PCRMC Ambulance Director, Ray Massey, says that calls coming in to the Phelps County ambulance shed have doubled since he began working for the hospital in 2000.
"We knew there was a need to add a fourth ambulance and crew based on the call volume and transfers we had in 2011 that we were not able to respond to ourselves," Massey
A total of 103 calls came in to the PCRMC ambulance shed last year that the Phelps County crews were unable to respond to because of not having enough ambulances.
With only three ambulances and crews on call at that time, if a fourth call came in, one of the surrounding ambulance sheds, Pulaski, St. James, Maries/Osage or Texas Counties would have to respond to the call since all of PCRMC's crews were already out.
"We appreciate the great working relationship we have with the surrounding ambulance sheds," says Massey
"But, we wanted to be able to respond to the calls and transfers specifically coming in through our dispatch.
We recognized the only way we would be able to consistently respond to these calls and transfers was if we added another ambulance and crew."
Once the fourth crew was added, Massey
says the Phelps County shed was equipped to respond to more calls and transfers, and saw a significant difference; for instance, prior to the fourth crew, PCRMC ambulance crews did 42% of the transfers from the hospital; they now complete 65% of all transfers from the hospital.
"Another reason for the fourth crew was to ensure we were able to be there for community events," Massey
"Our crews are on stand-by for many area local events, such as Summerfest
, the Lion's Club Carnival
, the Phelps County Fair
, area rodeos, and high-school and university ballgames."
The ambulance crews work with local daycares to familiarize small children with the ambulances and that they are there to help in an emergency.
"We go and let the kids look inside the ambulances and learn about what we do, so they are not scared if they ever need to call us for help," says Massey
Other community projects are underway, including a new one Massey hopes to implement this fall, called "Home for the Holidays," where the Phelps County crews will collaborate with three major nursing homes in Rolla: Helia, Presbyterian Manor and Rolla Manor Care.
The ambulance crews will pick up one resident from each of the three nursing homes and transport him or her
home for the holidays and back again-all free of charge.
"We hope to do this program for Thanksgiving and Christmas so that the selected patient for each holiday gets to spend some time at home with their families," Massey