Mon, Mar 4, 2019 at 09:20 PM
The Advertiser-Gleam reports on the many ways our EMTs serve the community.
The Marshall Medical Ambulance Service provides a wide variety of emergency services to Guntersville and surrounding Marshall County.
According to Assistant Director Jacob Babb and Paramedic Nick Guttery, they provide ambulance services all throughout the county; responding to medical calls, traffic accidents, and providing non-emergency transport to those who are bed-bound.
They said the Marshall Medical North and South services combined in 1991 to merge into the one service that takes care of the whole county now, but they will also support EMS services in the surrounding counties if they need extra help.
Although most of the services they provide are within the county, they will transport patients as far as Birmingham and Huntsville based on need. They’ve even transported patients as far as Mobile.
Babbs said ultimately it is the patient’s decision where they want to be treated, so in the cases where a patient is able to make that decision, they try and help them make an informed one.
The ambulance service doesn’t just respond to emergency situations, however, said Guttery. He gave an example of a hospice patient who wanted to see the construction of a bridge, but wasn’t able to transport himself, so the ambulance was able to take him.
“It’s not just an emergency service,” he said.
He said they also do work with local schools to teach students about the ambulance service.
Babbs said they don’t like for a child’s first experience with the paramedics to be during an emergency situation, so they go to the schools to make sure they know them, and know that their job is to help.
They also host classes with other EMS departments to help train other departments like the police on how to deal with situations where critical care is needed.
He said the service has six 24-hour ALS ambulances in their fleet right now, but that number could rise if the need increases.
“If that need grows,” he said, “we’ll make that adjustment.”
Babbs said his father was in the EMS service when he was young, so he spent most of his life around first responders and never really considered doing anything else. He said he likes helping people, and EMS is a good career to be able to do that.
“Some people are just service minded,” said Guttery. “We’re here for the people.”
Alexander Cooper of The Advertiser-Gleam in Guntersville covered this story as part of the newspaper's annual First Responder publication. We appreciate The Gleam making the story available to our HealthSmart blog.