GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Transitioning away from its current Medical Director, Gilmer EMS told the Board of Commissioners that they would be gaining certain capabilities that even Piedmont’s local Emergency Room does not apply.
Fire Chief Daniel Kauffman and EMS Chief Andrew Burnette told the board that the transition to a new medical director would allow for new vision and direction. However, that comes at an increase in costs. An increase of $500 per month according to the board. Chief Kauffman said that he has found some space in his budget to cover the remainder of 2022 and would look to add the increase into future budgets, possibly under contract services.
Post Commissioner Hubert Parker questioned the change, noting that documentation said that the current Medical Director’s affiliations with Piedmont was also a question for the change. Kauffman noted that they will be looking at a new director specially trained in disaster management, pre-hospital care, and ems care. With this transition, he also noted that it will widen the scope of care in our county and benefit us as our medical personnel are usually with patients much longer. While we have the local emergency department, certain emergencies are beyond their scope of treatment, meaning that ems will take patients directly to another location further away.
Broadening the scope of care in transit will not exceed state mandates as Kauffman noted the current direction is more limited than what the state allows.
Chief Burnette stated, “With this being an ER only up here, they don’t have all the cutting edge treatments and stuff that paramedics are allowed to do.”
Some of these situations include heart attack treatment in ambulance, an earlier response than waiting for arrival at a hospital. With state allowances far beyond what is being locally allowed, the new director focused on those issues would change the county’s protocols in ambulance and immediate responses. This could range from practices and procedures to applications of certain drugs. The full changes have not been explored yet.
As the county approved the change, the specific protocol changes will take effect in coming months with a new director once contracted.