MCCH ambulance

Murray-Calloway County Ambulance Service Director Marty Barnett prepares to open the door to the service’s Medic 5 unit shortly after it became part of the fleet. Medic 5 and the other units have been quite busy in the past few years, setting records for runs.

MURRAY — The Murray-Calloway County Ambulance Service should receive money from a $10,000 grant this month that will be used toward a continuing quest to arm all units with life-saving CPR machines. 

The machines allow for mechanical cardiac massage that allows paramedics/emergency medical technicians to handle other matters with a patient without having to continuously apply CPR themselves. The grant will be awarded by the Kentucky Board of EMS and was made possible by assistance from the Calloway County Fiscal Court. 

However, that is not all. 

“Thanks to (Calloway County Judge-Executive Kenny) Imes and the fiscal court, we have also applied for a Kentucky Office of Homeland Security grant of $29,400,” Barnett said in the most recent meeting of the Murray-Calloway County Public Hospital Corporation Board of Trustees, where he presented one of two reports required of him every six months, “If we can get that money, than all of our ambulances will be equipped with mechanical CPR machines and one of the great things about that is this provides a first line of defense for us with cardiac cases.

“We hope we can make a difference in our community with those.”

The Homeland Security grant will be awarded in September. If Murray-Calloway is successful in obtaining this grant, Barnett said this will allow the ambulance service to go from having only two of its five units equipped with this technology to having all five equipped. 

That is important, Barnett said, because the number of people his service is taking to medical facilities for treatment keeps rising. Figures he released to the trustees show that the number of patients has increased 9 percent so far in 2019, compare to 2018. This goes with a total increase of 18 percent in the number of runs the Murray-Calloway agency has made since 2016. 

In 2016, Murray-Calloway units made 2,620 runs. So far, in 2019, Murray-Calloway has made 3,084 runs. Also, since 2016, Murray-Calloway units have increased in the number of transfers from Murray-Calloway County Hospital to larger facilities in the region by 34 percent. 

However, the efforts being made by ambulance service personnel and the MCCH emergency room are being noticed and rewarded. Barnett said his agency was recently recognized by the American Heart Association: the Mission Lifeline 2019 honor highlights groups that excel in a number of areas related to treatment of cardiac emergencies. 

Murray-Calloway received a Silver Plus recognition, joining 624 EMS services from 45 states in this regard. Twenty-two of those were from Kentucky. 

“This is based on four measures of how we take care of our patients and one of those is that we have a heart attack patient be transferred to another facility within 120 minutes of the onset of symptoms,” Barnett said. “Thanks to our ER staff, we blew that out of the water. They were being treated within 30 minutes at our ER, then it’s 40 minutes to Paducah. The goal was 75 percent compliance on those four measures and we had 85 percent. 

Murray-Calloway also received the Award of Excellence for Pediatric Emergency Care for it handles its youngest patients.  

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