Vinton First Aid Crew wins regional Outstanding EMS award

The Vinton First Aid Crew was named Outstanding EMS Agency in the region by the Western Virginia EMS Council at their awards ceremony on May 31. Chief Wayne Guffey (right) accepted the award at the ceremony at the Jefferson Center. He is shown with Assistant Chief Chris Sayre.

The Western Virginia EMS Council has named the Vinton First Aid Crew the Outstanding EMS Agency in the region for 2018. Chief Wayne Guffey accepted the award at the Regional EMS Awards ceremony on May 31 at the Jefferson Center. The awards ceremony recognized outstanding persons, programs, and organizations.

The criteria used to select the winner of this particular award states that EMS agency must exemplify outstanding professionalism and service to the community whose high level of patient care is evident by innovative training, community awareness, preventive health programs, public relations efforts, and participation in local, regional, and statewide EMS systems. The selected EMS organization can be a governmental, commercial, volunteer, hospital, industrial, or air ambulance service that is directly responsible for responding to emergencies or disasters, providing the direct delivery of care.

During the awards ceremony, the Vinton First Aid Crew was described as “outstanding EMS agency comprised of more than 50 volunteers. While volunteer personnel are difficult to obtain and sustain, this agency has done just that. They are extremely active in the community logging over 40 EMS standbys for area schools and training 337 citizens in CPR and basic first aid, while answering 1163 volunteer calls in the past fiscal year. This agency provided its community with 23,000 man-hours and 5,500 service hours, answering 100 percent of the volunteer calls they were dispatched to.”

The presenter went on to say that the Vinton “recruitment program is strong, adding 20 new members just in the past year. This organization is dedicated to providing the best service possible to the community and citizens they serve.”

The reason the agency was recognized as outstanding in the region was evident from the report presented by Chief Guffey to Vinton Town Council on First Aid Crew activities in the month of May. The volunteers had a truck in service 100 percent of the volunteer time.

Vinton received 230 emergency calls in May–132 calls during volunteer hours from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. on weeknights and weekends and 98 during career hours Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Of those calls, 115 were for Advanced Life Support, 54 Basic Life Support, 25 fire calls, 13 for accidents, nine service calls, nine rescue assist calls, two rehab calls, two tech rescues, and one standby.

As for the location of the calls, 145 were in Vinton, 43 in East County, and 32 were assists in other sections of Roanoke County (17 for Read Mountain, five for Mount Pleasant, four for North County, two for Cave Spring, two for Clearbrook, one for Hollins, and one for Fort Lewis). Seven calls were for Bedford, three for Roanoke City, and one in Franklin County.

The medic (ALS) truck was marked up 89 percent of the time (this is the preferred truck); with BLS 11 percent.

The total transports for the month of May were 65 by the career staff and 60 by the volunteer crew.

Of the 132 calls received during volunteer hours, the Vinton First Aid Crew responded to 120, which Guffey said was the best response he remembered for one month.

Their fractile response time was an impressive 9.65 minutes when the standard is 12 minutes. Their average reaction time was 52 seconds after the call was received. The average time from dispatch to responding was under two minutes 96 percent of the time.

Volunteers put in 2,135 man-hours in May. Their total man-hours for the year are 10,260 hours from January through May. A total of 1,124 calls have been received in that time period, 476 during career hours and 648 during volunteer hours. So far in 2018, the Vinton First Aid Crew has responded to 553 dispatched calls of the 648 calls received.

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