Williamsburg, VA – EMS Week 2014 features a number of training and appreciation events for local fire, emergency, hospital and law enforcement emergency response teams, including a national speaker, community disaster training and a regional awards ceremony at Busch Gardens. The week ends June 5th with a private art exhibit unveiling at Riverside Doctors’ Hospital Williamsburg (RDHW) featuring local First Responders teams in action. The striking photos of First Responders on the job, taken by local Michael Taylor of Sigmon Taylor Photography, will be permanently displayed in the Emergency Department at RDHW.

The hospital just passed one full year of operation, and the relationship between local first responders and first receivers in the emergency department (ED) grows stronger. The EMTS and the ED staff share many of the same skills – they think fast, move fast, use their medical knowledge to make quick decisions and cope with the stress of the job. Both require a lot of training, and the two groups rely on each other for patient care.

“We’ve done a lot of outreach to build these relationships, starting even before the hospital was built, with James City County, the city of Williamsburg and York County. We are here to serve the whole community,” said Dr. James McCorry, the RDHW Emergency Department Chief.

Many of the certified EMS providers also pick up shifts in the Riverside ED as technicians, offering an even stronger relationship based on respect, familiarity and communication.

“Having another hospital helps cut down our out of service time for our two ambulances,” said City of Williamsburg Fire Chief Pat Dent. He notes that all firefighters are also EMTs, although there are three levels of certification. “We are committed and fortunate to have community support. It’s good for the whole community that we have that relationship and communicate well,” he said.
“Communication is excellent, and we involved everyone very early in the process, so there are no barriers. We just do our best for our patients,” Jane Burnette, the RDHW ED Nurse Manager.

RDHW’s recent certification as a primary stroke center means even more patients are delivered in the event of a suspected stroke to the ED. After a year of operation, Riverside Doctors’ Hospital serves the community’s health needs, but has also cemented itself as an integral part of the greater Williamsburg community. Supporting EMS week shows their interest in collaborating across jurisdictional and job function to prepare and care for the health care and emergency needs of the community.

Published: May 20, 2014