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Metro Newsroom

Louisville Named National Model for EMS Disaster Response

Friday July 28, 2006

Louisville’s collaboration of emergency-medical services with other safety and health agencies has been named a national model.

Louisville EMSThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) selected seven communities where relationships between the emergency-care and public-health agencies are established and operate at levels that effectively respond to events that may cause large numbers of injuries.

“When we recruited Dr. Neal Richmond to head our medically driven EMS, we set out to become a national model – and we’re accomplishing those goals,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson.

Richmond spoke at a CDC conference regarding Louisville’s coordinated emergency-medical response plans.

“Having an integrated approach is of paramount importance in a disaster situation,” Richmond said. “We proactively coordinate among EMS, the Health Department and our public safety and emergency-management agencies, as well as with the private hospitals and physicians, to ensure that if a mass trauma situation occurs we’re ready to help people in an orchestrated way.”

In addition to Louisville, the other CDC model communities include:

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Clark County, Nevada (Las Vegas)
  • Eau Claire County, Wisconsin
  • Erie County, New York (Buffalo)
  • Livingston, County, New York
  • Monroe County, New York (Rochester)

According to the CDC website, the selected communities have been “successful in strengthening the relationship and collaboration between public health and the emergency care community to improve daily operations and disaster preparedness….”

Other factors include:

  • Strong medical oversight on both public and emergency care;
  • A desire and an effort to educate both emergency care and public health providers about each others’ role;
  • Recognition of the role of and a commitment to developing and maintaining relationships between leadership through regular meetings, teambuilding exercises, and planning;
  • Bringing community stakeholders (businesses, clinics, universities, etc.), into planning process;
  • Creating disaster plans that were developed locally, involve public health and emergency care, and that are repeatedly drilled; and
  • Aggressively pursuing and securing funding.