Wednesday January 7, 2004
Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced that he is consolidating the community’s two EMS systems to create a single, more responsive agency for the entire Louisville Metro.
Abramson will conduct a national search for a director – a doctor with emergency medical experience – to lead the new Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Service.
The move follows the recommendation of a task force of local medical, EMS and fire professionals and metro council members that Abramson appointed last year. The task force overwhelmingly concluded that separate EMS services in both the Urban Services District and suburban areas of Louisville Metro should not be retained.
Although both EMS systems provide quality service, Abramson said merger “has given us a unique opportunity to closely examine EMS operations in the largest cities across the country and determine best practices to ensure that we provide the best possible service for our community. “We want to take our EMS service to a new level of excellence in our hometown.”
Currently, EMS in the Urban Services District is overseen by Louisville Fire and Rescue and EMS in the suburban areas is a standalone operation.
Abramson said he hopes to name a director of the new agency later this year. The director also will have a joint appointment at the University of Louisville College of Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine.
Abramson also has named a five-member task force – The Louisville Metro EMS System Committee – to recommend a phased-in implementation plan and timeline to ensure a smooth transition to a new department.
The new EMS will oversee:
· Advanced Life Support transport · First Responder Coordination
· Quality Assurance
· Non-emergency Transportation provided by private vendors
· Public Education to increase knowledge of – and skills in – CPR and AED
· A Liaison to Dispatch/Communication
“We know that the ability to provide high-quality, pre-hospital care at the site of an emergency is critical in ensuring survival,” Abramson said. “In other words, we’ve found that the best systems are medically focused and medically focused and medically driven. They are flexible to meet the needs of residents throughout a diverse and changing community. A consolidated department – one that is medically driven – offers the best opportunity to provide that kind of service for our new, larger community.”