Deputy Police Chief Marc Hartog and Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services President Martin Iselin presented the keys to a new, state-of-the-art ambulance Wednesday in front of Town Hall.
The new vehicle is one of three the Service runs, along with three rapid response paramedic SUV’s. The ambulance includes state-of-the-art electronic monitoring systems that communicate patient data to Norwalk Hospital physicians and a powered gurney lift capable of lifting a 600 pound patient.
WVEMS provides round-the-clock ambulance and emergency medical services to all Westport homes and businesses and on major highways within the town.
The purchase was completely funded by community donations - as are all costs of the VEMS, from their ambulances to the equipment and supplies inside, even the uniforms these first responders wear and the training they receive. They also enable WVEMS to remain at the forefront of emergency medical service technology, capacity and capability.
The annual campaign that provides funding for the Service, now in its third month, is stressing the importance of “The Golden Hour,” that critical period between incident and treatment.
The Golden Hour, WVEMS President Martin Iselin said, is the critical period immediately following an emergency, and is every EMT’s constant adversary. “Time drives all our training. Every one of our 120 volunteer EMTs and our full-time paramedics knows that the faster we respond, reach, assess, treat and transport a patient, the better the potential outcome – particularly so in life-threatening situations."
"The sooner you call 911, the faster we can place you in the hands of the right medical professional and the more likely you are to survive.
Iselin says improving their response and transport time is an ongoing goal. “From the 911 call to our headquarters in the Westport police station we can reach Westport’s farthest point in about eight minutes. Keeping our 100% donation-funded fleet up to date and in excellent condition is key to meeting this objective.
“Once we reach the patient, our technicians use the time on-scene and in the ambulance to assess, stabilize and begin treatment. And our donation-funded technology allows us to transmit vital signs directly to the hospital, so ER physicians and nurses are ready with the right people, equipment and facilities to continue patient care immediately on arrival.
“In emergency medicine, the Golden Hour is both our opponent and our opportunity. That’s the message we’re sharing in this year’s fundraising campaign. Our goal remains to enhance every patient’s probability of survival. For that to happen, everyone needs to pitch in,” he said.
“We know how much Westporters appreciate our commitment and that some day, we may be called on to assist one of them or a loved one. We hope everyone will continue to be generous, to help keep the force at peak readiness,” said Iselin. “The vehicles we drive, the technology we use, our day-to-day supplies, even the uniforms we wear are funded by your donations, not by taxpayer dollars,” he said.
To make a tax-free donation to the Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service, helping to fund vehicles, equipment, supplies and training visit the web site at www.westportems.org and click on “Donate.”