Salt River Limiting Use of Lights and Siren
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By Martha Jane East
The Salt River Ambulance District Board met Wednesday, May 18 at the ambulance base in Shelbyville. The meeting was called to order by Vice Chairman Connie Snider at 6:30 p.m.
Included in the information Director Kieth Pantaleo provided about services were statistics regarding use of lights and siren by emergency vehicles. He passed out copies of a joint statement backed by numerous national and international associations, along with references to studies made on amount of time saved as well as crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by lights and siren use.
A portion of the statement dated February 14, 2022 reads as follows: For EMS, the purpose of using L&S is to improve patient outcomes by decreasing the time to care at the scene or to arrival at a hospital for additional care, but only a small percentage of medical emergencies have better outcomes from L&S use. Over a dozen studies show that the average time saved with L&S response or transport ranges from 42 seconds to 3.8 minutes. Alternately, L&S response increases the chance of an EMS vehicle crash by 50% and almost triples the chance of crash during patient transport.
Pantaleo said Salt River has reduced their use of lights and siren unless it is a call that a quick response will benefit the patient. He said this policy will make travel safer for EMS personnel, patients and the general public.
The insurance service package covering fleet of trucks, the building and liability is due. The quote from Mike Keith for the annual fee is $26,564.00 The board members approved payment for the insurance.
A printed report prepared by Keith Hewgley/NRP, the primary instructor for the District, was handed out. It covered activities from March 15 through May 18. The report noted 25 continuing education hours (online) completed by SRAD employees, certifying swimming pool lifeguards and an advanced airway management class conducted in April for EMTs.
The board went into a closed session at 7:35 p.m. to discuss personnel matters.