The pandemic has meant challenges for Orangeburg County Emergency Medical Services, which is operating with fewer people while receiving more calls.
Retaining certified full-timers in EMS is not a new issue as emergency medical workers are in demand around the state and nation. In Orangeburg County, Emergency Medical Services Director Stephanie Givens said a decrease in full-time employees during the pandemic opened up opportunities for part-time employees to step up to fill in and address the department’s needs.
And new opportunities are available now, with EMS being proactive in seeking the best people to care for the people of Orangeburg County.
EMS has a program to recruit at local high schools and colleges and is offering ride-alongs to students planning to work in the field. EMS personnel also
now have the benefit of a recently hired progressive training officer, and they are working with new equipment and ambulances.
Givens said Orangeburg County EMS offers a family-type atmosphere for those providing lifesaving emergency medicine in helping the sick and injured. These people care about what they do and their community, also offering outreach and education.
The pandemic has meant changes as EMS comes into close contact with people having tested positive for the coronavirus. Personnel have had to adapt to wearing masks and taking other precautionary steps to protect patients and themselves from COVID-19.
Things to know about EMS
The Orangeburg County Emergency Medical Services program is dedicated to providing out-of-hospital acute medical care and/or transport to definitive care to patients with illnesses and injuries. OCEMS uses mobile data terminals equipped with specialized, state-of-the-art software for the purpose of processing patient care documentation. OCEMS also maintains a fleet of ambulances which feature customizations that make them particularly well-equipped to handle their unique task.
Equipment and apparatus: Communication with the local hospitals allows for crews to alert them of incoming medical and trauma emergencies. Protocols are in place for stroke alert and cardiac arrest. Air transport for the most severe trauma cases that need to be taken to a level 1 trauma center is available. OCEMS is able to make ground transports to two hospitals: the Regional Medical Center and Trident Regional Medical Center.
Staff: OCEMS has a large number of Department of Transportation-certified first-responder volunteers working within the county with their local fire departments. The OCEMS service conducts first-responder training classes for the local volunteers. First responders are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic first aid skills, which allows them to provide care until the ambulance can arrive on scene. OCEMS has a 911 Call Center facility built to withstand severe weather situations and equipped with a vast array of communications technology which aids our dispatchers in providing responsive assistance to those in need.
Stations: OCEMS operates 7 stations: Neeses - Medic 1; Orangeburg – Ellis Ave. Medic 2; Orangeburg – John C. Calhoun Dr. Medic 3; Santee - Medic 4; Eutawville – Medic 5; Bowman - Medic 6; Rowesville – Medic 7
Job opportunities: If you are interested in a career with the OCEMS, make contact at https://www.orangeburgcounty.org/171/Emergency-Medical-Services. The OCEMS non-emergency phone number is 803-533-6268.