Emergency Medical Service (EMS) training and equipment has come a long way since the early nineteen seventies. In the seventies EMS professionals were considered ambulance drivers by most people but today Georgia has EMS personnel that consist of highly trained individuals from the first responder to the Paramedic level. Mr. B.F. James, R.N., took on the role as Ware County EMS Director back in the early seventies and I can remember Fred saying “ambulances are mobile Intensive/Critical Care Units” and yes he was right. Ambulances today are still considered Critical Care Units that provide lifesaving care. The H.L.R. 50 a heart lung resuscitator was placed on the Ware County ambulances back in 1975. The first Electrocardiogram/Telemetry (equipment to send information about your heart) via the radio was transmitted to the doctors in the emergency room from a Ware County Ambulance in August of 1975. Ware County EMS professionals also performed the first cardiac defibrillation (shocking the heart to a normal rhythm) in the mid seventies. In the past if you needed an ambulance in Ware County you dialed a seven-digit telephone number, today if you need an ambulance in Ware County you dial 9-1-1.
EMS personnel today have more advanced training and equipment to save lives and reduce disability. EMT’s and Paramedics today can perform life saving CPR, administer life saving intravenous fluids, perform airway procedures to keep you breathing, perform defibrillation (shocking ) the heart to convert it to a non lethal rhythm. Paramedics can also administer life saving drugs, perform life saving advanced emergency airway procedures, perform cardioversion and defibrillation to get the heart to beat normally and the list goes on. The EMS professional have always been the eyes of the emergency physician because they make contact with the patient in the field that is requiring emergency care before the physician does. EMS professionals have always made contact with medical control (emergency room physician) via telephone or radio to report patient information and to obtain physician orders to perform certain medical procedures.
Who would ever have thought about a medical helicopter transporting a patient from the scene to the hospital? In Ware County back in the seventies and eighties military helicopters were used in the civilian world to transport high-risk neonates to a hospital that could provide care that is more advanced. Present time there is Air Evac Lifeteam’s medical helicopter based in Ware County that is available to assist EMS ground ambulances and crews. In addition, other medical helicopter agencies worldwide provide services to patients in need.
In Ware County, the support of the Ware County Commissioners and the community has brought EMS from the beginning to present date. So now you have a general idea of Ware EMS from past to present so the next time that you see an EMS professional please take time and say thank you for all that you do. The EMS professional is a very dedicated person that is willing to be there when you need them in an emergency. Perry Blackburn, Ware County EMS Paramedic, Administrative Officer stated that he was proud to be a part of the EMS team and his hat goes off to all EMS professionals. May God Bless and protect our EMS professionals throughout their tour of duty.