Vermont Emergency Medical Services are starting a new protocol with the New Year that will allow EMTs and emergency responders to perform more medical treatments before reaching the hospital.
“In certain cases it gets life saving skills to Vermonters from a lower level EMS provider than would otherwise be allowed,” Vermont EMS Director Chris Bell said.
Bell says the change is in line with national protocol. On top of broadening the scope of services of EMS providers, it will also allow them to use more equipment.
One of those is a CPAP, commonly used for people with sleep apnea but it has benefits for people in a medical emergency as well.
“It provides pressurized oxygen and that's very helpful for people with breathing difficulties, people suffering from congestive heart failure,” Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Joe Gannon said.
“This is a big assist for patients and it's a big change for us.”
Gannon also showed off equipment they can now use to better monitor patient’s respiratory patterns. He also says there is a new procedure allowing EMTs to use Narcan and Naloxone, drugs used to revive someone suffering from an opiate overdose.
“They're excited about the additional things this allows them to do for their communities. The extra skills it allows them to perform when it's their neighbor who is actually hurting or ill from some type of emergency,” Bell said.
Bell says says about 2600 hundred emergency personnel will implement the new protocol by April 1st. A third of the emergency crews across the state are ready to launch Wednesday.