The Alton Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team is celebrating a big birthday. For 30 years, the area’s leading provider of emergency care has been providing services for you and your family when in need.
Dennis Eyer, EMT, and Rex Allen Book, paramedic, have been a part of the team since the beginning.
“It’s hard to believe that it has been 30 years,” said Eyer. “The department started with around eight to 10 people and just two ambulances. Now there are 67 people.”
The area’s only hospital-based ambulance service’s coverage area has expanded beyond Alton to 475 square miles. In addition to covering a larger territory, the 11 ambulances in the fleet are equipped with more life-saving pre-hospital medicine and resources.
“We have a much faster response time and the technology on board allows us to learn more about a patient’s health sooner so we can diagnose and problem-solve,” said Book.
Every ambulance is equipped with Bluetooth technology which sends information about patients to the staff at the hospital.
“Our onboard EKGs can transmit information to our cardiac cath team. This means our ER team can be better prepared for the patient’s proper treatment when they arrive at the hospital,” said Jason Bowman, EMS manager.
The ambulances also have equipment that makes it safer for paramedics to transport patients and administer care.
“Some of the biggest changes that I have seen are the additions of self-loading cots and the self-compressing CPR machines,” said Eyer.
“We are so much better prepared because the hospital and BJC are committed to ensuring that we have what we need to serve the communities,” said Book.
Pictured above: Rex Allen Book, left, and Dennis Eyer have been with Alton Memorial’s EMS team since it started in 1988.