By Jen Kastner
MIDLAND- Out of the 13,000 calls Midland Fire Department firefighters will receive this year, almost 90% will be from locals requesting emergency medical services (EMS).
John Hamilton, with the Midland Fire Department, says, "We do all that with six ambulances on a daily basis and it's a great strain on the fire department to service all those calls everyday."
The department continues to search for more medics to meet the demands of the booming population in the basin, but it can be a challenging.
"The oilfield robs a lot of that pool of people that we used to hire from," Hamilton said.
The department is convinced that there must be a better and more strategic way to handle the EMS side of business. Throwing more medics into the mix won't necessarily fix the problem.
Midland Memorial Hospital has been using the 68-Nurse program for several months and has found it to be extremely effective. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, locals can call nurses and ask for medical advice. There is no charge.
"They've helped people that really didn't need to be at the hospital and they weren't sure and they were able to help those people and help them avoid unnecessary costs," Hamilton said.
The department is intrigued with the 68-Nurse program. They're looking to partner up with the hospital and figure out how they can implement a similar program. Talks are in the early stages but soon the department will be hammering out a plan of action.