Under a modified agreement between Sussex County Emergency Medical Services and Beebe Healthcare, paramedics will receive more hands-on training at the Lewes hospital.
Under a new three-year memorandum of understanding approved by Sussex County Council at its Jan. 8 meeting, paramedics will receive clinical training under a physician’s supervision in the operating room and cardiac catheterization lab, as well as the emergency room, a continuation of the previous agreement.
Edward Engdahl, Sussex EMS education coordinator, said there is no charge for the program, which started in January.
He said emphasis will be placed on intravenous therapy, patient assessment and intubation, the insertion of a flexible plastic tube into a patient's windpipe to assist with breathing during anesthesia, sedation or illness.
Under the program, paramedics will receive instruction and be able to intubate elective surgery patients under the guidance of the Beebe anesthesia department. The county will require intubation training at least once every two years.
The training for new and experienced paramedics translates to care they give when answering calls.
“This helps our paramedics maintain a high level of proficiency in advanced airway management and IV access skills,” Engdahl told council.