Talon News - Good Local News

By Laura Werbner
Special to TALON 



October 26, 2018

San Juan Regional Medical Center Paramedic Jon Weaver speaks to dispatch by radio from inside an ambulance while on duty in Farmington.


Laura Werbner, Special to TALON

The dedicated men and women of San Juan Regional Medical Center's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department are committed to bettering our community with the emergency care they provide to patients as first responders. Working in partnership with San Juan County out of stations across the area, they are ready at a moment's notice to utilize their training, skills, and advanced life support equipment to respond to scenes and save lives, together with San Juan Regional Medical Center's AirCare, local fire departments and law enforcement.

One of the most unique things about working for EMS is the sheer size of the service area: nearly 5,000 square miles of San Juan County, an area about the size of Connecticut. While EMS responds to most of the Navajo Nation within San Juan County, the Navajo Nation EMS responds to the most western portion. To meet this geographical challenge, EMS deploys its fleet in strategically located stations across the service area.

There's a commitment between the hospital and the County, as well as the cities of Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington, to support EMS services. San Juan County Fire Department, Farmington Fire Department, law enforcement agencies, EMS and AirCare all respond to scenes as first responders, working together in the best interests of the patient. It's truly a community effort that everyone benefits from. This support is extended with the help of San Juan College, which offers training programs for EMT Basic, EMT Intermediate and Paramedic students.

San Juan Regional Medical Center's EMS Department has a very progressive medical direction and therefore provides up-to-date medical practices and technology to meet those progressive practices. EMS was the first in New Mexico to receive the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Award for implementing quality improvement measures to treat patients who experience severe heart attacks. This is the third year in a row EMS has earned this award. In fact, SJRMC's EMS Department is one of just two EMS departments in the state of New Mexico to receive the honor.

San Juan Regional Medical Center EMT-Intermediate Makayla Applegate works on a computer in the cab of an ambulance while on duty in Farmington.

"EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks," said Diane Clark, Manager of SJRMC's EMS Department. "Since we often are the first medical point of contact, we can save precious minutes of treatment time through early recognition of a heart attack, alerting the hospital and facilitating rapid transfer to the cardiac cath lab." 

Additional special skills Paramedics and EMT-Intermediates hold allow them to provide care above and beyond the traditional scope of practice at each level. These special skills include rapid sequence intubation for paramedics and special skills for medications at both the EMT-Intermediate and paramedic levels. SJRMC Medical Direction provides oversight and works closely with EMS to maintain these advanced skills and provide care above and beyond the standard scope of practice.

"Our skilled paramedics and EMTs are dedicated to providing excellent personalized care," said Clark.

As first responders, the men and women of San Juan Regional Medical Center's EMS Department make an enormous impact on the community. We thank them for their service.


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