Galveston Area Ambulance Authority recognizes National EMS Week
In their moment of need, and vulnerability, Galveston County residents can rest assured knowing Galveston Area Ambulance Authority (GAAA) is there to help and provide the highest quality of emergency medical care.
Providing timely and efficient care, all while being compassionate and helping their neighbors, is at the core of GAAA services.
Galveston County Health District (GCHD) recognizes GAAA during National EMS Week, May 19-25.
“A lot of times, we’re not catching people on their best day. It’s usually when they are most in need and vulnerable,” Director of Emergency Medical Services Amy Weber said. “I take pride in knowing the men and women who serve at GAAA do so because they are passionate about helping others and being there in a time of need. It can be challenging, and emotional, but it is so worth it.”
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 2018, GAAA responded to 13,328 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 3,371 non-emergency transfer calls, which often involves transferring patients between medical facilities.
GAAA currently employs 81, 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 GAAA is unique in that it includes rural areas, urban areas, beaches and the waterways surrounding Galveston County.
Within the past year, GAAA, with the support of Galveston County Commissioners Court, added a peak hour unit in the Bacliff area and developed a continuing education program with approval from the Texas Department of State Health Services for employees.
“I’ve really enjoyed our educational opportunities over the past year,” Weber said. “It’s rewarding to see the growth within our service. I’m looking forward to building our field training officer program to help mentor and guide new medics.”
In addition to responding to 911 calls, GAAA also provided coverage for 23 special events on Galveston Island – Mardi Gras, Ironman and Lone Star Rally – by setting up an “agency within an agency” to handle calls specifically related to these types of events. They also offered standby coverage at 22 local high school football games.
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.
“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.”