The Sussex County Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a memorandum-of-understanding (MOU) between Beebe Healthcare and Sussex County EMS.
While the two entities have had MOUs in the past, EMS Education Coordinator Edward Engdahl Sr. said they now have the opportunity to expand the agreement for the purposes of education.
“Under the new MOU, paramedics will be afforded clinical learning opportunities under physician supervision in the operating room, in the cardiac catheterization lab, as well as the emergency room, to maintain a high level of proficiency in advanced airway-management and intravenous-access skills,” said Engdal.
According to the MOU, Beebe will provide on-site clinical learning opportunities for “paramedics to perfect their individual skills, with an emphasis on IV, assessment and intubation, including, but not limited to, intubating elective surgery patients under the guidance of the hospital’s anesthesia departments.
“The hospital will afford opportunities for new paramedics, experienced paramedics needing a generalized refresher on varied topics and procedures, experienced paramedics with identified needs in a performance improvement plan, paramedics with limited field opportunities and paramedics with low success rates for intubation.”
“Expanding the MOU to allow paramedic observation and education in the catheterization lab and operating room helps to maintain the high education and training standards of the paramedics by allowing more exposure to patients requiring specific skills, in a controlled setting, under the supervision of a provider who is a master in their field,” added Engdahl.
He noted that the expanded MOU would be at no cost to the County.
The council approved the MOU with a 5-0 vote. With council’s vote, the MOU went into effect immediately, for three years, terminating on Dec. 31, 2021.
In other County news:
• County officials — including Register of Wills Cynthia C. Green; Recorder of Deeds Scott M. Dailey; Sheriff Robert T. Lee; and Clerk of the Peace Norman A. “Jay” Jones Jr. — were sworn into office prior to the start of Tuesday’s meeting.
Newly elected Sussex County Councilmen Doug Hudson and John Rieley were also sworn into office by Sussex County Superior Court Judge Richard F. Stokes.
“I’d like to welcome our two new members,” said Council President Michael H. Vincent. “I’m sure you’ll enjoy it on most days… We’re all still learning. That never stops. That’s a good thing.”
• Hudson, who prior to running for council served on the County’s Planning & Zoning Commission, nominated Board of Adjustment Member Bruce Mears to fill the vacancy on the P&Z left by his move to the council. Mears will be interviewed at a future council meeting.
By Maria Counts