Life support

Madison County Launches Advanced Life Support Fly Car – Oneida Dispatch

Wampsville, NY – The Madison County Emergency Management Office has put its first-ever Advanced Life Support (ALS) flying car on the road. The Madison County Fly Car is intended to provide mobile, non-transportation services to care for patients who call 911.

A combination of staffing shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a heavy burden on ambulances and health services. Hospitals have been diverting their emergency rooms with unprecedented frequency, meaning now more than ever ambulances have had to look elsewhere to send patients.

Madison County officials recall that locally, two Madison County hospitals had to do this several times a week.

In addition, ambulances have been forced to travel long distances to transfer seriously ill patients to hospitals that can accept them, sometimes hours away.

These and other reasons make the ALS Fly Car service a worthwhile investment, officials say. “Madison County Fly Cars are equipped with top-of-the-line equipment and experienced paramedics for excellent patient care and excellent outcomes,” the county reported in a news release.

ALS Fly Car will initially be staffed 40-50 hours per week to handle low-emergency 911 calls that will help keep ambulances and other community paramedics on duty to respond to larger emergencies or emergencies requiring transportation. The goal is to be able to increase to 80-90 hours per week by spring for coverage. Hours of operation are subject to staff availability and periods of typical high call volumes.

“Emergency management protects the whole community by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to build, maintain and improve the capacity to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from hazards and disasters threatened or real,” Dan Degear, director of the Madison County Office of Emergency Management, said in a county news release. “Our ALS Fly Cars do just that. They help meet a need that has existed in our community for some time. Our goal is to provide not only emergency services, but also preventative health services, assistance to vaccinations and mental health crisis assistance.

“I’m very excited to be able to bring more emergency medical services to Madison County and to be able to provide our community with more timely and advanced life support services,” said Madison County EMS Coordinator Jenna Rosky. “The County Emergency Management Team and administration have worked very hard to provide these resources to our community and our local ambulance agencies. We look forward to seeing these resources put to use in helping our community.”

The ALS Fly Car is a way to provide more resources to Madison County’s rural community, especially in times of need, said Madison County Board Chairman John Becker. “The topic was on our radar before COVID-19, and the pandemic has made it even more apparent that our community would benefit from a program like this. I am proud of the work the Office of Emergency Management has put into creating this service for our residents.

Funding for this pilot program comes from the US federal Rescue Plan Act. One vehicle and crew will be stationed at the Madison County Highway Facility in Eaton, NY and the other will be in Wampsville, NY at the Madison County offices.

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