08:43 AM

Training the Techs

OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony is resource hospital for Rockford Fire EMT's

Dr. Butterbach (r) with Lisa Marie Johnson, OSF, addressing survivor event

They are often the first line of support in life-saving situations. 

Emergency Medical Technicians, or EMT's, play a critical role in the first stages of care for patients. OSF HealthCare's EMS training program has been an integral part of paramedic training and ongoing education in the Rockford region for many years. That includes Saint Anthony Medical Center being the resource hospital for the Rockford Fire Department.

Recently Rockford Fire held their annual "Survivor Event" where EMT's and first responders, as well as heroic bystanders are recognized for their quick action and exceptional performance in particularly perilous situations.

Dr. Daniel Butterbach, the OSF Rockford EMS Medical Director says this event defines how significantly more complex the job of an EMT has evolved. He says, years ago they were referred to as ambulance drivers. Now they essentially operate a mobile intensive care unit.     

"The expectations are many," says Dr. Daniel Butterbach, EMS Medical Director at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center. "On top of addressing the patient's needs, working through their standing medical orders and doing the right things. Calling to the hospital and presenting the case and alerting the ER as to what's coming. There's a lot of steps. It's quite impressive what they have to do."

Dr. Daniel Butterbach on complexity of EMS training

Dr. Butterbach, who has had occasion to observe OSF-trained EMT's in the field, says he's always impressed on the teamwork that happens at an accident or medical emergency scene. He's also quick to point out that another critical step is when the EMT's present the patient at the Emergency Department. It goes beyond simply the condition of the patient.  

"It's not just the care that the give, but also the information they they're able to obtain, which is really important," says Dr. Daniel Butterbach, EMS Medical Director for OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center. "What did the - what kind of shape was the apartment in - and - what do the family members say? At lot of times, if it's an elderly patient, maybe there's an elderly spouse who is not going to be able to come to the emergency department. So, those medics are really our voice for those people."

Dr. Butterbach on critical role of EMT at ED

Dr. Butterbach was attending his first Rockford Fire "Survivor Event". He calls the experience really rewarding and drives home the essential role OSF HealthCare plays in emergency medicine in the Rockford region. 

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