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Howard County Ambulances at High School Football Games | HS Sports

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Howard County Ambulances at High School Football Games
HS Sports
Howard County Ambulances at High School Football Games

 

The following notice was sent to us by Jackie Cutler:

For the past few weeks, the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) has been piloting an initiative to post standby For the past few weeks, the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) has been piloting an initiative to post standby ambulance units at junior varsity and varsity high school football games.

The thought behind the concept was that EMTs could be stationed at the games where there was a high likelihood of incidence rather than remain at their station.  They will be providing a valuable community service with existing resources and increasing their visibility in the community while also being able to catch a football game.

During this pilot, all 12 ambulances in the county were stationed at the football game in their immediate response area. They spent time assessing traffic flow, determining access points to the field and evaluating ways to reduce the time it takes to be at the player’s side. “This was a valuable exercise but it’s difficult for our units to stay there during the entire game when they have other emergency calls they respond to” said Fire Chief William Goddard. “Right now we don’t have the staffing to make an ongoing commitment to this, but we do realize the need.”

HCDFRS is currently exploring other ways to provide coverage at football games and reduce the time it takes to respond. 

The idea came from a citizen named Ed Schinner, who contacted Councilman Greg Fox’s office to recommend the proposal. “We are always happy to take our constituents’ suggestions into account because some of the best ideas come from just listening to others,” said Councilman Greg Fox. “Our firefighters/emergency medical technicians (EMTs) always do a great job reaching out to the community and we saw this as another opportunity. Football can be a very physical game and in just a matter of seconds, emergencies can and do happen on the football field.”

One such incident happened in 2010, when Zachary Hess, a football player at Reservoir High School injured his neck. His parents, Judy and Jim Hess are grateful that it took EMTs only a few minutes to arrive, but still remember the fear they felt. “Time stood still,” said Judy Hess. “They wouldn’t let us on the field while they worked on him. Thankfully his injuries were minor and he returned to the game the following week.”

The thought behind the concept was that EMTs could be stationed at the games where there was a high likelihood of incidence rather than remain at their station.  They will be providing a valuable community service with existing resources and increasing their visibility in the community while also being able to catch a football game.

During this pilot, all 12 ambulances in the county were stationed at the football game in their immediate response area. They spent time assessing traffic flow, determining access points to the field and evaluating ways to reduce the time it takes to be at the player’s side. “This was a valuable exercise but it’s difficult for our units to stay there during the entire game when they have other emergency calls they respond to” said Fire Chief William Goddard. “Right now we don’t have the staffing to make an ongoing commitment to this, but we do realize the need.”

HCDFRS is currently exploring other ways to provide coverage at football games and reduce the time it takes to respond. 

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