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Mon EMS adds Rehabilitation Unit

Posted Date: 3/24/2016

Monogalia EMS Rehabilitation Unit                With the addition of a new Rehabilitation Unit, Monongalia EMS is looking out for firefighters, law enforcement and first responders at the scene of major incidents in the community.

                The new Mon EMS Rehabilitation Unit went into service the week of March 6. The unit consists of a trailer stocked with canopies, coolers, medical supplies, misting fans, generators, lights, heaters, chairs, cooling towels, sunscreen and other supplies.

                 “Our rehabilitation unit is something that has been needed for a long time,” said John Hitchens, a Critical Care Paramedic with Mon EMS and project coordinator. “We finally received the resources to get it done, and get it done right. Mon EMS is now the only service in the region with a unit dedicated to providing rehabilitation to emergency responders.”

                The trailer and supplies cost approximately $13,000 and was funded by The Foundation of Mon General Hospital.

                “The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires that firefighters have access to rehab services at major incidents,” Hitchens said. Law enforcement has similar needs. Rehab units provide immediate medical attention, including rehydration, treatment for smoke inhalation and the prevention of life-threatening conditions such as heatstroke and heart attack.

                “We can rehab up to nine firefighters or law enforcement members at a time,” he said, providing access to cooling, heating, water and medical services. The trailer is equipped with two 10-foot by 10-foot canopies with enclosures. These canopies can be heated in cold weather.  The trailer is also equipped with medical equipment to ensure that emergency responders can safely return to duty.

                Mon EMS anticipates the Rehabilitation Unit to be called on four or five times a month. “It will be dispatched for structure fires, special rescue requests, law enforcement requests and Hazmat (hazardous materials) clean-ups,” Hitchens said.


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