Valdosta, GA – South Georgia Medical Center’s Mobile Healthcare Services was named “Service of the Year” at the Region 8 Emergency Medical Services Appreciation Banquet held at Spence Field in Moultrie on February 25, 2016.According to EMS Administrative Director David Bauch, MPA, RN, BSN, Paramedic, SGMC was awarded Service of the Year because of a long list of accomplishments including advanced education and training, commendations and recognition from physicians and hospitals, community and regional service projects and participation in regional and state events. Also at this year’s banquet, 59 Life Save awards were presented to EMTs and Paramedics with SGMC Mobile Healthcare Services who successfully resuscitated individuals in cardiac arrest. Continuing EMS education and training is one thing that places SGMC a step above the other agencies in Georgia. According to Chief Bauch, most agencies require their medics to maintain only what is absolutely necessary to stay licensed. “Because South Georgia Medical Center is accredited by The Joint Commission, we require all clinical staff to have their assigned critical skills validated at least every three years,” Bauch reported. As a valued community partner, SGMC works closely with the City of Valdosta, the City of Hahira and Lowndes County. Through a First Responder agreement, law enforcement and fire fighters respond to all motor vehicle accidents with injuries and all Code Blues. In return, SGMC MHCS provides free first-responder training for all public safety personnel belonging to these organizations. SGMC MHCS also responds to all structure fires to provide care to both patients and firefighters alike. “We also participate in Lowndes County 911 Center’s emergency medical dispatch program,” Bauch added.Other community service activities include routine standby at Valdosta and Lowndes High Football games, Valdosta State University Blazer Football games, Georgia Christian High Football games, Special Olympics events, and numerous other events such as road races and walks that are held throughout the community. EMS also participates in area school events to provide students with insight into EMS careers and to stress motor vehicle and bicycle safety. EMS also participate in SGMC’s Speakers Bureau, and provide paramedics to speak to schools, community groups and businesses.As the clinical training site for Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s (WGTC) EMS programs, Paramedic, Advanced EMT, and EMT students ride approximately 500 hours a month with EMS. “Our department provides 49 field preceptors for WGTC EMS programs,” Bauch said. “Our commitment toward WGTC has developed a multitude of EMS providers throughout Region 8 and 9 throughout our twenty plus year relationship.”In addition, MHCS participates in a wide range of disaster exercises for both the medical center and the community. MHCS personnel serve on community, regional and state organizations and committees to facilitate EMS education and quality EMS response.SGMC Mobile Healthcare Service responds to an average of 1,508 calls per month with an average response time of eight minutes. The service is staffed by 49 paramedics and 18 EMTs operating five EMS stations throughout Lowndes County. “For individuals who call 911 when illnesses, accidents or injuries happen, EMS is the first point of contact with SGMC,” said SGMC’s Chief Operating Officer Heath Evans. “EMS is on the front-line providing life-saving treatments and stabilization in a variety of emergency settings, including traumas. The medics’ skills involve the estimation of injury severity and the subsequent matching of patient needs with available resources. We thank these dedicated professionals for the care they provide in the initial assessment, stabilization and transportation of patients.”For more information, contact SGMC’s Community Relations office at 229-259-4421.