May 20-26, 2018 is National Emergency Medical Services Appreciation Week.
On Thursday, doctors with Aurora Baycare Medical Center and Baycare Clinic are surprising local agencies as a way to say thank you. But it’s more than delivering lunch and treats; it’s about forming relationships and trust that can lead to better outcomes for patients.
The doctors made 14 stops throughout Brown County. Among them, County Rescue, Bellevue, De Pere and Ashwaubenon fire departments.
“This is a chance just to relax with them in their own environments and visit a little more on a personal basis,” said Dr. Steve Stroman, an emergency physician with BayCare Clinic.
These doctors work with the departments closely, doing special training and forming relationships with first responders.
“They're our eyes and ears in the field, an area that we would never see,” said Dr. Bob Zemple, an emergency physician with BayCare Clinic.
They get to the patients first during emergency and prep doctors when seconds count.
“They can get everything from EKGs to their basic vitals that way they're already prepped before we even arrive,” said Commander Randy Tews, Ashwaubenon Fire/EMS Operations.
Doctors have information coming in, which is extremely important when the patient might need special services or even a specialized facility.
“I think we have one of the best EMS systems in the state right now,” said Rich Annen, De Pere Assistant Fire Chief. “So yeah, it has a great, great outcome when it comes to our patient and their care.”
Annen said every single person plays a role before the patient gets to the hospital.
“So there's a lot of integral parts and tiered response that goes into the whole EMS system,” said Annen.
Days like this give responders and doctors a chance to get to know each other -- forming a one-on-one relationship. For patients, that means a better a chance at survival in situations that can be deadly.
“We're able to work together in the actual hospital setting, talk about care that was done in the field -- things that went well, things that maybe didn't go as well and work on how we can constantly improve patient care,” said Dr. Zemple.
Doctors and EMS say they have a special bond.
“There's certainly a personal toll to be had here,” said Dr. Stroman. “It’s a very stressful job and the things that they see aren't shared by ordinary individuals on a daily basis.”
National Emergency Medical Services Appreciation Week was started back in 1974.