BERWYN, PA - This past month, Berwyn Fire Company Emergency Medical Services (EMS) volunteers gathered for a meeting to review training opportunities, operations and the process for new volunteers to become cleared as primary care providers on the ambulance.
Volunteers continue to play a critical role when it comes to response in the T-E community for Berwyn, especially when a schedule gap occurs due to down staffing of career staff or when multiple calls occur at once. A great example of this took place just last week when four EMS calls were handled within 90 minutes after 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 30th. Without volunteers being available to fill the role of driver or emergency medical technician (EMT), one or more of these calls would have experienced a delayed response due to waiting for mutual aid units from Paoli, Radnor, Malvern or somewhere else to arrive.
Another key way Berwyn volunteers provide support for the overall EMS system, is with those personnel who are part of the Quick Response Service (QRS) Team that was officially launched on May 1, 2019.
A number of firefighters and EMS volunteers have been equipped with automated external defibrillators (AED) for a number of years, which has provided them with the ability to respond directly to the scene of cardiac arrest calls. Due to the advent of the QRS Unit, many of these same volunteers have been issued an emergency portable radio, oxygen bottle, adult/infant bag valve breathing masks, and bleeding control supplies to augment their capabilities for response to minor and more significant medical calls.
While the Berwyn Fire Company Fire/EMS substation, located at 1485 Valley Forge Rd. near the Valley Forge Middle School, continues to improve response times and patient care outcomes, QRS personnel may still arrive prior to the ambulance crew to start providing patient care. If someone calls for an ambulance and it turns out the call is minor or the person does not want to go to the hospital, the QRS responder can take care of the required documentation and allow the ambulance crew to become available for other emergencies that may arise.
Berwyn career staff and volunteers work together to ensure the T-E community is well served every day. This coordination is a key element to ensure Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support incidents are handled promptly and professionally.
How To Volunteer
If you are interested in volunteering on the ambulance please fill out the following form at https://www.berwynfireco.org/apps/public/database/formAdd.cfm?Form_ID=18 so a member of the Membership Committee can get in touch with you to schedule an interview.
EMS Training for Volunteers
The typical EMS course is 150-200 hours that is governed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The course fee is paid 100% by the Berwyn Fire Company, which also includes covering your travel to training. New volunteers are very fortunate to have great access to local EMT course offerings in Chester County, including hybrid style courses that make it easier to balance personal life and work commitments.