Hamilton Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) recently received the 2019 Region 1 Emergency Medical Service of the Year Award. The award is given by Northwest Georgia Region 1 Emergency Medical Services System in recognition for an excellent record and contributions to the community.
Region 1 includes Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker and Whitfield counties. HEMS also received the award in 1992, 1996 and 2005.
"HEMS has had the privilege of serving the citizens and visitors of Whitfield County since 1986, and for the past 33 years we have taken pride in pursuing excellence and providing competent and compassionate patient care," said Scott Radeker, director.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, HEMS reports to a voluntary Board of Trustees and provides performance-based reports to the Whitfield County Quality Review Committee bi-monthly.
HEMS provides exclusive 911 coverage for Whitfield County under a performance contract and also fully supports neighboring counties with mutual aid. HEMS responded to approximately 17,525 calls in 2018. The average response time for HEMS is seven minutes.
A system medical director is provided by HEMS for all emergency services in Whitfield County, including the Dalton Fire Department, Whitfield County Fire - Rescue and Whitfield County E-911. This allows for an integrated, coordinated response to patient care, regardless of the agency.
HEMS provided 1,540 hours in community relations and event coverage in 2018. HEMS is proactive in educating the public, including in hands-only CPR classes, stroke awareness, chest pain awareness and safety for children.
Obtaining full, three-year Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services accreditation in 2018, HEMS became Georgia's eighth EMS service to attain this distinction and Georgia's only hospital-based EMS service to achieve the accreditation.