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May 19, 2014

Hamilton: EMS Week is May 18-24

Jasper — EMS Week celebrates the dedication and self-sacrifice of all EMS workers. The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners have signed a proclamation declaring the Week of May 18-24, 2014, as Emergency Medical Services Week with the theme, “EMS: Dedicated For Life”, and encourage the community to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.

Each and every day, Emergency Medical Service departments across the nation respond to thousands of 911 calls. Many times this means EMT’s and paramedics have to go out in weather that most of us would never consider being in. They also willingly place themselves in harm’s way to save a life. As a part of their training, they took an oath to save lives and protect this community.

The history of how EMS originated began in 1974 when President Gerald Ford signed a bill and placed David R. Boyd as head director of the Division of Emergency Medical Service System. That was when Director Boyd convinced President Ford to proclaim a National Emergency Medical Services Week. Gerald Ford has been known as the “Hero” of the EMS story. He was a true believer who supported EMS during difficult political and economic budgetary times.

Hamilton County EMS currently operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are fortunate to have a full time Advanced Life Support System. Our system consists of an operations manager, office manager, 3 shift captains and both full time and part time employees. All of these employees, including volunteers, help operate the ambulances in our county.

Mac Leggett was appointed the operations manager in October, 2013, under the Director of EMS, Henry Land. He brought with him over 30 years of EMS experience. His role as the operations manager has been an asset to every aspect of Hamilton County. He guides and manages the operations of the department with the assistance of the shift captains and office manager.

Leggett has restructured the internal aspects of the department by assigning individual tasks to help promote safety and productivity. He has developed many community outreach programs, at no charge to the taxpayers. He is also working on multiple grants, which will improve EMS service, at little to no cost to the taxpayers. His leadership skills, knowledge and professionalism of EMS, have proven to be effective in the direct management of Hamilton County EMS.

Cindy Beaver is the Officer Manager, who brings 21 years of service to the citizens of Hamilton county. Her role consists of payroll, bill coding and clerical duties. She is responsible for ordering pharmaceutical and medical supplies to assure that the EMS system operates efficiently. She also maintains the Automatic External Defibrillators in all Hamilton County Schools.

Hamilton County EMS shift captains coordinate the ambulances during 911 calls, ensure that all daily duties are completed, coordinate the ambulances during 911 calls and make sure manpower is sufficient to accommodate the needs of the citizens in times of emergencies and/or disasters.

Not to forget the EMT’s and paramedics, who, without their tireless efforts 24 hours a day, the service could not operate. These are the true heroes of the organization.

Hamilton County EMS has progressed a long way from where it started with help and assistance from the county coordinator, county commissioners, volunteer firefighters, director, operations manager and employees.

Hamilton County EMS transports the sick and injured to surrounding hospitals and plays a vital role in providing needs for a very large rural area. Your Hamilton County EMS and its employees continue to strive to properly ensure all citizens receive the medical care and attention needed to maintain a healthy and productive lifestyle.

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