When you need them

Mifflin County honors first responders

Sentinel photo by TYLER RUPERT
Paramedic Abygale Abrashoff, left, treats a patient in the back of ambulance EMS 12-2 while Sarah Duvall shadows on her first day with FAME EMS. Nicholas Zimmerman transports the duo to the Emergency Care Unit at Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital.

Editor’s note: In honor of EMS Week (May 15 to 21), Lewistown’s FAME EMS Chief, Pat Shoop, extended an offer to The Sentinel to ride along with workers as they performed their duties and shed some light on the commitments, dedication and compassion they provide to the community when in need.

LEWISTOWN — Mifflin County’s commissioners declared this week to be EMS week, noting that Emergency Medical Service personnel often blend into the background and deserve to receive more recognition.

As Mifflin County residents take a closer look at EMS personnel, they will find that staff members have departmental infrastructure inside the general infrastructure that is quite complex.

A person can receive an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) certification for around $500 with about three to four months and 75 hours of training programs at places like the Mifflin County Academy of Science and Technology.

Anyone may acquire an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification in about twice that time for approximately twice the cost. It usually takes a person around six months and 200 hours for acquisition.

FAME hosts Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and first aid classes at the Lewistown location on Valley Street. At the Lewistown location, aspiring EMS personnel may gain a basic understanding of situational awareness, how to control bleeding, what signs and symptoms to look for if someone is diabetic as well as if you should move someone and how to do it properly.

Each FAME crew is permitted to administer specific modes of care. EMS workers offer advanced life support (ALS) and basic life support (BLS).

A BLS unit will usually have multiple EMTs, while an ALS unit will have a paramedic apart from the EMT. A BLS provider typically cannot use needles, administer certain medications or perforate the skin.

FAME is prepared for many circumstances with situational equipment to transport one throughout narrow hallways, up and down steep staircases and around tight turns inside a structure. Between patients, equipment is restocked, sanitized, re-sheeted and otherwise prepared for the next use.

Paramedics record everything from the time they arrive on a scene, through the treatment process and even once they arrive at home base. The cardiac monitor automatically records data and transmits it to the computer system at base as well.

“Anything you could think of in health care, we’re involved in. We’re doing emergencies and transporting patients from Lewistown to Danville, Hershey and Mount Nittany everyday,” FAME EMS Chief Pat Shoop said. “We have eight ambulances, six wheelchair vans and a special response vehicle in case, God forbid, we have a disastrous event with multiple victims.”

Last year FAME received 5,342 calls with an annual average of 42 calls a day.

“So far this year we are on track to have 100 more calls than last year,” Shoop said.

FAME EMS has a subscription plan that saves on out-of-pocket payments if insurance is billed and covers emergency services and provides a 50% discount for non-emergency transport services such as the wheelchair van. To sign up, stop by 701 Valley St. or call (717) 248 5553 and request an application by mail.

The county recognized the following FAME EMS personnel and volunteers:

Paramedics: Chief Patrick Shoop, Deputy Chiefs Mike Coldren and Eric Howell, Captains Patricia Forshey, Troy Long and Justin Martin, Abygale Abrashoff, Kristine Bair, Jane Anne Barrow, Harley Bilger, Jack Bonsell, William Brenneman, Wendy Ehrenzeller, Matthew Evans, Brittiani Everts, Bart Ewing, Kolby Forry, Chris Hockenberry, Tammy Long, Carolyn Love, Phil Lucas, Shawn Peters, Joe Shade, Jeremy Sorg, Trent Summers, Daniel Toddes,

Adam Waite, Andrew Willman and Nicholas Zimmerman.

EMTs: Ryan Barlett, James Carter, Todd Clewell, Eric DeArment, Brian Fleegal, Alycia Hetrick, Deven Jenkins,

Patricia Leiter, Zachary Leitzel, Crystal Matthews, Desiree Orndorf, Casey Perrotta, Charles Phillips, Nick Price, Jesse Rinker, Susan Shinners, Kelley Shoop, Gregory Stottle, Ashley Swartz, Madison Tate, Jacinda Varner and Mark Williams.

Attendants: Gage Fultz, Mark Gisewhite, Jordan Martin, Jill Miller, Elizabeth Spicher and Isabell Wagner.

Wheelchair van operators: Mick Abrashoff, John Bretz, Wilmer Hancock, Randy Haubrick, Michael Howell, Robert Knepp, Patrick Pauly, Walter Renninger, George Sarra, Douglas Sheperd, William Snook and William Womer.

Office Manager Julie Whitesel and secretaries Jolene Bowersox and Phyllis Wagner; and members of the board of directors, Deb Bargo, John Curto, Mike Dukes, Mark Ellinger, Bob Lepley, Donald Warntz and Richard Wilcher.


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