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Celebrating the paramedic and EMS

In Health, history, Jobs, National News, Opinion, Science, television, Uncategorized on July 21, 2014 at 11:44 am

DIH LOGOWhen was the last time you felt the urge to run into a burning building? What about cutting your way into a mangled car to extract an injured child after a wreck? It takes a particularly kind of person to reject self-protective responses and dive in, head first, to help others. Fortunately, our first responders – firefighters, emergency medical services (EMS) and police officers – never hesitate to do exactly that.

Firefighters and police officers have been around for centuries, but can you remember a time when no one had ever heard of a “paramedic?” Actually, it wasn’t that long ago, only about 45 years. Although there’s no officially recorded origin, the word “paramedic” can be loosely broken down to two parts. The Latin prefix, “para,” means, in this context, “apart from, or beyond,” and “medic” referring to “physician.”

The first paramedic training began in California in the mid 1960s. But in January of 1972, television producers Jack Webb and R.A. Cinader (“Dragnet,” and “Adam 12,”) helped introduce the rest of the country to the concept in a new show called, simply, “Emergency!.”

Each week, viewers rode along with a pair of fictional, Los Angeles County Station 51 firefighter paramedics named Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto, portrayed by actors Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe. Back then, firefighters were skilled in only a minimum of first aid techniques. Paramedic training allowed more advanced medical treatment for victims at the scene, when time is critical, performed at the time under the direction of a hospital physician communicating by radio.

Emergency! aired on NBC for six seasons and introduced the country to the job of the paramedic. (Kevin Tighe as Roy DeSoto and Randolph Mantooth as John Gage).

Emergency! aired on NBC for six seasons and introduced the country to the job of the paramedic. (Kevin Tighe as Roy DeSoto and Randolph Mantooth as John Gage).

For six seasons, using real-life, contemporary techniques, the fictional team of “Squad 51” demonstrated how vital paramedics could be to accident survival rates. Additionally, by shining some Hollywood light on the subject, the show helped ease resistance by doctors who fought the adaptation of advanced medical field support, referring to it as, “remote controlled medicine.”

Paramedics are sometimes referred to inaccurately as EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians), but there are differences between the two, although regulations and educational requirements can vary. According to the University of Southern California Los Angeles’s Center for Prehospital Care, “EMTs usually complete a course that is about 120-150 hours in length. Paramedic courses can be between 1,200 to 1,800 hours.” But that’s not where the difference ends.

Both fields of study include lectures, clinical and field internships and hands-on skills training such as CPR, administering oxygen, glucose for diabetics and helping to treat asthma attacks. “With very few exceptions, such as in the case of auto-injectors for allergic reactions,” UCLA’s website states, “EMTs are not allowed to provide treatments that require breaking the skin: that means no needles.”

At the time of the “Emergency!” TV series, Los Angeles County, had only about 36 paramedics. But after the show became a hit, applications came pouring in anywhere the programs were offered. As of 2012, StudentDoctor.net reports that there are an estimated 142,000 paramedics and 600,000 EMTs currently working in the United States and that number is growing. From big cities to rural communities, paramedics and EMTs are regularly in great demand.

On September 11, 2001, first responders took center stage, paramedics included, with hundreds giving their lives trying to save the victims of the World Trade Center attacks. Hopefully, our local fire and rescue personnel will never be required to perform such a dire duty, but you can rest assured that if the need would ever arise, they are ready and willing.

I can’t convey how grateful my family was to the men and women of our local EMS (New Jasper Township, in Greene County, Ohio) when I was helping to care for my mother who, in addition to Alzheimer’s disease, also suffered from heart disease. Our emergency medical responders see us at the most difficult, stressful moments of life. So, since we often forget at the time, “Thank You,” from a grateful public to our fire and EMS providers, for all you do to help keep us safe.


Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer based in Jamestown, Ohio. More at http://www.gerydeer.com

Don’t forget to vote Tuesday, November 5th!

In Economy, Education, Local News, Politics, Uncategorized on October 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Effect of local elections outweighs that of national races

countingvotTuesday November 5th is a general election in Greene County, Ohio, consisting of numerous city, township and county issues and political seats.  Voter turnout is vital in smaller races where it only takes a few votes to change a loss to a win.

While it might seem otherwise, local elections are far more important to the average citizen than those on a national level. Most of the governing that directly affects people is done at the local level – city, township, county and so on. Local tax levies (whatever they may be called by the proponents) have an immediate and direct effect the individual citizen and, subsequently, the economy.

In a local election, there are no “electoral college” votes or polling numbers – every single vote counts. That’s why it is so important to make an extra effort to keep your community running the way you want it to and be as knowledgeable as you can about the candidates and issues before heading to your polling place. Polls are open on November 5, from 6:30 AM until 7:30 PM.


In order to help our readers make informed decisions this election day, The Jamestown Comet has provided this useful information on Greene County’s election (courtesy of the Greene County Board of Elections).

Direct Link to the Greene County Board of Elections

(Includes information about polling locations and more.)

Click here for the Greene County Board of Elections Certified Candidates List (In PDF format.)

The following is a list of issues as posted by the Greene County Board of Elections. NOTE: There are no state issues. There is no issue #1. Local option and overlap questions are not assigned issue numbers.

Questions and Issues:  November 5, 2013 General Election Ballot

#2 Greene County – Children’s Services – Renewal – 1.5 mills
#3 Greene County – Developmental Disabilities – Renewal – 3.5 mills
#4 Greene County – Greene Memorial Hospital – Renewal – 0.5 mills

#5 Beavercreek City – Streets, Roads & Bridges – Renewal – 1 mill
#6 Bellbrook City – Charter Amendments
#7 Xenia City – Current Operating – Renewal – 3.5 mills
#8 Xenia City- Electrical Aggregation
#9 Jamestown Village- Streets, Roads & Bridges – Additional – 1.8 mills
#10 Spring Valley Village – Current Operating – Replacement – 1 mill
#11 Spring Valley Village – Current Operating – Replacement – 3 mills

#12 Spring Valley Township & Village – Fire & EMS – Renewal – 2 mills
#13 Spring Valley Township Roads & Bridges – Renewal – 1.5 mills
#14 Caesarscreek Township –– Fire & EMS- Renewal – 2 mills
#15 Jefferson Township –Roads & Bridges- Additional –5 mills
#16 New Jasper Township –Streets, Roads & Bridges – Additional –1.5 mills
#17 Ross Township – Current Operating- Renewal – 1.5 mills
#18 Sugarcreek Township –– Fire & EMS- Renewal – 2 mills

#19 Beavercreek CSD – Emergency Requirements– Additional- 6.3 mills
#20 Yellow Springs EVSD- Permanent Improvements – Renewal – 1.2 mills
Kettering CSD –Overlap-Current Expenses-Additional- 4.89 mills
Wayne LSD – Overlap – Current Expenses – Renewal – 14.05 mills

#21 Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District- Defraying Expenses- Renewal – 0.4 mills

Spring Valley General Valero – Local Option Precinct 435 – Sunday Sales

Sugar Valley Golf Club – Local Option – Precinct 153 – On/Off premise sales
Sugar Valley Golf Club – Local Option – Precinct 153 – Sunday Sales

(If you live in another county, just go to GOOGLE.COM and search for the county’s board of elections website.)