Starke County EMS still needs a few part-time paramedics to ensure county-wide advance life support coverage around the clock. Director Keith Emigh told the county commissioners Monday the base in Knox is always fully staffed to meet ALS requirements, and the base in North Judson is between 95 and 98 percent of the time. He says a few more are needed to pull shifts in Grovertown.
Having county-wide ALS coverage provides greater access to potentially life-saving treatment. Paramedics are able to administer medications and monitor cardiac care, among other things. Basic life support, or BLS, includes transportation by ambulance for non-life threatening emergencies for things like broken bones and other patients who do not require cardiac monitoring. Expanding ALS service also gives Starke County EMS the option to transfer patients from IU Health Starke Hospital to other facilities on a contract basis.
Emigh also told the commissioners the EMS state field coordinator recently audited Starke County’s policies and procedures. The county passed with flying colors and was told to keep doing what they are doing.