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DHS news release

May 18, 2005


Contact: Bonnie Widerburg (503) 731-4180

Technical contact: Jeanne Arana, BSN (503) 731-4011, ext. 649

 

Life-saving efforts all part of a day's work

 


It was Christmas Eve and road and weather conditions in the Klamath Basin were treacherous. Suddenly a semi-tractor-trailer on Highway 97 jackknifed on the ice, crushing a Durango underneath it.

 

A paramedic rushed to the scene and found two people trapped under the trailer. Both were alive and conscious, although one had a broken neck. Paramedic Jane McLaughlin climbed into the Durango's back window and stayed with the accident victims, knowing all the while that the tractor-trailer might slip and further crush the vehicle.

 

Forty-five minutes later, rescue crews removed the tractor-trailer from the Durango and McLaughlin extricated the crash victim. Neurosurgeons later said that paramedic's efforts were the reason the person was still alive.

 

Providing vital medical help under difficult conditions is something paramedics and other emergency medical personnel do every day. This week, Oregon and the nation are honoring their work during Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for Children Day on May 18 and EMS Week, May 16 through 21.

 

"EMS personnel are the lifesaving link between severely injured or ill individuals and appropriate medical care," says Jeanne Arana, EMS director in the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). "This week honors the work of everyone who makes our emergency medical services and trauma system possible."

 

EMS for Children Day draws attention to the essential need for specialized emergency care for pediatric patients, according toDebra Danna, coordinator of emergency medical services for children program. "Children aren't little adults. They require particular medical services. When medical personnel are trained to provide the best care possible to Oregon's children, we can save lives," Danna says.

 

All week, DHS is sponsoring activities at the Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon Street, and other events are taking place around the state. NOTE: see list below.

 

DHS is responsible for planning, coordination, and regulation of statewide emergency services programs and systems. The goal is to ensure that Oregonians receive the finest possible pre-hospital and trauma care.

Emergency Medical Services Week 2005 in Oregon

All activities are free of charge, location is the Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon Street (at 7th Avenue).

 

May 16-20 (Monday-Friday) 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
EMS display and information; stickers and pencils available for kids in the lobby.

 

May 17-20 (Tuesday-Friday) 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Portland Fire Bureau fire engine display and information center in the lobby.

 

May 19 (Thursday) 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tours of an American Medical Response bariatric ambulance, specially designed for those weighing 400 pounds or more in the parking lot.

 

May 20 (Friday) 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Blood pressure checks by Portland Community College emergency medical technician students in the lobby

 

Local Fire and Rescue or Health Agency EMS Week Activities

 

May 21 (Saturday)
Hoodland Fire District #74 hold annual EMS Day. Display booths, auto extrication demonstrations, and ambulance tours.

Hoodland Park Plaza (Hoodland Thriftway), Welches, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

 

Oregon Disaster Medical Team conducts simulated disease outbreak with 100 mock patients in Paisley, OR.
Check in at the Paisley School cafeteria. Paisley is 50 miles north of Lakeview and 130 miles south of Bend on State Highway 31. ( NOTE: open to media only. Contact: Colin Smith, (541) 943-3197 or abo@centurytel.net)