KershawHealth reorganizes EMS program

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Kershaw County's hospital system has reorganized its EMS program in an effort to improve responses to medical emergencies.

The reorganization comes after KershawHealth conducted a six-month study of its Emergency Medical Services. The study looked at how the system responds to 911 calls based on factors such as population, time of day, type of call, volume of calls, station locations and response times.

Based on the information gathered in the study, KershawHealth suggested changes to try to improve emergency response time. For example, the data suggested some EMS stations are too close to the Richland and Chesterfield County lines and should be more centrally located within Kershaw county.

Changes include moving the 24-Advanced Life Support unit from KershawHealth Medical Center to a facility at Kershaw County Airport, moving the ALS unit and facility in Lugoff to the Whitehead Road Fire Station, relocating the Bethune ALS unit and facility to a new facility at the North Central/Westville Fire Station, making the Lake Wateree ALS unit a 7-day, 12-hour operation, and making the Elgin unit and facility a 12-hour roaming ALS unit.

The plan also includes transferring non-emergency medical transport services to private companies.

KershawHealth officials say the restructuring will save money.

"Not only does this new plan make EMS more responsive to the needs of Kershaw County, it will do so in a much more efficient way," KershawHealth CEO Terry Gunn said. "We estimate savings of approximately $320,000 annually, which helps us get closer to eliminating the nearly $900,000 deficit we incur each year to fund EMS."

The new plan is expected to take effect by the end of August.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.