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Bushkill Emergency Corps gets GPS, video cams donated to entire fleet
Posted Jun. 2, 2016 at 2:54 PM
Few things are as frustrating as being needed in a life-threatening call but getting lost on the way there with an outdated GPS. Likewise, there is little comfort for responders who may also be in danger and not having a recording to explain the danger. One group of Emergency Medical Services personnel have gotten help toward those ends.
Through two generous donors for distinctive upgrades -- one being the Lehman Township Supervisors and the other an anonymous donor -- Bushkill Emergency Corps responders are both better able to respond to calls and are secure knowing the dangers they encounter can be captured on video.
For the first upgrade, Lehman Township supervisors recently donated to Bushkill Emergency Corps a newly updated GPS unit for each of its seven ambulances. These units are eons ahead of the units distributed right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 when Homeland Security stepped in and provided units across the nation.
In recent years, the local area has undergone a massive readdressing project from the emergency control center which created not only a numbering system posted outside of homes, but it also renamed some roads to eliminate confusion of same road names on different roads in one municipality. Unfortunately, older model GPS systems were not able to be updated with the new numbers or road names, leading to extensive energy and time spent driving around looking for the right road, not to mention the right house.
Even with the address number posted, the dispatcher still will ask for the directions. Not every bit of information shows up on a GPS and there are still some roads listed on paper that never were constructed. Callers are asked to be patient with the dispatcher and provide the vital information on the location.
These units are welcome and much appreciated by Bushkill Emergency Corps that offers a hearty thank you to the supervisors, one and all. (As an aside, other EMS agency providers are indeed jealous.)
On the second donation, the videotape shows the time while providing care or responding to calls or on the way to the hospital and the dangerous situations for emergency crews from difficult, combative or even violent patients who need transport at times when law enforcement is not part of that transport. With the rise in overdoses and the need to revive these patients, violent situations from them arise. Not all patients are calm and reasonable after they have been brought back from the edge of life.
For this reason and so many others, Bushkill Emergency Corps is likewise grateful for the donation of vehicle-mounted cameras for each ambulance in its fleet donated in memory of Judge and Mrs. Albert Murray. The judge served for more than 20 years as a member of the Bushkill Emergency Corps Board of Directors, representing the community at large. Judge Murray’s wisdom and guidance were always intended to bring about a better service for the community. His concern for the safety of both providers and patients makes this donation even more meaningful.
Like most EMS agencies today, the cameras will record at all times. Patient privacy is not an issue, but rather documenting any violent acts or problems as well as travel to and from calls for the purpose of safety.
Adding new technology that will enhance service is always welcome. Being able to afford to do so is the hard part. Both donations will make a difference in service to residents and visitors, most especially when least expected.
-Debbie Kulick contributes a weekly column to Pike & Monroe Life.