New EMS Program in Greene County

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

August 23, 2005

A new program aimed at helping children with special medical conditions has made its way to Greene County. For some, it could mean the difference between life and death.

Emergencies are hard enough to deal with, but when there is a child involved with an unknown special need, it could make things even more complicated.

"It's very important that the emergency responders be aware of a child with a special healthcare need," said EMS outreach coordinator, Vertie Wade.

To help, the Blue Ridge Care Connection for Children has teamed up with the Greene County Sheriff's Office for the EMS Outreach Program.

It's the first of its kind in our area.

"I think it's a great idea," said Greene County 911 operations manager, Jason Tooley. "A lot of times people with disabilities, medical situations kind of get overlooked, and we don't want anyone singled out in Greene. We want to provide 110 percent service to every citizen."

County residents simply fill out a form documenting any special conditions their children may have, such as asthma or seizures, along with any devices being used. The information is then given to the sheriff's office and kept on file so EMS officers and responders can develop an emergency plan.

"It will give the dispatchers as well as the emergency responders in Greene County a heads up as to what they're going to, what type of call they're going to," said Tooley.

Brochures are now making their way around the county and several applications have already been collected. Wade also adds that the program is not only limited to children.

"We also have young adults and also if there is elderly that would like to give us that information, we'll be more than happy to pass it along also," she said.

Officials hope it will be a success in Greene and eventually spread to surrounding counties, perhaps making life a bit easier for those with disabilities.

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