Put-in-Bay EMS serves a unique and remote island community with professional expertise and resources one would expect to find on the mainland. Established in 1977, the service operates under the guidance of full-time Manager Patrick Rogers and Assistant Manager Bernice Walton. There are nine EMT Basic volunteers; members ten and eleven will finish the required 150 hours of EMT School in the near future. Put-in-Bay Township also funds paramedics and EMT’s who rotate through a dedicated duty schedule. The station’s connection to Mercy Health–Saint Vincent Medical Center, Toledo, provides the professional backing of a complete medical system.
Put-in-Bay EMS, on call 24/7, 365 days per year, runs two trucks May through October on weekends at Put-in-Bay. Middle Bass Island has an EMS truck on Thursday through Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Calls for assistance should be made via 911, said Mr. Rogers emphatically. When asked about guidelines for when to call or not call EMS, Mr. Rogers answered, “If you feel you need us, do not hesitate to call. We will find ways to aid you. Our community does not inconvenience us!”
Put-in-Bay EMS is an emergency service, but the operation also offers a clinic. The clinic draws blood on doctor’s orders on Thursday mornings from 8-8:30am. The vials are shipped to Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton for analysis. Vital signs are also read by the clinic. Due to a recent change in Ohio law, EMT’s can make house calls for initial medical assessments. Tele-medicine is already in use. Mr. Rogers anticipates full-scale Community Paramedicine to be a reality in the not-to-distant future. Since Ohio state law governs and limits the EMS “scope of practice,” the clinic does not stock antibiotics or long-term care medicine; only emergency medication is on hand. This mandates that EMS staff apply strong critical thinking skills. “Our primary decision is how to get you what you need and where you need to go,” reports Mr. Rogers.
In addition to dedicated staff, professional resources make outstanding emergency treatment possible at Put-in-Bay. For example, a state-of-the-art communications system; access to USCG assistance via Marblehead Station; Sandusky Fire Department Dive Team; St. Vincent Hospital and Cleveland’s Metro Health System Life Flight; and Put-in-Bay Police and Fire Departments. Put-in-Bay EMS maintains excellent work relationships with each of the above. Emergency communications rely on an 800 digital network, UHF primary, and digital MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communication System).
Finally, one area in which Mr. Rogers asks for community support is the placement of address signs. Currently, less than 50% of the island community has posted address signs. These assist first-responders and reduce response time to emergency locations. “To get us to you is a huge goal,” says Mr. Rogers. Put-in-Bay EMS can provide address signs. Call 419.285.2401 for information.