On February 7th Frank Lang, MICN, FNP addressed the Sierra County Board of Supervisors regarding the Board supporting the efforts of Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc in re-establishing 24 hr EMS services for western Sierra County. Here is the text of his statement.
“Thank you Mr. Chairman and Board Members for the opportunity to request your support in the effort to rebuild the Emergency Medical Services Infrastructure in western Sierra County. I am here on behalf of Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc.
As you are aware, there was a 40-year history of integrated 24/7 EMS Services with the Western Sierra Medical Clinic during which the Clinic Medical Practitioner provided Advanced Life Support to Emergency Patients who were brought to the Clinic based on being authorized as an Alternate Emergency Care Base Station by Nor-Cal EMS and Enloe Medical Center in Chico. Care was also provided on the Ambulance as well and was an integral part of training both existing and new EMTs.
This changed in 2014 when WSMC decided it could no longer afford to provide those services due to cost and inability to recruit providers with the requisite skills to provide advanced life support (ALS) and emergency care. The Clinic also terminated the Alternate Base Station Agreement with Enloe and therefore the Ambulance can no longer take patients to the Clinic for stabilization because it is not an emergency care facility. However, the Ambulance can still pick up patients at the Clinic.
That left a major deficit in the availability of ALS Services to western Sierra County. The ambulance staffing has several advanced EMTs who can provide some ALS care including King Airway, Epi-Pens for allergic reactions, Glucagon injection for Insulin Shock as well as IV and injectable Narcan for opiate overdose. They are not able to provide Advanced Cardiac Life Support or Pediatric Advanced Life Support.
There was an offer from the Clinic that a Paramedic could be added to the Clinic staff at the time however that role was designed to deal with after hours Downieville Jail Inmate Medical Clearance needs at the time and that was beyond the scope of Paramedic Training and is not allowed by the State EMS System.
Consequently, Sierra Frontier was formed as a non-profit corporation, to address this need. Our purpose is to acquire and support the development of financial and other resources to assure the availability of medical and health resources, including emergency care to the residents and visitors of western Sierra County.
We are rebuilding the EMS Infrastructure of western Sierra County a brick at a time. We have already trained 17 Homemaker Health Aides, 13 Emergency Medical Responders and most recently 14 Emergency Medical Technicians who will provide emergency care to residents in Alleghany-Pike, Camptonville, Downieville, Sierra City, Calpine and Loyalton.
Our first priority is to focus on ALS Services, since those are the most vital in the EMS Chain of Survival. Our next objective is to sponsor a Western Sierra County Pilot Paramedic Project in which the Downieville Fire Protection District will hire a Full Time Paramedic from June 1, 2017 thru October 1, 2017. The cost of the project is $25,000. To date we have raised about $10,000.
We will use the Pilot Project to develop the structure and funding for a sustainable long term Paramedic Project that will focus on EMS Basic and ALS Services, Training of EMS Staff at Sierra City Fire Department, Downieville Fire Protection District and Alleghany Pike Community Services District.
We hope to develop funding with a new EMS Fee in those Districts as well as Ambulance Fees, Grants and local Organizational support including Western Sierra Medical Clinic.
We hope to garner support from Sierra County BOS based upon W&I Code 17000; in the form of the letter you have before you as well as limited Administrative assistance from County Counsel, County Auditor, Clerk Recorder, OES resources, consideration of the addition of Medical Director for EMS Services to the Sierra County Health Officer Role so that medications can be ordered and available to the Paramedic.
Today we are just asking for your support in a letter that we will send to residents, organizations, and businesses in Sierra County as well as visitors, requesting their financial support of this Pilot Project.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I am happy to answer any questions you might have.