A Look At The Ambulance Service Offered In Glennallen

Highly Trained Professionals Can Provide Special Care To Copper Vall ey Peop le – Fast .  It Takes On ly 3 to 5 Minutes To Get An Amb...

Highly Trained Professionals Can Provide Special Care To Copper Valley People FastIt Takes Only 3 to 5 Minutes To Get An Ambulance On The Road. 

There's a first-class ambulance service operating out of Glennallen. Once upon a time, in the 1980's and 1990's, the Copper Valley had over 70 locally-trained active EMT volunteers, scattered throughout the region. But today, the ambulance service has been turned over to Delta Medical Transport. They respond with both an EMT-2 (capable of higher-end emergency medical service) and a trained paramedic on every emergency run. The service, which is based in the old Copper River EMS Bus Barn next to Cross Road Medical Center, makes a point of leaving the barn within 3 to 5 minutes of a 911 call. 

The service is owned and operated by Anthony White of Delta Junction. It had its start in 2011 in Delta Junction, up the Richardson from the Copper River Valley. The Country Journal interviewed Anthony White recently.

Here's his account of how a Delta Junction organization came south to Copper River Country to provide us with ambulance care.

In 2011, White said, Delta had a failing EMS volunteer system as its volunteers aged out. The closest hospital to Delta Junction is Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. White's company, Delta Medical Transport, contracted to take patients from Delta Junction to Fairbanks, as a fully certified and staffed emergency ambulance service, with paramedics on board. Paramedics are the top of the line in emergency medical service training. The service initially ran in this manner, at Delta Junction, from 2011 to 2015. In its early years it did not take 911 calls in Delta Junction, but was mainly a medical transport company.

Then in 2013, Delta Medical Transport took over the 911 responsibility in Delta Junction and surrounding communities, as far south as Summit and Paxson.

White said the CEO at Cross Road Medical Center in Glennallen contacted Delta Medical Transport and asked if they could provide Advanced Life Support Service. Anthony White said he then came down to Glennallen to meet with Cross Road, with the intention of conducting Advanced Life Support transport from Cross Road to hospitals in Mat-Su and Anchorage.

"My whole intention was not to run 911 in Glennallen," he said. "My intention was to provide a service not provided…" And that service was ground transport to hospitals, which was far cheaper than going by air medevac, and far safer than having your neighbor drive you, after a heart attack, to Anchorage by car.

When he was asked if Delta Medical Transport could also handle 911 calls in the Copper Valley, the company changed its operational plan, Anthony White told the Journal.

He brought in two ambulances to the Copper Valley. A full time EMT-2 driver came to live in the Copper Valley. The driver
runs day-to-day operations, and is the point of contact locally and the lead driver for Delta Transport.

Two paramedics, the highest level of EMT, rotate into the Copper Valley on an every-other-week basis. One paramedic lives in Fairbanks, and the other in Delta. They rotate out every Wednesday, replacing each other, Anthony White said.

The value of having an EMT-2 and a paramedic is that an advanced level of care is immediately available to the patient when the ambulance arrives, he said. These higher levels of training and licensing allow for IV's, airway work, cardiology, drug therapy and other more specialized care – while in the ambulance.

The Journal asked Anthony White to describe his service, and how it interfaces with another ambulance service being offered in Kenny Lake. He said that Delta Medical Transport has an agreement with the Kenny Lake (CREMS) volunteer squad. "If Kenny Lake can't field an ambulance in 7 minutes, or if somebody is having a serious problem that they can't handle, then we will respond, " he said.

"We will respond to any call for service that anybody has in the Copper Valley," Andrew White said.

"If there is a call for a motor vehicle accident, COVID, domestic dispute… If Kenny Lake wants us, they can call us for mutual aid at any time. If they don't want to respond to a COVID, we'll respond. If they can't respond to chest pain or a heart attack, we'll respond. If they can't field the EMT's, they can call us -- mutual aid -- and we'll go down there."

White added: "Our guys, they're out the door in 3 minutes. They jump in that ambulance and they go."

White is proud of the service that's now being offered to Glennallen and the surrounding Copper Valley when you dial 911:  "We've increased the level of service to the highest level of service you can get. We've decreased the response time down to 3 to 5 minutes for them to get out the door."


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