By LEWIS SPEARMAN
HOUSTON– ESD#5 has forged new ground through signing with a new medical director, and a pact with Harris county Public Health to initiate county-wide protocols for paramedics.
Harris County Commissioner’s Court approved a premier memoranda of understanding between ESD#5 Medics and Dr. Matthew Minson of Harris County Public Health Dept. on Tuesday, May 20. Minson is now Medical Director for ESD#5, as well as part of the Texas Task Force on Medical Emergencies, which was incorporated into the Federal Emergency Management Agency just two months prior to Sept. 11, 2001.
According to local sources the pact is intended to reduce liability, make emergency equipment and training facilities and programs available to serve Crosby and Huffman. ESD#5 Board approved the measure on Wednesday, May 21.
ESD#5 Coordinator Houston Hooper said, “ESD#5 will be the first emergency medical service to become an extension of Harris County Public Health Department with approval of Commissioner’s Court and ESD#5 Board. Although we will be the first to do this, ESD#9 and ESD#1 are examining the benefits for their areas of emergency coverage.”
According to ESD#5 Board member Tomma Latta, “Patient care is the reason we are out here. Our new Medical Director, Dr. Minson, and several other people are going to help us with programs we are already doing, get us access to new equipment and establish county-wide standards for the best EMS protocols. We feel confident that he is dedicated to providing the best emergency care available. We hope that insurance companies will recognize the benefits of this program and help reduce our liability insurance rates for paramedics.”
As to what specific direct benefits Crosby and Huffman can expect, Hooper explained, “The county is expressing interest in helping with our immunization program. In the even of disaster we can then use Harris County equipment that we as an entity could never afford to buy. Our paramedics can have access to new training facility equipment. Also, the county expressed interest in helping with our Promote Child Safety program.”
Answering what is the biggest benefit for the local emergency service providers, Hooper answered, “Overall, the principle benefit is lower liability. Dr. Minson [the new medical director] is very much in favor of establishing county-wide protocols for ambulance services. The benefits of paramedics being under the same protocols is not just that in the event of a disaster the medications on-board an ambulance would be interchangeable and that medical treatment would be standardized at optimum levels, but also it reduces cost because as we come under the Harris County Health Department, we become immune to frivolous lawsuits.”
Crosby medics get new director, premier service
By LEWIS SPEARMAN