County to allow advanced EMTs instead of paramedics on Pafford ambulances
Pafford EMS ambulances will no longer be required to have a paramedic on each call after the Madison County Board of Supervisors approved a contract change at the company’s request during the board’s regular meeting Monday.
“We have faced some unique challenges in the advent of the COVID crisis, and paramedic shortages have become a problem for us,” Dr. Mike Seymour, chief medical officer for Pafford EMS, told supervisors. “We spent about $165,000 last year sending EMTs and paramedics to school, yet we still have a shortage, and this is across the nation. This isn’t unique just to Madison County. So we’re asking that advanced EMT be added to our contract so that we can use those in the county as well.”
During a discussion of the issue, District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen confirmed that the current contract requires a paramedic to be on each ambulance call.
“What you’re saying is there may not be a paramedic on each call unless it is definitely needed?” Steen said.
Seymour confirmed that and said he was asking the county to alter the contract to allow the Pafford EMS to use advanced EMTs in place of paramedics on some calls.
“There is definitely a shortage,” Steen said. “How many paramedics will that leave for Madison County? How many do y’all have for Madison County? We will have a certain number that will be here in Madison County, because I know you are not going to leave us with zero.”
Seymour assured Steen that they would not leave the county without paramedics.
“At the present time, the Madison County core ambulances are fully staffed with paramedics,” said Freddie Parker, Pafford EMS operations manager.
Below is a break down of the different levels according to the National EMS Scope of Practice Model:
“Emergency Medical Responder: EMRs administer life-saving techniques like CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while waiting for more qualified medical professionals to arrive. EMRs also provide assistance to other medical professionals at the scene of the emergency or during transport. EMRs perform basic interventions with minimal equipment.
“Emergency Medical Technician: EMTs have the knowledge and skills needed to stabilize and safely transport patients for all calls from routine transports to life-threatening emergencies. They provide treatment onsite and during the ambulance ride to the hospital, such as controlling bleeding, stabilizing breaks, and addressing shock. EMTs perform interventions with the basic equipment typically found on an ambulance.
“Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians: AEMTs provide the same services as an EMT, plus administer fluids and some medications and use the advanced medical equipment carried in the ambulance.
“Paramedic: Paramedics provide advanced medical care for critical and emergent patients in the EMS system. This includes triage with sophisticated medical equipment and the administration of about 30 different types of drugs.”
Steen asked the Pafford officials to email the county, stating that the company will not fall below a certain number of paramedics in Madison County staffing.
“I’m not sure what that number is, but if you would, I would appreciate y’all working with us on this,” Steen said. “I would like to have an update in three months on where you are with the paramedics, because we would like to get back to where our contract is today.”
The board voted unanimously to approve the contract change.
In other matters at Monday’s meeting, the board:
• Passed a resolution supporting the legislative priorities of the Madison County Business League and Foundation. Their priorities include the Bozeman Road Project, a broadband study and a water/sewer study.
• A public hearing regarding abandoning Swamp Road was rescheduled to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18.
• Heard an update from Kerry Minninger, with the Alliance Fire District, on accomplishments since creating the fire district. They have met twice as a board and met with the fire chiefs of Canton and Gluckstadt, who agreed to provide cooperative fire services to the Mega Site.
• Heard a report from Waggoner Engineering on a watershed project. They have analyzed each area that has a drainage issue. They identified 37 sites, 25 of which are inside municipalities and 12 in unincorporated areas that need assistance. Waggoner is now putting together a comprehensive plan to address each site.
• Voted to authorize advertising bids for three small construction projects.
• Approved exchanging an Irrevocable Letter of Credit from GSM, LLC. for the county’s performance bond.
• Approved an invoice for $101,765 to acquire right-of-way for the Bozeman Road Improvements Project from Colony Crossing Property, LLC.
• Approved an interlocal agreement between Madison County and the City of Madison regarding funding certain road improvements located in the City of Madison.
• Voted to appoint the following to the Hazard Mitigation Committee: Emergency Management Services director Albert Jones, Sheriff Randy Tucker, County Engineer Tim Bryan, Planning and Zoning director Scott Weeks and Tax Assessor Norman Cannady Jr.
• Voted to hire the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District to assist in writing a Hazard Mitigation Report for $2,500.
• Voted to allow the Madison County Citizens Services Agency to host a fresh fruit and vegetable give away at 10 a.m. Dec. 20, at the Karl M. Banks Emergency Management Service Complex on West Peace Street in Canton.