The Emergency Medical Services System (EMSS) began in San Luis ObispoCounty in 1966, adding Paramedics four years later, and then a Trauma Unit in 1973. The California EMT Act added another response skill to the team.
A 911 call starts the system rolling, gauging the proper response, recognizing the severity of the incident. The first responder is typically one of the 11 fire departments in the county, but Emergency Response Teams (there are four) and Trauma Units could be dispatched as well. Two county hospitals are equipped to handle cases that the EMSS delivers to them.
The national standard from 911 call to hospital is 90 minutes. The CountyEMSS teams cut that time to 67-70 minutes. The Trauma Centers at the hospitals (Arroyo Grande and French) save lives coordinating with an intricate set of protocol to determine what to do and where to go. An online emergency report system started March 1, and has averaged 10 reports per month. Not every 911 call is handed by the EMSS, as involving them requires a level of emergency that suits their services.
Steve also related that his department handles related public health information and education, including CPR and Automated Electronic Defibrillator training. He recounted three high-profile incidents where an AED present saved lives, the most recent being a triathlon swimmer revived after collapsing during a meet last month. Having them available to use, said Steve, "is very important and necessary."
Since his department has regular and thorough government oversight and compliance, the information gathered on each call is analyzed and included to shape trial studies and disaster drills and their evaluation. With his background as an EMT and fire captain, with his service to the city as Councilman and Mayor, Steve sees his work with the County and the duties required a job he certainly perform satisfactorily.
He concluded his presentation with a CPR video produced in Great Britain. Simply by using a hands-only method to the beat of the BeeGees' "Staying Alive" can save a life. The video can be seen on YouTube at youtubedotcom/watch?v=ILxjxB4zNk.