In December 2009, the New Castle County Paramedics became the first EMS agency in Delaware.
WILMINGTON (DE) BY GEORGE SHEA: In respect to National EMS week that ended Saturday, Delaware Newsline wanted to bring to light the very important role these men and woman play every day to provide the emergency healthcare services we otherwise would not have access to without the hard and dedicated work of the New Castle County Paramedics.
In 1974, President Gerald Ford proclaimed EMS Week to celebrate and recognize EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation. The 46th annual National EMS Week is held May 16 through May 21, 2021.
Last week, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer signed proclamations recognizing not only the New Castle County Paramedics but also workers with the county’s public works department.
“The heroic work that they do every day, particularly this last year putting themselves at risk,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “There was a dangerous virus we know now a fair amount of it is passed through sewage. We know now, at least in the early days going to a library, and sitting inside a library without a mask on, was dangerous.
New Castle County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was the first paramedic service in the first state. It’s been 46 years, and last year, they celebrated their 45th anniversary of advanced life support delivery.
In December 2009, the New Castle County Paramedics became the first EMS agency in Delaware, and the first ALS-intercept agency to achieve national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS).
I met with New Castle County Paramedics at Cranston Heights Fire Company. Cranston Heights Fire Company shares an engine bay with Medic 8, and they volunteered to stage a chest pain event with the help of an EMS personnel who works on the Cranston Heights Fire Company ambulance. Here’s a little highlight on what they do after you call 9-1-1 with the complaint of chest pains.
I got to tell you these guys are really good. Half way through this staged event, I began to think the volunteer patient had some issues that needed to be checked out based on Rick’s questions and evaluation, so I warn you, what you are about to see may appear real but it is in fact not a real medical event.
We spoke to the Medic 8 team, Rick Ross and Emily Mallon, They both have been Paramedics since 2014. In fact, they both graduated from the very first class New Castle County Paramedics held.
Rick says, It’s probably the toughest job you’ll ever love.
“It’s probably the toughest job you’ll ever love. This is my favorite thing to do, I love coming in here. I get to work with my friends, and getting to make a difference for people. It can be kind of demanding sometimes, but this is the best job there is.”
When asked about how COVID-19 has played a roll in how they serve the community, Emily says it’s definitely changed things.
“It’s definitely changed things a lot for us, we have to wear a lot of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) now. We had to wear some before on certain types of calls, but we’ve definitely had to take a closer look at what we need to wear and circumstances where we need to wear it, so we can protect ourselves, our families, and the patients we serve. Initially it kind of slowed our calls a little bit in the beginning but think we’ve picked back up to pretty much where we were before COVID started.”
Now New Castle County Paramedics is actually recruiting for the next class, so if you’re interested in learning more you can reach out to them at (302) 395-8184 or get more information on their website at nccde.org.
If you enjoy working with people, and like helping people in your community, this may very well be the job you want. Rick says, the only advice he would give is to not wait any longer.
“I would say don’t wait, whatever you can do right now to get involved and get in touch with us, absolutely do, we have a great presence, Not only on social media, but you can reach out to us by phone, Email or even in person. You can walk up to any paramedic station in the county and ask for information, they’ll have a card for you and point you in the right direction. The only advice I’d say is don’t wait any longer.”
Several Volunteer Fire Companies who have employee ambulance services were asked for interviews but did not respond to our request. We also reached out to Delaware State police Aviation and they rejected our interview for this story.