Spirit EMS answers over 1,800 calls in 2023 in Shelby County


GREENVILLE — Spirit EMS, a family-owned emergency medical services provider, has been a beacon of commitment and care in Shelby County, answering over 1,800 calls for service in the past year.

“As we step into 2024, the organization celebrates its seventeenth year in business and fourth year as the exclusive ambulance service provider for the Houston Joint Ambulance District, spanning 47.9 square miles across Loramie and Washington Townships, including the village of Lockington and excluding the village of Russia,” said Brian Hathaway, Spirit EMS president/CEO.

His report continues:

In 2023, Spirit EMS dispatched 230 calls within the district, seeing a 9.4% reduction in call volume compared to the previous year. Impressively, Spirit EMS remained self-reliant throughout the year, handling every call without mutual aid.

During the year, Spirit EMS maintained an exceptional response, with secondary ambulances dispatched for 2.6% of calls, ensuring continuous coverage during simultaneous emergencies. The distribution of calls shifted, with a 42% decrease in the village of Lockington, an 11% increase in Loramie Township, and 23.1% fewer calls in Washington Township. The organization’s transport rate from the scene increased to 77.8%, underscoring the trusted care provided to patients. Response times also improved, with faster enroute and scene arrival times.

Beyond these statistics, Spirit EMS conducted over 1,500 additional emergency and non-emergency transports across the county, thanks to growing partnerships with healthcare facilities and community organizations.

With operations based in Fair Haven Shelby County Home since 2011 and a second station opened in 2021 in Houston, Spirit EMS operates a fleet of five ambulances in Shelby County. Notable achievements in 2023 include the successful launch of an Australian paramedic Visa program, one of the first of its kind in the nation, aimed at addressing the paramedic workforce shortage locally. By April 2024, this initiative will have increased Spirit’s daily paramedic coverage by 40 hours.

Australian paramedics are eager to get the experience they set out for when they obtained their bachelor’s degree in paramedicine. Therefore, bringing them to the United States allows them to get the experience they are looking to achieve and allows us as an organization to fill an unmet need.

Spirit EMS also partnered with Four County Career Center to sponsor a paramedic class for 12 of its EMTs, with completion expected in December 2024. Addressing the aging EMS workforce, Spirit EMS hosted an EMT boot camp for high school students, providing a hands-on introduction to the EMS profession.

Media engagement has been a priority, with weekly emergency call volume publications and features highlighting community impact. Spirit EMS participated in twenty community parades and strengthened collaborations with law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies.

Looking ahead, Spirit EMS is poised for growth due to the Ohio Medicaid budget expansion, which includes a significant increase for medical transportation providers. With enhanced recruitment efforts, an improved benefits package, and the integration of Australian paramedics, Spirit EMS is set to expand services, including serving over 130 agencies, facilities, and hospitals currently on its waiting list and deploying more ambulance crews.

Spirit EMS plans to continue EMT scholarship offerings, with intentions to hold at least four EMT classes this year. The innovative “earn while you learn” program provides a rigorous seven-week training regimen held mostly on weekdays with an occasional weekend commitment. Featuring a dynamic learning environment, the curriculum includes hands-on experience, cadaver lab visits, emergency vehicle operation courses, and specialized training with Darke County Chief Medicolegal Death Investigator Joe Van Vickle.

As we move forward in 2024, Spirit EMS upholds its commitment to Shelby County with the motto “Our Family Taking Care of Your Family,” ensuring continued excellence in emergency response and care.

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