Public Safety reviews EMS emergency plan and response | New

Galt’s Public Safety Committee voted July 25 to advance updates to the city’s emergency operations plan and also heard a presentation on emergency medical services from the Cosumnes Fire Department .

The regular meeting began with the selection of new committee leaders. Members chose Brian Schopf as Vice-Chair and Timothy Reed as Chair.

Police Captain Richard Small provided an overview of the plan, which outlines the city of Galt’s ability to respond to various disasters and its plans to handle them. It also caters to the Emergency Operations Center, which can be set up in the Galt Police Department’s Anthony Pescetti Community Hall.

The current plan was adopted in 2005, and although it has since been revised, Small said it was “a bit outdated”. A consultant reviewed the document and suggested revisions.

Committee members each received a copy of the proposed update, and Small said the document would be posted on the city’s website for 30 days. He said the department is seeking comments from committee members and the public.

After the 30 days, Small said, changes will be made based on the responses and the plan will be presented to city council for final approval. Police Chief Brian Kalinowski estimated that could happen in September.

In response to an earlier request from Reed, Cosumnes Fire Department officials spoke to members of the agency’s Emergency Medical Services Committee in Galt and the barriers they face in providing prompt service.

Deputy Chief Rick Clarke, who oversees the department’s EMS operations, said the time paramedics spend waiting for a hospital to accept a patient is a major issue.

Clarke said hospitals are generally quick to take care of patients with life-threatening illnesses; they often give lower priority to patients with less severe conditions. The ambulance team remains at the hospital with the patient and cannot respond to calls until the transfer has taken place.

To illustrate wait times, Clarke gave the 90th percentile transfer time – greater than or equal to 90% of wait times – for several local hospitals, from June 7 to July 5.

Clarke noted that Adventist Health Lodi Memorial, a common destination for Galt EMS teams, is “doing really, really well,” with a 90th percentile transfer time of about 23 minutes. Some other hospitals took much longer; The equivalent transfer time from UC Davis Medical Center was nearly two and a half hours.

To avoid waits at the hospital, Clarke said, the department will pilot a telemedicine program for patients who don’t need emergency care, which would allow them to speak with a doctor remotely. The service “is going to allow our ambulances to stay put and not transport them to the hospital,” Clarke said.

Reed, who worked as a paramedic, thought the program could significantly help EMS services.

Fire Chief Felipe Rodriguez said the department is working with hospital CEOs to reduce wait times, saying there will be a press conference on the matter on August 2. He also encouraged members of the public to exercise good judgment before calling 911.