Chapin Area Rescue Squad expects to upgrade services while Passavant discontinues paramedic service

By David Coy on February 21 at 3:37pm

Area Emergency Medical Service providers are reacting to Passavant’s announcement to discontinue its paramedic service. During a press conference yesterday, Passavant President and CEO Harry Schmidt announced that the hospital will discontinue its paramedic services. The Chapin Area Rescue Squad started about 10 years ago and have worked with Passavant for the last decade. Chapin Area Rescue Squad Chief Bryce McCormick says they’ve always relied on the paramedic service when they were available.

“I got a phone call yesterday from the CEO at the hospital, they gave me a heads up before the press conference, I do appreciate hearing it from entatiy themselves, about what was going on. While it is sad to lose that partner that we had, we do have good working relationships with the other advanced life support providers, being America, South Jacksonville Fire Department,  LifeStar, they are all advanced life support. While it is that we  lose that we had for the last decade, I don’t think any of our residents will see a reduction in services or anything along those lines.” said Chief McCormick.

Since Passavant will no longer send paramedics, and if area advance life support, like South Jacksonville fire or LifeStar, isn’t available, Chapin will have to give basic care and transport the patient.

“We definitely aren’t going to endanger anyone but yes, if someone isn’t breathing, While we do have a lot more advanced skills and advanced air ways than the basic life support level now, compared to 5 or 10 years ago, we do have a lot more skills and procedures that we are able to use. However if advance life support isn’t available it will be a lot more of a , get the patient on the stretcher, secure them on the stretcher, get them into the ambulance and go the hospital.“ Chief McCormick explains.

Chief McCormick is looking on the bright side of the discontinuation. He says this maybe a recruiting tool for his squad as they plan to upgrade its service no later than May 1st.

“We’re excited that with the transition over to the Memorial EMS system, we have several paramedics on our rescue squad ourselves and starting early, hopefully earlier this spring, we will be able to upgrade our ambulances from basic life support to ALS on our own. That will alleviate some of that weight, if we are waiting on an advance life support from Jacksonville, we will be able to perform all those skills ourselves in one of our paramedics are available to go on the call. That is exciting so it’s kind of one of those, one chapter closes another one starts, we’ll be able to start providing that service ourselves when it’s available.” said McCormick.

McCormick says its sad to see Passavent discontinue its paramedic service and its a loss to the outside communities but he does appreciate that the Passavent CEO gave him a call before making the announcement. He says Chapin Rescue Squad will rely on other services for about 30 days until the upgrade.