First Responders Update

By Kelly Gordon -
President, First Responders

This month, I’ve decided to write about the increase in EMS calls and what we see most often when we respond. Every single week we will get paged out for several lift assists with no injuries. Typically, those calls are fairly black and white. Recently, we’ve arrived on scene to find many patients with injuries.

When calling 912-355-6688, Chatham Emergency Services is supposed to ask the nature of the call and try to ascertain whether there is an injury or what the emergency is. IF you call and tell them it’s a non-emergent lift assist, and IF they ask if there are injuries, you need to be VERY specific. Please realize how crucial that information is to those responding.

If you aren’t sure if you, your spouse, neighbor, friend, or parent is injured, please share that information with the dispatcher. You can’t assume they’re going to ask the right questions. On those same lines, you can’t expect the person on the other end to be a mind reader.

More often than not, we arrive somewhere, and not only is the patient injured, but we need an ambulance to transport. If you or someone you’re calling EMS for has fallen, slipped out of bed, or simply is found on the floor, you must ask them a few questions before calling.

If you have any trepidation as to whether or not there is an injury, don’t tell dispatch there is no injury. You’re better off saying, “possible injuries” so that an ambulance is dispatched. It’s difficult for us to know what we are responding to if the call is paged out to us incorrectly.

The increase in EMS calls is evident to most of us who see emergency vehicles and hear all the sirens. As I wrote last month, if you hear sirens, please be assured they’re needed. As the community ages and younger families move to Skidaway, we are going to see a steady incline of EMS calls.

Keep in mind that as Skidaway Island First Responders, we respond to everywhere over the bridge. Some of the people in the community think we respond only within the gates. That is grossly misunderstood across the board.

We respond to The Marshes, The Village, Modena Island, South Harbor, Moon River, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, and everywhere in between. It might be an employee of The Landings Club, a construction worker, a landscaper, resident, or visitor who needs our help. Simply put, we stay busy 24 hours a day.

We respond to all motor vehicle accidents, and those are clearly happening way too often. How can we prevent these? It’s simple. Stop at ALL stop signs. If you’re in a golf cart, you don’t get to freelance and ride through a stop sign. It’s a  reckless and irresponsible way to operate a vehicle.

Slow down. Put your phones away. Watch out for pedestrians and bikers. We are a community, and we must look out for one another. For those of you who think the stop sign leaving Midpoint is a suggestion, you’re wrong and a danger to our community.

The people who continue to let their underage children drive golf carts, ride in your laps, or hang on the back of your carts will not always be so lucky. There is going to be an accident with injuries, and all of you better pray it’s not your kid who loses that race. It’s not worth the risk. Is the juice worth the squeeze? No. It’s not.

The Skidaway Island First Responders are here for you anytime you need us. That said, please keep in mind, we are not home health care. If you consistently need help getting to and from your bed, chair, toilet, or car, you need to seek other resources. That isn’t what EMS is for nor is it fair to someone who truly has an emergency. Our on-island Paramedic needs to be available for emergencies.

If we are tied up at your home helping you get from one room to the other and a serious call drops, we are stuck and can’t help someone who truly needs us. There are several resources for people who need non-emergent in-home care. If you need that information, please call Chatham Emergency Services (912-354-1011) for a list of resources.

We want to be here when you need us. We value every single one of you. Thank you for your continued support and the immense amount of positive feedback we continue to receive.

Stay Safe.