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Emergency Medical Services




Our Mission

Star of LifeThe EMS Division has a mission to provide the highest quality of pre-hospital emergency care to every resident and visitor of Talbot County Maryland. Our mission includes having a fully staffed paramedic unit available for every emergency call twenty four hours a day.

The Emergency Medical Services division is made up of 42 fulltime Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians along with 38 personnel that provide pre-hospital care to citizens and visitors of Talbot County.

The division maintains (7) Advanced Life Support (ALS) Units operating out of five Stations throughout the county and (2) Supervisor chase units. Five of the ALS units are staffed 24 hours a day seven days a week. All units are fully equipped with state of the art lifesaving equipment and maintain the State of Maryland Seal of Excellence issued by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems.

The five ALS units operate out of the Easton Airport (Paramedic 90), the Easton Volunteer Fire Department (Paramedic 96), the Trappe Volunteer Fire Department (Paramedic 93), the Saint Michaels Volunteer Fire Department (Paramedic 94), and the Tilghman Island Volunteer Fire Department (Paramedic 97).

The qualified E.M.S. personnel working in the field today are providing an invaluable level of treatment. The advances in medicine and pre-hospital care are constantly evolving. The existence of E.M.S. has saved many lives and will save many more. Citizens who may have had a heart attack in the past may have died, but with the advancement of E.M.S., the A.E.D. program, C.P.R. training to civilians and public education more lives are being saved. Individuals who may have endured serious trauma may have also died, but the advancement in fluid replacement, treatment of trauma and rapid transport via aviation have greatly improved survival rates.

Along with the strong desire to help and the challenge to heal through continuous training, the staff of Talbot County Emergency Services EMS division will ensure the highest quality care to the citizens and visitors of Talbot County.

The History of Talbot County’s EMS Advanced Life Support System

The beginnings of advanced life support in Talbot County started in the mid 1980’s. A group of five volunteers recognized the need for advanced emergency care and started a training program affiliated with Easton Hospital. In 1986 the group had secured funding and became one of the first dedicated ALS services on the Eastern Shore. This original group faced many hardships, including financial and funding difficulties, political setbacks and staffing issues. This group laid the foundation for the dedicated group that is now Talbot County DES Emergency Medical Services.

The History of Emergency Medical Services in the United States

Baron Larrey, known as the Father of Emergency Medical Services, developed the structure of emergency medical services (EMS), as we know it today. His idea was based on rapid access to the patient, field treatment, stabilization, and rapid transport to a medical facility while providing medical care. Baron Larrey was the chief physician In Napoleon’s Army. The Civil War brought EMS to the soldiers with the development of ambulance teams who assessed and provided field treatment to injured soldiers.

The first ambulance service in the U.S. began in 1865 at Cincinnati General Hospital and was operated by the fire department. Services followed in most major cities and were limited to those areas. The dispatch system was also very different from today. Operated by a bess, a weight was triggered to fall lighting a gas lamp to wake the physician and driver, a harness, saddle and collar to drop on the horse and open the stable doors.

In the early 1950’s (the modern father of E.M.S.) J.D. “Deke” Farrington M.D. and others questioned the lessons learned from military medical corps from pervious wars and why they were not being adopted by civilians to improve standards of care. E.M.S. and emergency medicine was not what we know today, interns were assigned to ambulances to provide care for medical, trauma and other emergencies. Hospitals were not set up to handle accident victims or serious trauma, so you may have gotten an opthamologist or dermatologist for a fracture, head injury or ruptured spleen. 

Until the idea of civilians being trained in the medical field as first responders and E.M.T.’s pre-hospital care was merely transportation in a hearse by the local mortuary patients were taken to the medical facility in the back of the hearse alone or at times with a family member. 

In 1966 the National Highway Safety Act was adopted and took steps to regulate EMS and care to the injured. Its goal was to regulate EMS training, promote state involvement, add community oversight, recommend radio communications, and establish a single emergency number.

In 1996 the EMS Agenda for the Future was drafted, which further connected the EMS with the other medical professions. That same year the EMS Education Agenda for the Future was drafted, which provided recommendations for Core content, Scope of practice and Certification of EMS professionals.

These things have all led us down the path to the emergency medical services we know today.

Special Operations

The EMS division is also responsible for maintaining a Special Operations capability. The special operations program is led by a coordinator within the division who maintains specialty equipment.

This equipment can be called on to assist our first response partners with various operations to include the ability to deploy mass casualty equipment, rapid deployment tents (temperature controlled shelter), an all terrain “Gator” unit, decontamination equipment as well as a fuel pump of trailer, and other equipment.

Additionally in cooperation with the County Fire Chiefs a foam trailer is maintained to support their operational needs as well a special units to support rehab needs.

The purpose of this program is to support our law enforcement and volunteer fire department personnel in their efforts to manage certain situations as well as to be able to support DES operations for Mass Casualty incidents.

In Closing

The Department of Emergency Services of Talbot County strives to provide the highest quality of service to meet and exceed the growing population and expand our duties to meet local, state, and national levels of care and protection.

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station 90
Headquarters - Located at the Easton Airport on Corkran Road and staffed 24 hours a day.

CERT - Community Emergency Response Team