Galveston Area Ambulance Authority recognizes National EMS Week

County’s largest EMS agency responded to more than 18,000 calls in 2017

Post Date:05/16/2018 8:36 AM

Providing timely, efficient and compassionate care is at the core of emergency medical services offered by the Galveston Area Ambulance Authority (GAAA).

In a moment of need, and vulnerability, Galveston County residents can rest assured GAAA will provide the highest quality EMS care. Galveston County Health District (GCHD) recognizes GAAA during National EMS Week, May 20-26.

“We often encounter people at the moment in their lives where they are most in need and vulnerable,” said Amy Weber, interim director of Emergency Medical Services. “It can be challenging, and emotional, but the men and women who serve at GAAA do it because they are passionate about helping others.”

As the county’s largest EMS agency, GAAA delivers emergency medical services to Galveston, Jamaica Beach, Bayou Vista, Tiki Island, Hitchcock and unincorporated areas of Galveston County.

In 2017, GAAA responded to 13,654 calls for medical emergencies including heart attacks, falls, injuries, motor vehicle accidents, drownings, cardiac arrests, strokes, drug overdoses and acute illnesses.

The authority also responded to 4,404 non-emergency transfer calls, which often involves transferring patients between medical facilities.

GAAA currently employs 78, many of whom cover a total of six stations throughout its 165 square miles with service provided by six ambulances staffed at the Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) level and one EMS supervisor staffed 24 hours a day.

MICU is equipped to handle any type of medical or traumatic injury that may occur whether it is one patient or multiple patients. The service area for GCHD EMS is unique in that it includes rural areas, urban areas, beaches and the waterways surrounding Galveston County.

“When you’re experiencing a medical emergency, you may not necessarily think about the EMS agency that shows up to help,” said Kathy Barroso, GCHD CEO. “But, EMS response is crucial and can have a significant impact on the outcome. We are very proud of our EMS staff for the compassionate and high quality care that they provide to the many areas we serve.”

In addition to responding to 911 calls, GAAA also provides coverage for special events on Galveston Island, such as Mardi Gras and Lone Star Rally, by setting up  an “agency within an agency” to handle calls specifically related to these types of events.

This service allows event participants to get the care they may need, while Galveston residents continue to get full 911 service. Since these events compensate GAAA for services provided, taxpayers do not have to pick up the extra cost.

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