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Writer: EMS does wonderful job with its resources

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By The Staff

As a resident of Indian Land and of this beautiful county of Lancaster, I would like to address the recent problems cited in the April 28 article, “EMS under fire about slow respionse time.”

First, Lancaster County EMS is an organized and progressive Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Service that does an amazing job on the budget it is allowed. Indian Land is a rapidly growing area and 911 calls drop in clusters there more often than not. EMS supervisors do their best to move ambulances around to cover the next emergency, but sometimes a patient may wait for rescuers.

Administration planned for another EMS unit for the Edenmoor area and strives to creatively overcome the obstacles of the past 18 months with the property dedicated to the Edenmoor Station. What it comes down to is simply this: No money in the budget to expand services. This EMS system is doing a wonderful job with the resources it has at hand. The emergency workers, of whom I know personally, are dedicated, hard-working people who work for much less than most of their colleagues in the surrounding areas. LCEMS must be allowed to grow to meet the needs of rapidly growing areas.

Secondly, getting turned around or lost going to a call can happen. It happens in small and large services all over the country. There are many roads not marked and GPS does not have all the roads in the software.

As stated, Lanny Bernard, EMS director, encourages EMS workers to drive their areas when the crews are not busy answering calls or restocking and completing other tasks that are involved in the daily routine.

I retired from a county four times the size of Lancaster County and occasionally we had problems of locating calls. It happens. It can be very difficult to read a map in a rapidly moving vehicle! I know this from experience.

I have seen many small and large EMS services struggle with these basic problems for the past 33 years of my professional life in EMS. Eventually the money is provided to increase services. Better maps are developedand road signs are replaced. The question here is when will the people support the increase for services to meet the growing needs of a rapidly growing county?

On my days off I carry a pager for Indian Land Rescue because I care about the people in Indian Land and Lancaster County. Recently I responded to a call in just 4 minutes, arriving just behind the EMS truck assigned to Indian Land. Yes, 4 minutes. That man will come home soon to his family and resume a normal life. There is so much more I could say but this is not a full-page editorial.

Support Lancaster County EMS, which was just named Large EMS System of the Year in South Carolina.

Helen Anne Ortega, Lancaster County EMS paramedic

Indian Land