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Spring City EMS will help shave important minutes from response times

By Collin Overton

Staff Writer

6-6-2019

 

SPRING CITY—Ambulances from Mt. Pleasant usually take about 10 minutes to arrive in Spring City in response to emergencies, said Clarke Christensen, Spring City fire and police chief. But plans for new city Emergency Medical Services (EMS) could drastically reduce those response times.

By the end of July, Spring City will have 16 trained emergency trained technicians (EMTs) and an EMS truck to respond to calls and assist the North Sanpete Ambulance Association with emergencies, Christensen said.

“Heart attacks for older people, infants who have stopped breathing—those types of things—ten minutes will make a big difference,” Christensen said.

The EMS crew will only provide support for NSAS, not become a part of it, Christensen said. Technicians will take turns being on call and will keep the vehicle at their place of residence so that they go straight to the location with all the necessary gear—oxygen, EMT bags and other medical supplies—instead of having to run back to the station.

Once the ambulance shows up several minutes later, the Spring City crew will turn over patient care to the ambulance and their team of advanced EMTs and paramedics.

The truck will come from a converted city police vehicle, which will need to be mounted with new lights, an oxygen tank and the other necessary supplies for responding to emergencies, Christensen said. He expects this will cost around $1,000 and come out of the city’s budget. Money raised by the fire department last year will substantially cover the costs, he said. The city is also paying for the EMTs’ classes through Snow College, but Christensen did not have a billing estimate.

Christensen said 12 members of the future EMT crew have done practical training, but not taken written exams. Spring City will have an additional four advanced EMTs, who can administer drugs to patients. The ambulance will carry those drugs, however, not the EMS, he said.

The idea for a city EMS has been in the works for a few months, Christensen said. When the city council began talking about replacing the police truck, the idea came to light. Christensen is an advanced EMT himself and saw the need for a faster response for critical situations.

“We have a lot of older people in the city, and for cardiovascular events, 10 minutes will make a difference,” Christensen said.

The service will extend to the same boundaries as the city’s fire district, including Chester, Pigeon Hall, Horseshoe Mountain Estates, Spring City Canyon and halfway to Mt. Pleasant. When calls come in, they’ll come in through the
fire page, Christensen said.

He expects the service should be fully operational by end of July.

“Our ambulance service is a fantastic ambulance service; I’m just looking for a way to get medical treatment there quicker, so basic life support, interventions start sooner,” Christensen said.