St. Luke’s EMS Physician Response Team Partners with Bethlehem Ambulance Crews Partners

 St. Luke’s EMS Physician Response Team Partners with Bethlehem Ambulance Crews Partners

BETHLEHEM, Pa., June 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The blue, gold and white Ford Expedition with the St. Luke’s logo on its doors rushed along Schoenersville Road in Bethlehem on route to assist an ambulance crew caring for a patient with an unusual, life-threatening medical emergency.

This specialized vehicle is a key component of a new partnership between St. Luke’s Emergency Medicine Department and Northampton County, aimed at saving more lives at on-scene accidents and incidents in Bethlehem.

Bryan Wilson, MD, St. Luke’s EMS Fellowship Director and Director the EMS Response program, explained: “This new collaboration with Northampton County and our first-responder partners puts our fellowship-trained emergency medical services faculty physicians and fellows in the field in a mobile manner to supplement and support the medically complex care provided by emergency medical technicians (EMT) and paramedics in the community.”

St. Luke’s mobile EMS Response Team is the first one of its kind in the Lehigh Valley area, currently serving ambulance units from the City of Bethlehem EMS, Suburban EMS and Bethlehem Township Volunteer Fire Company and expecting to add other units in the future.

The grant-funded $250,000 vehicle, like a mini-ER on wheels, is equipped with state-of-the-art heart monitor/defibrillator, integrated CPR and ventilation feedback devices, life-saving medications, advanced airway management supplies and a hand-held ultrasound machine. Plans are underway to carry emergency blood for on-scene transfusions when there is major blood loss.

Dr. Wilson was behind the wheel of the Ford that day, responding to a request for assistance from the EMS crew. Together, he and the EMS crew worked with staff from a cardiologist’s office to save the patient’s life after his pacemaker malfunctioned. The team was able to safely deliver the living patient to a nearby hospital for follow-up care. 

Based at St. Luke’s Anderson Campus, the EMS Response Team receives requests from an ambulance crew through Northampton County’s 911 Center. The Response Team also provides continuing hands-on emergency medicine education to first responders in the county. These services “help show EMS clinicians how much we value their expertise and possibly address recruitment and retention issues faced by EMS services professionals across the region,” added Dr. Wilson.

“What the EMS Response Team brings to that on-scene setting are extra hands and an advanced understanding of the patient’s pathophysiology (disease processes), so we can better the direct the care of the patient, in partnership with the on-scene EMTs and paramedics, thinking outside of the box, when necessary, to save lives.”

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 20,000 employees providing services at 15 campuses and 350+ outpatient sites. With annual net revenue of $3.5 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.

SOURCE St. Luke’s University Health Network, Inc.

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Fallon Wolken

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