Monday, May 23, 2011

EMS and GBMC – True Partners in Caring for a Community

Last Tuesday, I was transported by the emergency medical system.
Thankfully, not as a patient, but as a guest of Captain Chuck Vaughn of Baltimore County Fire Department EMS 1 during National EMS week. I was fortunate to receive a firsthand look into the world of EMS workers during my ridealong and how first responders and hospitals work together to ensure superior care for patients.

I enjoyed my two-hour ride with Captain Vaughn, a very well-trained and humble man who explained that the largest part of the fire service in Baltimore County is EMS, with approximately 75 percent of the calls. I also found the relationships between career and volunteer firefighters and paramedics, and how they all cover for and help one another, to be an example of teamwork at its finest. Captain Vaughn explained to me that his people are so dedicated to their jobs that when some of them come off duty, they then report to the volunteer fire station – because they love what they do.

Over the course of the two hours, I visited with firefighters at Station 1 in Towson, stopped at Fire Department headquarters and met with Fire Director Wayne Tome, who supervises EMS operations for the Fire Department, and finally visited with firefighters at Station 11 in Hillendale. 

But just as we were getting ready to return to GBMC, a call came in reporting a person stabbed (or shot, it wasn’t immediately clear) at a supermarket on Loch Raven Boulevard. Things just got exciting, I thought, as we rushed to respond to this call!  Once at the scene, police cleared us to go in and the stabbing victim, who sustained a minor laceration to the arm, was transported to GBMC where he was handed off to the very capable hands of our Emergency Department physicians, nurses and staff.  When my heart slowed down a bit, I realized just how well designed this emergency system was – when the call comes in, paramedics, fire and police are all dispatched, yet the police officers make sure the scene is safe before the unarmed firefighters and paramedics go in to care for the victims. I felt a great source
of pride to be part of an even larger community system that is there for your loved one when needed. What if it were your uncle or brother who was just stabbed? You’d want to be sure there was a system there to help him. This was certainly an experience I won’t soon forget!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the annual GBMC Golf Tournament that was held last Monday at Turf Valley Country Club. From Jan Emerick and the Foundation staff to Dr. Rob Stoltz, Mike Forthman and the entire golf tournament committee, it was clear that countless hours were spent preparing for this great event that grossed more than $200K to benefit GBMC. I had the opportunity to golf with Dr. John Saunders, Dr. Neri Cohen and Dr. Frank Lee, and had a few good shots and a lot of not-so-good shots! But a great time was had by all and it was evident that so many community members and supporters of GBMC are truly dedicated to our future success.
There are some truly great members of our GBMC community- staff members, emergency workers, supporters and donors and many others – let’s take a moment to say thanks…


  1. This is completely unrelated, but I recently took Elevator C, in helping a patient go the Coumadin clinic. While I was in the elevator, I noticed that the DLLR Certificate of Registration had expired over 2 years ago! I was shocked, and not at all confident in normally uneventful elevator ride. Since that time I've noticed that almost all the elevators in this hospital have expired certificates. Do we keep them on file elsewhere, perhaps a small sign can be posted instead of the expired certicicates.

  2. John Chessare, MDMay 31, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    Thank you for your message. Safety of our patients and staff is our number one priority. The state of Maryland has changed their elevator inspection process, and due to budget constraints, the state no longer performs these inspections. Instead, the state has created a listing of approved elevator consultants who perform this accreditation on their behalf. This process has created backlogs throughout the state for all elevator inspections. GBMC is working with a state-approved consultant to recertify all of our elevators. This work will be completed by this summer. All elevators are in fine working order as GBMC maintains a service agreement with a very reputable service provider who performs preventative maintenance on all elevators on a regular basis. Should you have any additional questions regarding this topic, you can contact Bud Butler at 443-849-2171. Thank you again for being cognizant of safety.


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