Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Zach Spadt
Pine Bluffs Post 

Pine Bluffs Ambulance Service receives new equipment, extra help


Post file photo

The Pine Bluffs Ambulance Service recently acquired new equipment that will enable them to provide better health care to patients.

New equipment and help from American Medical Response is breathing new life into the Pine Bluffs Ambulance Service.

Pine Bluffs Ambulance Director Derek Walls said the service recently received a special device that performs chest compressions, and performs more efficiently than a human performing CPR.

"It doesn't get tired. It's the same compression each time," Walls said.

Walls added that the device stays on the service's ambulance.

The device, manufactured by Physio-Control Inc. is designed to automate the compression of a cardiac arrest victim's chest during resuscitation efforts. In addition to reducing the risk of injury or fatigue, it frees the hands of medical personnel to optimize patient outcomes.

The devices have an estimated retail value of $16,000.

Walls said the device was purchased through a grant from the State of Wyoming.

According to the Wyoming Department of Health, the goal was to place one device in each hospital emergency room and with at least one with each ambulance service throughout the state. Emergency medical technicians received special training on how to operate the device.

Pine Bluffs EMTs are also partnering with American Medical Response, the Cheyenne-based ambulance service. Whereas Pine Bluffs EMTs can only perform EMT duties, AMR employees are full-fledged paramedics and can perform a wider variety of live-saving services.

The Rural Medical Program is part of an agreement Pine Bluffs has entered into with AMR. AMR EMTs who live in Pine Bluffs carry a pager with them and will respond to emergency services calls in rural Laramie County if they are available. They can perform additional services such as administering drugs to patients who are having trouble breathing and inserting a breathing tube. Previously, Walls said, Pine Bluffs EMTs would meet AMR paramedics between Pine Bluffs and Cheyenne.

"Three paramedics live in Pine Bluffs," Walls said.

Paramedics responding in conjunction with Pine Bluffs EMTs are paid by AMR for their services.

"If there's a call, they can respond, get in the ambulance and provide paramedic care right from the get-go," Walls added.

Walls said AMR paramedics who live in Pine Bluffs will be treated much like the volunteer EMTs with Pine Bluffs EMS.

They will have pagers and will respond to scenes from their homes. The only difference is that they are getting paid.

"We're just giving them a ride," Walls said.

He added, "It's a great skill to have in the rural part of the county. It's been a good cooperation with AMR."

The collaboration has been in effect for the past several months. With Pine Bluffs being in a rural part of Laramie County, it is much needed.

Walls added, "When every minute counts, the extra services should save lives if they are ever needed."


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