the influence crashes.
Narration was provided by former local television
sports anchor Jack Rodgers, who also spends time
working with Columbus Fire and EMS as a paramedic
and with St. Francis Hospital as a registered nurse.
        Returning again was incarcerated prisoner
Chris Sandy who told his emotional story to the thou-
sands of students present. Wearing handcuffs and leg
irons, he was escorted onto the floor by armed Sher-
iff’s Deputies. As he was speaking, the students were
so attentive, you could literally hear a pin drop in the
silent arena. Sandy is serving a 13-year prison sen-
tence for killing two people in a crash in which he was
driving under the influence of alcohol.
        The demonstration is sponsored by the Musco-
gee County Board of Education, Columbus Police De-
partment, Columbus Department of Fire and Emer-
gency Medical Services, West Central Georgia Region 7
EMS, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department, Colum-
bus Health Department, Columbus Civic Center,
McMullen Funeral Service, Columbus 9-1-1, the Mus-
cogee County Coroner’s Office, Columbus Tape and
Video, and Columbus Towing and Recovery. Region 7
EMS Training Specialist Darrell Enfinger has been a
leader in this event for the last six years. The DUI
Crash Reenactment has received regional and national
                                                                                        Page 27

                         SOUTHWEST GEORGIA REGION 8
                                                              Imagine going into an EMS training facility
                                                      decorated with memorabilia of EMS from before there
                                                      was an organized EMS system. Imagine seeing equip-
                                                      ment from the 1930s to the current day. Imagine see-
                                                      ing the pictures of some of Georgia’s EMS pioneers on
                                                      the walls hanging beside photos of old ambulances
                                                      ranging from horse drawn carriages to the modern
                                                      Blackhawk helicopters s and everything in between.
                                                      State of the art EMS, Fire and Police training class-
rooms, labs with real ambulances with high fidelity training manikins, fire trucks, and police crime scenes –
these are some of the things at the new training facility at Albany Technical College.
        A new 10,000 square foot Charles B. Gillespie, M.D. Center for Emergency Responders is scheduled
to open in late October at the Albany Technical College main campus on the corner of Lowe Road and New-
ton Road. The formal dedication is scheduled for November 17 at 2:00 p.m. The old 1950s era city fire
station was donated to the college and the structure was refurbished. Then this new facility was added be-
hind the station. After much discussion, the state allowed the facility to be named after a living person. A
true Georgia EMS pioneer, Dr. Gillespie is frequently referred to as the “Grandfather of EMS” in Georgia. He
taught the first EMT class at the Albany campus in 1972.
        For more information on the facility or to schedule a visit, call Charles Proctor at 229.430.3093.

                         SOUTHEAST GEORGIA REGION 9
                                                             cares to think about. He was also appointed to serve
                                                             on the State EMS Advisory Council not too long after it
 PAUL GENEST TO RETIRE FROM                                  was created.
     EVANS COUNTY EMS                                                 Genest says the highlight of his career was
                                                             being able to go to different places around the state
         A veritable icon of EMS in
                                                             and network with his colleagues.
Georgia plans to bring his long and
                                                                      As for retirement, he plans to spend many
storied career to an end in just a few
weeks.                                                       hours working with his two granddaughters’ horses.
         Paul Genest, Director of                            He also plans to take time to go camping in his RV.
Evans County EMS (Claxton) for the                                    Genest has been married to his better half,
last 35 years will be honored with a                         Katrina, for 49 years. Together, they raised three
reception at Evans Memorial Hospi-                           children - Tim, the Assistant Chief and Director of Op-
tal at 6:00 p.m. on October 23. The                          erations at Southside Fire Department / EMS in Savan-
reception is open to the public, but                         nah; Paula, the Vice President of Operations at the
those planning to attend should                              Claxton Enterprise, and Brenda, an RN at three hospi-
RSVP to 912.739.5050.                                        tals in Savannah.
         Genest came to Georgia                                       To wish Paul well on his retirement, you can
from Barre, Vermont in the early                             send him a card at:
days of EMS. He was chosen to es-                                                  Paul Genest
tablish the service in Evans County                                            Evans County EMS
and has been the only EMS director
                                                                              Post Office Box 518
they have ever had.
                                                                        Claxton, Georgia 30417-0518
         He has been a member of the Southeast Georgia Re-
gion 9 EMS Council since its inception, more years than he   or give him a call at 912.739.5050.
                                                                                                           Page 28

                           NORTHEAST GEORGIA REGION 10
  EMT-P INDIA COKER RECEIVES                                           KATHRYN KYKER RECEIVES
  ATHENS ROTARY CLUB AWARD                                          ARMC EMS SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT

                                                                            Kathryn Kyker (L), State EMS Director Marty Billings and
                                                                                       ARMC EMS Director Don Cargile

                                                                             The Athens Regional Medical Center (ARMC) EMS Special
                                                                  Achievement award is presented to an employee or other individual
                                                                  who has shown extraordinary efforts and time in areas which has had
                                                                  a positive impact on the EMS Department.
                                                                             Kathryn Kyker has spent most of two decades working with
                                                                  Athens Regional. She was born in Warner Robbins, but her family
                                                                  traveled throughout the southeast as a military family. She finished
                                                                  school in Montgomery and attended college at Western Carolina Uni-
          India Coker, a Paramedic with Athens Regional Medi-     versity where she received a Master’s degree.
cal Center (ARMC) EMS since 1998, was the recipient of this                  Kyker came to the hospital in August 1991 and was one of
year's 2008 Community Safety Award presented by the Athens        the first persons hired in a new role in the Emergency Department -
Rotary Club during ceremonies at the Athens Holiday Inn on        one of her duties was trying to find community resources for patients
Wednesday, May 21.                                                who are frequently seen in the ED.
          India, who has worked as a Paramedic in Northeast                  In 1996, she began teaching “Child Neglect / Abuse” classes
Georgia for more than a decade, was recognized for not only       to EMS personnel and worked with two EMS staff members in trying to
her professionalism, but also her personal motivation. As a       address some of the problems EMS was having with frequent users of
Paramedic, she has been actively involved in teaching several     the system. Over the past decade, this project developed into a larger
injury prevention programs to schools in the area and has         initiative to include forms to be completed by medics when there was
worked on many of the departmental Task Forces set up to          a concern, providing patients with resource cards from Community
improve the quality of pre‑hospital care for the community.       Connection, and analyzing calls to determine resources that could be
          She has also received two "Save Pins" by Administra-    provided for patients in the community who were in need.
tion for successfully resuscitating patients, one of which was               In the past 11 years, Kyker has helped to link diabetic pa-
an 8‑month‑old who was resuscitated after a near‑drowning         tients to appropriate education opportunities, assisted patients with
in a bath tub, and the other was a 33‑year‑old male who went      chronic medical conditions to get their medications, worked with fami-
into respiratory arrest after being stung by several bees. Both   lies in finding personal care homes and nursing home placement for
of these patients were released to go home after spending         patients, and has worked with DFACS toward finding resources for
time in the hospital.                                             morbidly obese patients in helping them to move around, rather than
          Though she now works only part‑time as a Para-          using an ambulance.
medic on the ambulance, she works full‑time as a Cardiovas-                  Every ED and EMS system has a problem with frequent us-
cular Technologist with the Cardiac Cath Lab at Athens Re-        ers, some of whom become abusers, of the system. Only a few EMS
gional Medical Center. India is a member of the Georgia Asso-     providers have begun programs to address them, but it is rare for an
ciation of EMS and is attending school to become a Nurse.         EMS System to have the successes ARMC EMS has experienced. This
          The Athens Rotary Club has presented the annual         program has definitely added value to the Service given to the commu-
Community Safety Award to ARMC EMTs on several occasions          nity.
including: Krista Gridley (1995); Tim Berryman (1996);                       The plaque she received reads: “In grateful appreciation for
Tammy Bird (1997); Joe Adam (1998); Terri Rogers (1999),          your assistance in following up with our patients and helping to im-
George Conley (2002), Kyle Hendrix (2003), Jack McCormack         prove their outcome by linking them with the appropriate community
(2004), Kris Woodward (2005), Carey Pollett (2006), and Paul      or health care resource. It has been our honor to work with you In the
Leonard (2007).                                                   Emergency Department since 1991.”
Page 29                                                                                         O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

                          NORTHEAST GEORGIA REGION 10
                                                              She has assisted in teaching several injury prevention pro-
                                                              grams in the area, including the robotic “Andy the Ambulance”
                                                              programs for young children.
                                                                      Woodward has volunteered to serve on two depart-
                                                              mental task forces - one recommended the use of reflective
                                                              vests for all personnel for safety at the scene; the other has
                                                              made numerous recommendations to improve the qualify or
                                                              prehospital care.
                                                                      In June 2005, she was the recipient of the Community
                                                              Safety Award from the Athens Rotary Club and in September
                                                              2005, she received the VFW Gold Medal EMT of the Year Award
                                                              during the annual awards ceremony at the VFW Center in Ath-

          The annual Northeast Georgia Region 10 EMS
Awards Banquet was held on August 18 at the Oconee
County Civic Center in Watkinsville. The keynote speaker
at the event was former Region 10 EMS Medical Director
Dr. Farris T. Johnson.
          One of the highlights of the Banquet was the
presentation of the John E. Steed Award, the recipient of
whom is recognized as the “Northeast Georgia EMT of
the Year.” The Steed Award has been presented annu-
ally by the EMS Council since 1984. It is named in mem-
ory of Barrow County EMT John Steed, who was tragically
killed in 1983 in a crash involving the ambulance he was
driving. The recipient of the award is the EMT in the 10-
county Northeast Georgia Region who best exemplifies
the character and ideals for which Steed was so well                  Woodward is a member of the hospital’s “voluntary
known. The selection is based on the individual’s in-         employee donation program,” called G.I.F.T. (Get Involved For
volvement in EMS on the local and regional levels and         Tomorrow) with the funds going for special projects that benefit
his / her efforts to improve the overall quality of care      the community. Over the past 20 years, this program has
provided to the citizens of the area.                         raised over $1.5 million for community projects.
          The award was presented this year by EMS
Council Chair Jim Dove, John Steed’s father Pete, and
John’s sister Ann Harris. In presenting the award, they
said, “It’s been said that this award should only be given
to a person who makes a difference. The recipient to-
night is such a person; one who continues to enhance
their chosen profession and enhance the quality of ser-
vice those professionals provide - who can truly be de-
scribed as a hero of the EMS profession, not so much for
one particular action, but rather for a lifetime of actions
through contributions that continue to be made to the
community, to this region, and to this profession. Those
were the character traits for which John Steed was
                                                              Clockwise from left: Ann Harris, RN, sister of John Steed; EMS Council
known.”                                                         Chair Jim Dove; EMT of the Year Kris Woodward; and, Pete Steed,
          The recipient was KRISTINE WOODWARD, a                                      father of John Steed
member of Athens Regional’s EMS team since 2000.
Woodward completed her paramedic training in 2002                     The Banquet Committee was composed of Glenn
and is a provider in BCLS, ACLS, PALS, ASLS, and BDLS.        Henry, Huey Atkins, and Dr. Farris T. Johnson.
Page 30                                                                                     O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

                         NORTHEAST GEORGIA REGION 10
                   EMS BREAKFAST

         As has become a regular tradition at Athens Re-          State EMS Director Marty Billings, Curtis Arthur, ARMC
gional Medical Center, the facility treated EMS staff and                      EMS Director Don Cargile
others to an EMS Awards Breakfast on May 20, as a
highlight of EMS Week.
         Approximately 70 people, including EMS staff,
ED physicians, nurses, former State EMS Directors, cur-
rent and former Region 10 EMS Medical Directors, and
others attended the event.                                    DR. ZEB BURRELL TO BE HONORED AND
         State EMS Director Marty Billings provided the                 YOU ARE INVITED
keynote address during which he applauded the EMS
personnel in particular for their dedication and profes-                                   Family and friends are planning
sionalism.                                                                       an 80th Birthday Party for the “Father of
         The annual Medic’s Choice Award was pre-                                EMS in Georgia,” DR. ZEB L. BURRELL, JR.
sented to Paramedic / Shift Supervisor CURTIS ARTHUR.                            The event will be held from 1:00 p.m. to
The award was recommended by members of the staff                                4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 22, at
several years ago “to provide recognition of a medic on                          the Elbert County EMS Headquarters Sta-
staff who goes out of their way to help. For example, ‘I                         tion in Elberton.
can’t think of anyone else that I would rather have pick                                   A short program will begin at
up my family member’ or ‘This person has always made                             2:00 p.m. during which time friends, fam-
me feel welcome while at work’ or ‘This person helped                            ily, and colleagues are expected to regale
me so much to learn my job.’” Medics on staff select the    the crowd with stories of triumph, accomplishments, and even
recipient by ballot. A couple of the comments made on       some of the antics of a man who has given decades of his life
ballots submitted included, “One of the finest medics I     to the practice of medicine and who has shown a particular
have ever met,” and “The one that everyone goes to with
                                                            love for EMS and all those involved in it.
their questions and comments.”
                                                                     Dr. Burrell recently announced that he is resigning
         Five-year (Eddie Farmer and Melissa Herron),       from the State EMS Medical Directors Advisory Council after a
15-year (Russell Wise and Kyle Hendrix), and 20-year        decade of service to it. He was one of the original 25 mem-
(George Conley) pins were given to several staff mem-
                                                            bers appointed to the group.
bers for years of service with the department.
                                                                     Members of Georgia’s EMS community are urged to
         The annual EMS Special Achievement Award           spend the afternoon of November 22 in Elberton, paying hom-
was presented to Kathryn Kyker, Emergency Department
                                                            age to a man who inspired many and affected all.
Social Services Manager (see previous article).
                                                                     Please RSVP to
Page 31                                                                                       O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s

        Kids Corner                                                      GET YOUR C.A.N. TODAY
                                                                   The Child Abuse and Neglect continuing education and
                                                                   teaching resource for the prehospital provider is available for
                                                                   free at:
Georgia Alliance for Drug Endangered Children
                                                                   /can.html Visit the site today and register to receive addi-
(GADEC) is a committed group of professionals from multi-          tional materials.
ple disciplines across Georgia, dedicated to changing the
lives of children exposed to the manufacturing, distribution,
sale and use of Methamphetamine, alcohol and other drugs.
GADEC is funded by DHR’s Division of Mental Health, Of-                                Teddy Bear
fice of Prevention Services and Programs. GADEC offers                              Sticker Program
training sessions to those interested in working with and
supporting drug endangered children (DEC) and their fami-
lies, prevention strategies, intervention programs, and coor-      Always R.E.P.O.R.T. when a child safety seat has been
dinated community response programs. To learn more                                   in a crash.
about GADEC visit .                     1.   RESPOND to the crash
                                                                   2.   EVALUATE the crash scene
          Disaster Preparedness for Families                            Was there a child involved in the
            of Children with Special Needs                              crash? Was the child secured in a
The Florida Institute for Family Involvement (FIFI) developed           child safety seat?
the Disaster Preparedness for Families of Children with Spe-       3.   PICK the correct responses on the
cial Needs. This 10-page booklet is organized to assist fami-           EMS Trip Report and/or the fax back
lies to prepare and be ready. It is divided into three sections:
Thinking Ahead, Disaster Planning and Preparation, and
Response and Recovery. Although hard copies are no                 4.   ONLY fill in what you know.
longer available, FIFI grants permission to all to print and            Please leave the response blank if you are not certain of
distribute copies using their own resources. Visit:
                                                                   the answer.
                                                                   5.   REEXAMINE the answers.
“The Decontamination of Children: Preparedness                     6.   TRANSMIT the completed form.
and Response for Hospital Emergency Depart-                        By participating in the Teddy Bear Sticker Program, you are
ments” is a 27-minute film on pediatric decontamination.           helping the Injury Prevention Section evaluate the success of
To obtain a copy, email your request to                            the child safety seat education and distribution programs, and                                                 helping ensure these programs continue to be available to
                                                                   low income Georgians. The Teddy Bear Sticker Program is a
                                                                   great way to help a family that has been involved in a motor
          Ready Kids Program is Launched                           vehicle crash. It's also a way for your agency to acquire edu-
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The             cational items for your injury prevention programs. Fax the
                                                                   completed form to the Injury Prevention Section at (404)463-
Advertising Council launched Ready Kids, a family friendly
                                                                   2726. For information about this program call (404)463-2684
tool to help parents and teachers educate children, ages 8-        or visit:
12, about emergencies and how they can help their families         occsafety.asp
better prepare. Ready Kids is the newest addition to the
successful Ready campaign, a national public service adver-
tising campaign designed to educate and empower Ameri-
cans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including
natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. The Ready       “Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports” is a
                                                                   tool kit offered by the CDC for coaches of teen athletes. The
Kids Web site at features fun games and
                                                                   kit includes material on preventing concussions and initial
puzzles as well as age appropriate, step by step instructions      treatments for athletes showing signs of a concussion.
on what families can do to better prepare for emergencies          For a free multimedia educational toolkit, visit:
and the role kids can play in that effort. In addition to the
interactive games for children, the Web site also has re-
sources for parents and teachers on emergency prepared-
ness and response.
                                                                       Georgia Association of Emergency Medical Services, Inc.
                                                                                                               P.O. Box 4626
                                                                                                      Macon, Georgia 31208
                                                                                                      Phone (478) 633-7514
                                                                                                         Fax (478) 749-9145

                              NATIONAL REGISTRY PREP CLASS
                    November 8 & 9, 2008 – Classes start each day at 8:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m.
                                  Heart of Georgia Technical College, Dublin Georgia
                                            Conducted by Mr. Jon Puryear

The GAEMS has contracted with Mr. Jon Puryear to conduct a two day-16 hour NREMT Prep class in Georgia. Jon is
a respected EMS educator from Texas who has been teaching this course since 2002. The class he conducts is
designed for individuals who will be taking the NREMT exam either for the first time or as a retest. The GAEMS has
talked to three schools in Alabama that have used Jon to assist in improving the pass rates of students who have
failed the National Registry exam. The course coordinators of these schools have all been highly supportive of his
work and have told us of remarkable improvements in pass rates. One of the schools now utilizes Jon as the
“closer” for each of their paramedic programs. He also comes highly recommended by our own Dr. Ray Fowler who
knows Jon personally and who initially suggested Jon as a tool to assist in our efforts to improve the success of
Georgia students

Mr. Puryear recommends his course to both EMT and Paramedic students who are taking the exam for the first
time or who need to retest. Jon and GAEMS would also encourage educators to attend the course and use his
techniques as another tool in your instructor toolkit.

Quotes from Students:

I attended your class and you taught me more knowledge in that two day period than I think I obtained in my 9
months of Paramedic school. Your teaching style really got through to me, and no instructor has ever made sense
as much as you did in that two days. I don't know if you remember, but I came up to you on the last day right after
you ended the class and said to you, 'Thank you Jon, You have given me the confidence to take this test again.' That
is my quote to you sir, and please feel free to use it. You are a fantastic instructor and I wish that I had gone to
Medic school with you being my teacher." David Nock

Mr. Jon Puryear, I wanted to express my gratitude to you, and let you know just how much you did for me! In class
you talked about your motivations for EMS teaching and that it is to "Be that one person that would make a differ-
ence in another life." Well sir, I wanted to tell you that even though you probably don't remember me, I certainly
remember you and always will! You made a difference in me! You will always be that one person that turned on my
LIGHT BULB! The biggest factor, YOU GAVE ME THE CONFIDENCE I NEEDED IN MYSELF. For all of this I want to say
THANK YOU!! I took my registry test on Monday and I passed the first time. I am so excited!!! Also two of my class-
mates tested this week and they also passed on the first time!! You are such a great inspiring individual with such a
gift and I wanted to tell you to keep up the good work you are making a huge impact on many people!! THANK
YOU AGAIN, Leslie Harding

You can apply for this course online at or contact GAEMS for an application and mail to GAEMS.
The course is limited to the first 120 applications. If you pay via check, your registration will not be considered
complete until your check clears our bank.
V o l u m e 5 , I ss u e 3                                                                     Page 33

                             EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
•    AHLS      Advanced Hazmat Life Support Courses, register at, contact Tanneshia Sherrer at 404-616-
     9735 for details.

•    For more information on these courses and others (i.e. ABLS, CIMS, HLC, HERT, etc.) contact Freddie
     “Doug” Dugger at (404)657-2566 or Tanneshia Sherrer at
     (404) 616-9735.

•    Core Disaster Life Support available on-line for FREE. This is for limited number of students. This program
     is approved by the American Medical Association for CME credit. To enroll in the eCDLS program go to:

•    GAEMS:

•    TAG:

•    FEMA EMI Courses:


•    HRSA courses: , go to NDLS course schedule for CDLS, BDLS, AHLS, and more …




                         2008 - 2009                                   TRAUMA LECTURES
                    Regional EMS Council
                   Meetings and Contacts:                          Trauma Lecture Series at Children’s Healthcare of
                                                                   Atlanta, Egleston Campus are held on the 3rd Friday of
     1 – 10/15/08                                                  each month in Room B52. Prehospital and hospital staff are
                David Loftin, 706-295-6175                         welcome. For more information please contact Greg Pereira
     2 – 01/15/09, 03/19/09, 06/18/09, 09/17/09                    at
                Earl McGrotha, 770-535-5743
     3 – 12/18/08
                Ej Dailey, 404-248-8995
     4 – 10/21/08, 01/20/09
                Billy Watson, 706-845-4035
     5 – 01/14/09, 04/08/09
                Chris Threlkeld, 706-484-2991
     6 – 11/6/08, 02/05/09
                Lawanna Mercer-Cobb, 706-667-4336
     7 – 12/04/09
                Sam Cunningham or Darrell Enfinger, 706-321-6150
     8 – 01/05/09
                Robert Vick, 229-891-7034
     9 – 10/23/08, 01/22/09, 04/23/09, 07/23/09, 10/22/09
                 Shirley Starling, 912-262-3035
     10 - 12/16/08, 03/24/09, 06/23/09, 09/29/09, 12/15/09
                 Earl McGrotha, 706-583-2862
O f f i c e o f EM S / T r a u m a N e w s                 Page 34

  Division of Public Health,
   Office of Preparedness

     40 Pryor Street, SW
           4th Floor
    Atlanta, Georgia 30303

     Phone: 404-463-0554

To contribute to the OEMS/Trauma newsletter, please con-
tact Sam Cunningham at or
(706) 321.6150.

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