Crittenden EMS Hmbulance
Crittenden EMS ambulance service transported its first patient on May 11, 2005. The company was the vision of two local paramedics who saw a need to personalize emergency care to the citizens of Crittenden County.
Tony Shuburte had been the manager of another ambulance service in Crittenden County for over 20 years.
Hudson Hallum was a full time firefighter/paramedic with the City of West Memphis and a volunteer firefighter in Marion. They shared a passion for providing quality, courteous patient care in a timely and efficient manner. Genny Hallum, longtime local business owner, partnered in the company to provide a business mind to the equation.
The company started with three ambulances and about 10 full-time employees. At the time, due to the extensive cost of medical equipment, the most advanced technologies were not available. Over the years, the company has grown extensively, both in size and the quality of service to the community.
CEMS Ambulance service now provides Emergency and Non-Emergency transports in Crittenden, Cross and St.
Francis counties. In July 2016, Crittenden EMS-St Francis County officially went into service at 1406 N.
Washington St., in Forrest City, providing 24-hour-a-day paramedic emergency ambulance response to areas in St Francis County. With stations already in operation in West Memphis, Parkin, and Wynne, CEMS now provided emergency medical services to a population of nearly 100,000 people and an area spanning 1,900 square miles.
“We are very proud of the growth and progress of our company and thank the communities that allow us to serve their citizens!” said Hudson Hallum.
CEMS’s paramedic quickresponse vehicles can respond to a scene quicker than an ambulance can arrive and provide any necessary lifesaving treatment to a sick or injured patient. The first year they were open, CEMS made approximately 6,500 calls for service. By 2012, that number had nearly doubled and continues to grow exponentially each year.
CEMS has received over thousands in grants to improve technology. They have acquired advanced cardiac monitors that can read and diagnose potential heart attacks in the field and have the capability to transmit this to a receiving hospital. They have also added IV pumps, ventilators, automated vital sign monitors, EZ-IO drills for intraosseous (in-the-bone) infusions, and a compliment of over 30 lifesaving medications.
The company has also been a pioneer in Arkansas for implementing new treatment guidelines for certain emergencies. In 2010, the company partnered to develop a program for the treatment of a STEMI, the worst possible type of heart attack the is fatal if not treated almost immediately. EMS crews were trained to identify these heart attacks using advanced cardiac monitors and then transmit their findings directly to the Methodist Hospital Cardiac Cath Lab in downtown Memphis. Patients are now taken directly to the Cath Lab from the field, bypassing the emergency department and saving valuable time. At Methodist University Hospital, their door to cath lab time for a patient that arrives on their own is 90 minutes. CEMS has an average time of 60 minutes from the __________ time of 911 till the patient | is laying on the Cath Lab table, even from remote areas of the county.
This is beating the hospital time by an average of 30 minutes. In 2012, CEMS became the first ambulance service in the state to have the capabilities of induced hypothermia. This is a treatment for cardiac arrest patients that stop the death of valuable brain cells during the arrest.
As Crittenden County has been without a hospital since Crittenden Regional Hospital closed in 2014, first response urgent care has become even more critical and CEMS remains on the leading edge in providing that care.
Crittenden EMS has begun an advanced severe sepsis protocol that will include the collection of blood cultures and prehospital administration of antibiotics. “This may not seem like a big deal to the average citizen but sepsis is a severe infection of the blood stream that __ can be extremely deadly,” Hallum explained.
“For every hour shaved off the time a septic patient receives antibiotics, their risk of mortality decreases an average of 8% an hour. That’s huge!
We are proud to be among a few agencies nationwide to have an aggressive protocol for this treatment. It would not be possible without the invaluable partnership that our agency shares with Methodist-LeBonhuer Healthcare who has been instrumental in implementing this process.
This will save lives as Crittenden County and other areas in the Delta region have some of the highest sepsis mortality rates in the nation.”
In an effort to continue to advance prehospital patient care, Crittenden EMS will has also added the following medications to their expansive cache of tools to provide the highest level patient care available
• Moxifloxacin (Avelox) for penicillin allergic sepsis patients • Cefazolin (Ancel) for open fractures and penetrating trauma to reduce life threatening infections associated with these injuries
• Tranexamic Acid (TXA) for the treatment of life threatening blood loss associated major trauma
• Nicardipine (Cardene) for the treatment of severe hypertension in stroke patients to allow for faster administration of clot busting drugs 'The addition of two additional antibiotics will make Crittenden EMS of only a few ambulance services nationwide that have the capability to treat all septic patients, including those with penicillin allergies, and provide for the prophylactic treatment of trauma patients to reduce life threatening infections that often result in the death of the patient,” said Hallum. “We are thankful that our medical director has the confidence in our crews to allow them to operate with standing orders for the use of these medications rather than requiring crews to follow burdensome requirements to seek medical control prior to treatment. CEMS will continue to work hard to provide the best patient care available to those we serve in their time of need.”