Passavant Hospital partnering with local volunteer EMS groups

By Blake Schnitker on September 20 at 11:13am

Two local organizations are joining forces at a press conference at Passavant Area Hospital yesterday afternoon.

The local hospital announced their new partnership with several local volunteer EMS groups yesterday in an effort to ensure the best pre-hospital care for their patients.

Executive Director of the Passavant Foundation Pam Martin recently announced that her organization is awarding $35,000 in grants to seven local, volunteer EMS agencies for recruitment and training. Grant recipients include EMS providers in Arenzville, Chapin, Meredosia-Bluffs, Murrayville-Woodson, South Jacksonville, Winchester and Waverly.Passavant CEO Harry Schmidt explains how this grant hopes to improve medical care throughout the area.

“First of all, the services that the various communities and agencies provide in a pre-hospital environment are critical. Those first couple of minutes in the first response for a patient in the event on an incident is really pivotal in the outcome. So the better care we can provide to the agencies as an extension of the hospital, really is going to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve, which is directly related to our mission statement here at Passavant,” says Schmidt.

Schmidt says partnerships such as these go a long way towards strengthening community relationships.

“I think the first portion of that comes from the donors out in the community to begin with. There’s people in the community that truly do care about their community, they care about their neighbors and the people they live with, so we first want to thank the donors that make this possible. And then through the foundation and the distribution and leadership there to identify this as a need is really, really critical. Now what we do on the back end administratively and how we partner together with the local agencies to strengthen those relationships, this is just another vehicle to remove barriers so we can let volunteers help their families, help their communities and help their neighbors,” Schmidt says.

Chapin EMS Volunteer Bryce McCormick explains how the grant will specifically help local EMS groups in their recruitment efforts.

“In terms of recruitment, this is going to allow us to offer some scholarships for students and other people in the community that maybe have thought about joining the rescue squad, or want to become an EMT or EMR but don’t think what they think is enough money to do it traditionally, through this we can offer a scholarship for people that would then join the Chapin Rescue Squad, that can then take the class for free. So it will be a great benefit for the community we serve, and also potentially for some students to advance their education and training prior to even being out of high school,” McCormick explains.

According to Martin, grant funds will be distributed in two parts, with the first $2,500 covering things like tuition, books and fees of volunteers enrolled in emergency medical technician/responders classes. The second $2,500 installment will be used to assist each agency’s greatest need, from things like additional class training to purchasing of training equipment.