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West County FPD, Washington University join in EMS program

By: Jim Erickson

The West County EMS and Fire Protection District has approved an agreement with Washington University that will provide part of the clinical training experiences for participants in the school’s emergency medicine services program.

The agreement is the first of its kind for West County.

As noted in the agreement, the university, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital have joined together in a graduate medical education consortium for all accredited residency programs at the three institutions.

The university is the parent organization for graduate education in emergency medicine services and is the employer for those participating in that fellowship program. The clinical training rotation for participants will be under the direct supervision and guidance of a university-designated physician.

Under the program, participants who are fully licensed physicians will be allowed to provide on-scene medical care while taking part in a ride-along program with West County paramedics responding to emergency calls.

Participants who are not fully licensed physicians will only observe patients and their treatment.

West County will require that each attending physician who permits a program participant to engage in patient care activities will supervise those activities, either by being on the scene or by being available to communicate with the participant.

West County, the fellowship program participant or the attending physician also must ensure that the patient is informed about who is involved with his or her care.

The agreement will continue on a year-to-year basis, unless it is terminated by either party with a 90-day written notice.

Jeff Sadtler, chief of West County EMS/FPD, described the new agreement as a win-win for the district, participants in the university program and West County residents, as well as others in the district who may have a need for emergency medical services.

“This kind of collaborative effort benefits all those involved, whether they be our first responders, the program participants or the patients receiving care,” Sadtler said. “We are pleased and proud to have this opportunity to be involved with a premier university in such a program.”

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