Wednesday’s news items [council meeting notes; EMS/EMT/QRS/LEMSA/SVEMS and other acronyms; upcoming forums & more] – 9/11/2019

“Oct 1 Forum | The Importance of Maintaining A Free and Reliable Press”Lancaster County Democratic Committee Website

“Sat. Oct. 26 | Forum on Transparency in Government” – Lancaster County Democratic Committee Website

Perhaps you attended last night’s | “Columbia Borough Council Regular Meeting September 10, 2019” either in person or via the livestreaming at the Borough’s facebook page. If you didn’t do either, you can watch it anytime because it’s archived at the facebook page.

Peer Program grant | Several mentions were made about a “peer-to-peer” grant. Wonder whether this is the program? “The Peer Program is available to assist municipal entities with hiring a professional consultant to study specialized small-scale issues. Up to $10,000 can be made available to hire a peer — typically a park and recreation professional — to work in close collaboration with community leaders to develop an action plan.”

Parks and Recreation | Not the one with Amy Poehler … Columbia’s Parks and Recreation Committee gained two citizen volunteers last night. Susan Love and Taylor Calloway were welcomed by this committee’s chairperson, Councillor Pam Williams. “The Parks and Recreation is responsible for planning new parks, renovating existing parks, and planning activities for the children in the Borough. The Board meets the 2nd Thursday of every month in Borough Council Chambers.” There are no meeting minutes posted for this committee’s meetings since March 2019.

“gold standard?” | During a presentation delivered by representatives from Columbia QRS and the Lancaster EMS, there was repeated reference to the gold standard. The “gold standard” according to this Website is specific to the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS):

“The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) was established to encourage and promote quality patient care in America’s medical transportation system. CAAS is an independent Commission that established a comprehensive series of standards for the ambulance service industry.

“CAAS accreditation signifies that your service has met the “gold standard” determined by the ambulance industry to be essential in a modern emergency medical services provider. These standards often exceed those established by state or local regulation.  The CAAS standards are designed to increase operational efficiency and clinical quality, while decreasing risk and liability to the organization.”


Susquehanna Valley EMS lists Columbia in its coverage area. The borough of Columbia lists these EMS/Fire/Community Services.

svems coverage

There are 20 EMS agencies in Lancaster County and hundreds, maybe thousands, across the state, yet there are  five “gold standard” EMS’s in PA who are member agencies of CASS. They are :

  • Centre LifeLink EMS, Inc., State College
  • Cumberland Goodwill EMS, Carlisle
  • Elizabeth Township Area EMS, Buena Vista
  • Lancaster EMS, Lancaster
  • Tri-Community South EMS, Bethel Park

Pennsylvania’s “Emergency Medical Services” legislation | This further defines Emergency medical services systems in the state.

EMS response times | “Do EMS response times matter? EMS response times have always been and remain publicly important because political people, the press and citizens are all qualified to read a clock.”  Maybe, just maybe, how quickly the EMS crew arrives is not the important measure. – EMS1

ems services by type

It’s not just heart attacks | Cardiac arrests are really in the minority of EMS calls.Journal of Emergency Medical Services

definitions | Some of the of terms and acronyms used last night need definition:

Basic Life Support (BLS) – Basic Life Support (BLS) is a rudimentary level of medical treatment for given to patients and victims of life-threatening injures and sicknesses that are in immediate need of attention until they can receive full and adequate medical treatment at the hospital.

Advanced Life Support (ALS) – Advanced Life Support (ALS) is an advanced set of algorithms and protocols that extend past Basic Life Support to further assist the injured or ill patient in opening up their airways, breathing and getting air throughout the body, and promoting blood circulation in emergency situations.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) – EMS is the acronym for emergency medical services. This term refers to the medical professionals who respond to 911 calls and treat and transport people in crisis health situations. [NOTE: EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians) are also defined here.]






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