In the 1960's, the ambulance service in the Dalton community was provided by four local funeral homes and were ran with the hearse. They called themselves Dalton Ambulance.
In the early 1970's, Whaley's wrecker service started his own ambulance business, this in competition with the existing Dalton Ambulance.
In 1985 the hospital sought to develop an ambulance service, sponsored by Whitfield county. Under the direction of Hamilton Medical Center and Norman Burkett, John Hitchens was brought in from Allina Medical Transport in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As an advisor, he helped develop HEMS. In 1986 J. Hitchens filled the position as director of HEMS.
Since January 1st, 1986, Hamilton EMS (originally named Whitfield EMS) provides all emergency, non-emergency medical calls and ambulance transport in Whitfield County.
From 1986 till 2002 ,Dr Marlow served as the Medical Director. Dr Pullen served as Medical Director from 2002- 2014.
State and Federal agencies who are involved with Emergency Medical Services, are authorized to use of the "Star of Life".
The logo was patented by the American Medical Association in 1967.
It represents the three rivers of life.
The six points were named by Leo Schwartz representing each one of the six functions of EMS :
Detection - Reporting - Response - On Scene Care - Care in Transit - Transfer to Definitive Care.
Medicine and Healing is represented by the staff of Aesculapius.
During the late 1700's, Napoleon Bonaparte appointed Baron Dominique-Jean Larrey to develop the medical patient care system for the french Army. Napoleon felt that leaving wounded soldiers on the battlefield increased complications, suffering and needless deaths. In 1797, they developed a method to send trained people out to the battlefield and provide medical care and transport to the field hospital. Larrey designed a carriage that could reach all parts of the battlefield, knows as the ambulance volante or flying ambulance.
Jean Larry can still be considered the 'father of emergency medical services'.
During the civil war, both sides attempted to continue the medical practices of Napoleon wars. Lack for funding, goverment support and dedicated personnel prevented the development of an effective system. Many soldiers lay wounded and died on the battlefield, due to primitive facilities. The ambulance service was run by the Quartermaster Corps.
At the Geneva Convention in 1864 an agreement was developed among European countries to recognize the neutrality of hospitals, the wounded and sick, all persons in medical care and ambulances. On August 1864, the organization adopted for its logo the reverse of the Swiss flag, later used by the International Red Cross.
In 1865, the first ambulance service in the US was created at Cincinnati General Hospital and operated by the fire department. Several major cities followed.
During WWI and especially WWII, the military medical corps became well developed in field assessment and early management of injured personnel. The civilian system lagged far behind.
In the 1950's, JD 'Deke' Farrington, father of the modern EMS, questioned why the practice by the military corps could not be brought into the civilian community to improve the standard of civilan care. At that time, in major cities, interns were assigned to ambulances to provide care for victims outside the hospital. Hospital had set up an 'unstaffed' ER at the back of the hospital (ever wondered why modern ER departments are in the rear of the hospital ? Tradition).
The 'ambulance driver' had to ring the doorbell so the nurse could unlock the door. After checking the patient, she called the physician. All physicians took turns 'covering the ER'. Many physians knew that they were uncapable to care for the injured but there was no alternative.
Until the concept arose that non physicians could be trained to provide this kind of emergency care, it merely provided transportation to the local mortuary. The patient was driven to the hospital in a hearse with no one in the 'patient compartment'.
Many people began to question the efficiancy and ethics of this form of transportation. In 1966, the publication 'Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society' was written by the National Academy of Sciences.
It became apparent that much improvement could be made by changing the emergency vehicles, training of personnel, communications, record keeping and the care provided upon arrival to the facility.
Dr. Farrington developed a trauma training school for the Chicago Fire Department that served as a prototype for the first EMT Ambulance (EMT-A) training program.
At the time that EMT-A training program was evolving, many others began to provide 'paramedic care'. It was not until 1974-1975 that Kansas had the statewide program going at the basic level and partially evolved at the EMT-Paramedic (EMT-P) level.
The initial training program was called the Advanced Training Program of EMT. The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) developed standards on which this course was based. They eventually wrote the National Standard Curriculum for the training progam for the EMT-intermediate (EMT-I).
Up until the late 1970's, under federal involment and under the leadership of Leo Schwartz, a new EMS act was passed that give money and responsiblity to the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
This act resulted in the development of state and local EMS regions throughout the United States.
The National Association of EMT's (NAEMT) was found in 1975 and represents EMT's at all levels. They share ideas and develop strategies for EMS across the state lines.
The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) was formed to provide leadership in medical direction of the EMS services.
Peoples lives often depend on the fast response and advanced care of EMTs and paramedics. Incidents may vary from automobile accidents, heart attacks, drownings, childbirth, gunshot wounds, ... all requiring immediate medical attention. EMTs and paramedics are trained to provide the vital attention as they care for and transport the sick or injured to a medical facility.
Depending on the nature of the emergency, EMTs and paramedics typically are dispatched to the scene by a 911 operator. They often work together with police and fire department personnel.
Once they arrive on the scene, they assess, examine the patient and determine the appropriate care for his condition. Following strict rules and guidelines, they provide transport the patient.
Emergency treatments for more complicated problems are carried out under the direction of medical doctors by radio preceding or during transport.
EMTs and paramedics use special equipment such as backboards to immobilize patients before placing them on stretchers. This will safely secure them in the ambulance for transport to a medical facility.
The EMT will drive the ambulance to the nearby medical facility. The paramedic will monitor the patients vital signs and gives additional care as needed. At the hospital, EMTs and paramedics help transfer the patient to the emergency department, report their observations and actions to staff, and may provide additional emergency treatment. After each emergency call, EMTs and paramedics replace used supplies, check equipment and complete the appropriate paperwork.
In addition to the procedures already described, paramedics may administer drugs orally and intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs), perform endotracheal intubations, and use monitors and other complex equipment.