To the Editor:
It has been several months since I have written to you. I would like to share the exciting news on the development of the county’s EMS service. As you know, we began our service at 8 a.m. on April 15th. Since that time we have cared for more than 570 people in a wide variety of emergency situations. We ‘guestimate’ that this year there will be approximately 1,200 people who will have used the service of Switzerland County Emergency Response or The Kings’ Daughters Hospital’s service, ‘KDH EMS’. Both services follow the medical direction of the Surgeon, Dr. Paul Cronen, who has been an amazing leader for all of the staff.
This service has a motto on our vehicles that states ‘Community Owned, Community Operated and Community Designed’. It truly lives out those words. We have had our beginning with the County Commissioners and brainstorming and initial groundwork from a committee made of people from all townships and walks of life. The fire departments were instrumental with obtaining, outfitting and staffing the original ambulances, KDH has given medical oversite, medical direction, medical protocols and even medical care providers for the service.
Two of the county foundations have supplied grant funding. The Community Foundation of Switzerland County helped by supplying a grant for an air compressor and drop down chains to keep the squad moving during heavy snow and ice. Vevay-Switzerland County Foundation supplied a grant for CPR training mannequins; with Walmart providing an additional grant toward CPR education for the community citizens. MainSource Bank has donated a beautiful wooden conference table with 10 very nice chairs for meetings and trainings for the department and community education needs.
Our good neighbors, the Judge and EMS officers of Gallatin County have offered assistance as needed and we have received their help in the manner of a patient cot for the ambulance until our cot was able to be made and delivered. The Switzerland County Health Department, Air Methods, Air Evac, and The Christ Hospital have all helped supply education, and we are planning future education with Gallatin EMS, KDH EMS, The Christ Hospital and the air ambulance departments in the future.
And of course, we could never forget the continuous support and encouragement that we find with our other Public Safety Services: our Fire Departments, First Responders, Dispatchers, Vevay Police Officers and Sheriff Nathan Hughes and his Officers and Jailers. The Sheriff and his staff have opened their conference room to house the EMS and have been more gracious than words can say. I am so grateful that we have had this time with our co-workers in Public Safety. It has truly made a brotherhood.
As you have recently published, the building at 809 East Main Street was purchased for a base for the EMS service. Once again, wonderful things are happening every single day at that facility. In the past month, the Sheriff’s Department, Jail Division, has worked hand in hand with the overseers of the project in helping to use the work program with the inmates to help with clean up and repairs of the building. The difference that these people have made is overwhelming. Local contractors, Chris Bolton Construction crews and Vern’s Heating and Cooling staff have worked side by side with those in the building and there is an excited energy by all of these groups that is hard to explain, but so wonderful to experience. The workmanship and guidance of Bruce, Bert and Wesley from the Courthouse have made sure that everything is working and has a professional appearance for the county owned service. Truly wonderful people working together and all of them have taken a sense of pride and self-ownership in the making of great quarters for the county service.
We are heading toward the Thanksgiving Holiday and it is fitting that we say thank you to the citizens of the county and to all of the people who have worked so diligently to assure that their families and neighbors receive excellent care on what could be their worst day. The county residents and the EMTs have worked hard and with continued support I believe that we will have excellent quality service that is deserved for Switzerland County. We began our Emergency Medical Service with a dedication and prayer meeting before we made even our first detail. The TEC building rooms were filled with county people who shared in our prayers and with well wishes for the service and those who serve. I believe that God heard us that night and is showering us with blessing every day whether with our patients and the positive improvements that we see in so many of them, or with our vehicles, support staff and even now with the building. We thank Him for that and ask that He continue to guide us and ask that you continue to remember us in prayer daily.
This coming Saturday, November 12th, we will have an Open House at 809 East Main Street from 1-5 p.m. If you have some time, please stop by and visit with us. We would love to meet each of you in a one on one basis, especially when you are healthy and not needing our services, professionally.
Thank you for taking my letter. I know that it is lengthy, but so important that those who are giving back to the community and to each other, know that they are making a positive difference now and for the future.
Nadine J. Swift,
EMS Director of Switzerland County