Tuesday March 6, 2007
EMS starts prevention push
Focus of first month is brain injuries
By Jessie Halladay
Most of the time when Metro EMS is called, an injury or medical crisis already has occurred.
Now emergency medical service workers will get a chance to prevent injuries.
The service has begun a program to highlight a different medical condition each month, with the goal of prevention and education.
For March, each EMS worker is wearing a pin that promotes Brain Injury Awareness Month.
In addition to wearing the pins, ribbons or bracelets that promote a cause, EMS workers will have pamphlets and information to hand out.
"What a perfect opportunity to get our guys involved and engage the community," said Dr. Neal Richmond, director of Metro EMS.
If a child is injured in a bicycle accident while not wearing a helmet, that might be the perfect time for EMS workers to hand out brain injury information to a parent and alert them of the risks, said Lt. Col. Craig Rodgers with Metro EMS.
"We have over 200 medically trained people out there every day who deal with the public," Rodgers said. "If we can just help one person, it will be good."
While March is the only month with a specific cause, Richmond said, there are plans to highlight issues including stroke, cardiac care and various cancers.
Richmond said he is excited about the program because it allows his staff to interact more with the community and reminds them about key health issues, too.
"It's almost as educational for us," he said.
Eddie Reynolds, a family outreach coordinator for the Brain Injury Association of Kentucky, said EMS will help his nonprofit group to educate people about traumatic brain injuries.
"Our resources are limited," Reynolds said. "They're going to be able to reach people that we would not be able to reach."
Reynolds said EMS sought the partnership.
"It's going to take all of us working together," Reynolds said.
Reporter Jessie Halladay can be reached at (502) 582-4081.