Bethlehem, PA (12/22/2015) – St. Luke’s Emergency Transport Service was recently recognized for its expertise in transporting pediatric patients through a multi-agency program that recognizes EMS agencies that are willing to go above and beyond current pediatric transport requirements within Pennsylvania.
“Participating in this volunteer program and being recognized at this level should reassure parents that the safety and well-being of their children is of utmost importance to St. Luke’s EMS providers,” said Kermit Gorr, Executive Director of Ambulance & Transportation Services, St. Luke’s University Health Network. “St. Luke’s has a strong commitment to safely transporting and treating our community’s youth in every aspect of health care.”
Every year, more than 70,000 children are transported by ambulances in Pennsylvania. This means that almost every seven minutes a child is being taken to the hospital with a potentially life threatening medical condition.
In order to ensure that EMS agencies within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are prepared for its youngest and most vulnerable patients, the Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Services for Children program, in partnership with the Department of Health, Bureau of EMS and the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council, has created the Pediatric Voluntary Recognition Program to recognize EMS agencies consistently deliver excellence in emergency medical care to children within the Commonwealth.
The Pennsylvania Pediatric Voluntary Recognition Program has recognized St. Luke’s Emergency Transport Services, located in Quakertown, PA in the “Expert” category. This level demonstrates that the EMS agency has additional pediatric-specific medical equipment on their ambulances, requires EMS providers to complete ChildLine child abuse background clearances, provides four hours of pediatric-specific continuing education per year, is actively involved in multiple community outreach programs and offers ongoing car seat checks to parents and guardians in the community.
“By participating in this program, St. Luke’s Emergency Transport Service is demonstrating that they are truly prepared for pediatric patients and are ready to respond to any and all emergency situations involving Pennsylvania’s youngest citizens,” said Thomas Winkler, EMS for Children Project Manager, Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council.
The Pennsylvania Pediatric Voluntary Recognition Program consists of five levels that include pediatric equipment standards, ChildLine background checks, pediatric-related continuing education courses, community outreach programs, and car seat check programs.
“Recognizing that motor vehicle accidents are a major cause of injury to children, the EMSC program wishes to recognize those agencies working to ensure all children are safe in their own child safety seats,” explained Winkler.
St. Luke’s is now one of 12 ambulance services in the Eastern PA. EMS Council region and only one of 4 in the Bucks County EHS Region to be recognized under this program. The Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council is the legislatively-authorized independent advisory body to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and all other appropriate agencies on matters pertaining to Emergency Medical Services.
Photo Caption: St. Luke’s EMTs (l-r) Mike Mercer, Chris Derrick, Joshua Werkheiser and Rodney Wolfe join Patricia Gubich, RN, (center) Patient Care Manger, Pediatrics Unit, St. Luke’s University Hospital – Bethlehem during a December, 2015 teddy bear drive hosted by St. Luke’s Emergency Transport Services (ETS). St. Luke’s ETS is well-prepared for children in emergencies with special pediatric equipment in the ambulances, as well as age-appropriate comfort toys.
Denise E. Rader
Director, Network Media Relations
St. Luke's University Health Network
For more information about St. Luke’s services or to find a physician, call St. Luke’s InfoLink toll-free at 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537) Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or email us anytime at Info.Link@sluhn.org.