It has been an extremely challenging and humbling experience operating an Emergency Medical Service since the COVID19 Virus was officially declared a Pandemic on March 11th 2020. Our entire system required extensive policy and operating procedure changes to be able to safely and properly handle the COVID19 Pandemic.
At HAEMS our first priority is always the safety of our staff and our community. As such, here at HAEMS we have implemented several temporary changes to our standard operating procedures to ensure the safety of our staff and patients. Below is just a short list of some of the changes we have made.
- Purchased a chemical sprayer/fogger for use in deconning and cleaning all of our ambulances and equipment after every confirmed or suspected COVID19 patient.
- Updated our Personal Protective Equipment Policy to reflect the new need for extensive PPE use on a large portion of our calls.
- Implemented a policy that all staff must wear a minimum of a medical grade surgical mask while interacting with any patients regardless of their symptoms.
- Continued daily reassessment of our current operating procedures, looking for further ways to increase the safety of our staff and patients.
- Start and End of Shift Mandatory Self Evaluations and Temperature Tests.
While this virus as certainly taken a toll on all of us, it has also shown us the strength and compassion that is present in our community. From healthy young people doing whatever they can to help the elderly and at-risk members of the community with shopping and essential supplies, to the many different organizations that have all donated what PPE they could, and the many local businesses that have donated food for our crews. We are so proud of this community and deeply privileged to be trusted to serve you.
Our deepest and sincerest condolences go out to all the victims, and their families, of this terrible virus. We urge everyone to continue to monitor the news and adhere to the policies (Social Distancing, Stay at Home Orders) set forth by the state as closely as they possibly can. Remember to wash your hands frequently, and for at least 30 seconds with soap and water. Remember you aren’t just protecting yourself, you are helping protect those that are most at risk.
Harleysville Area Emergency Medical Service