When someone needs emergency medical attention, 911 is called, but who does 911 call? Whenever there is an emergency in our area, Madison County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are called to the scene. With a total population of 19,224 (according to the 2010 census) covering 701 square miles total, including 32 miles of Interstate 10, protecting Madison County citizens in times of medical crisis is by no means a small feat. Director of Madison County EMS, Lisa Jordan, is confident in her team's ability to help in times of emergency, saying, “every employee at Madison County EMS is very important to the service and the welfare of the citizens of Madison County.”
Madison County's EMS team includes a mix of approximately 16 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and approximately 19 paramedics, as well as a Director and Assistant Director. This primarily young and eager staff includes full, part-time and billable employees with experience levels that span up to 26 years. The Madison EMS outpost has five available ambulances: three ALS trucks, one BLS truck and one truck that can be used as either ALS or BLS, based on need. BLS stands for basic life support, and BLS trucks are able to perform any form of emergency medical attention that does not include capnography, telemetry, cardiac monitoring or administration of IV medications. These forms of care are reserved for advanced life support, or ALS, vehicles.
Madison County EMS was established in the early 1970's. During these early years, Madison County EMS was under the Sheriff's Department and only provided basic life support. However, in 1992, Madison County EMS got their first advanced life support truck, gaining ALS status for the county. Madison County EMS has since maintained, and even expanded upon this status, adding additional ALS vehicles, acquiring electric stretchers, attaining the ability to utilize three nearby helicopters and, more recently, gaining access to a “Fix-Wing” plane out of Valdosta Regional Airport. Additionally, Madison County EMS takes part in training up-and-coming EMTs and paramedics from North Florida Community College by taking them on ambulance clinicals. According to Jordan, Madison County EMS plans to continue on their upward trajectory toward the best, most efficient care possible for the citizens of Madison County and are currently under consideration for a financial grant, allowing them to purchase even more units and resources.