Delaware County Emergency Medical Services was recently named the 2020 EMS Agency of the Year in the state of Ohio, while its medical director — Dr. Ashish Panchal — was honored with the Frank Giampetro Distinguished EMS Educator of the Year award.
Both awards are distributed yearly through the Star of Life Awards program. The Ohio Chapter of Emergency Physicians and the Ohio Division of EMS created the program in order to recognize those who go above and beyond in service to their communities.
In order to be considered for the EMS Agency of the Year honor, agencies must be responsible for responding to emergencies and disasters, while also providing a direct delivery of care to patients. The program must be active in local education and provide resources for communities to better educate themselves on preventative care. Overall, EMS departments that receive this award provide exemplary service to the community they reside in. They help keep people safe and protect them when things go haywire.
This most recent award can be added to the numerous already held by DCEMS. One of those includes the national accreditation it holds from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services. The accreditation verifies that the program is at the gold standard for the industry and remains valid for three years.
DCEMS also received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award in 2019. It’s given to EMS programs that implement quality improvement measures to help patients who have experienced severe heart attacks.
When asked what the department is looking forward to in 2020, Director and Chief of Delaware County EMS Jeff Fishel stated, “We have Mission Lifeline Gold Plus, which is the highest American Heart Association accreditation you can receive. We look to retain that again this year.” The agency is also looking to improve upon its internal training department with help from Training Capt. Scott Gano.
Some changes have already begun for DCEMS. Its fleet has been upgraded with more effective Wi-Fi, and the commissioners approved the purchase of two brand new ambulances that were designed by employees of DCEMS.
The primary goal is to standardize protocol and care across the county by utilizing the systems that DCEMS has already put in place such as the Continuous Quality Improvement program. The program is designed to help identify areas of improvement within the EMS department and measure the improvements that are being made.
“We’re very humbled and very excited about it,” Fishel said as he lavished praise on his fellow EMS care providers. “We have 120 EMS personnel, and they are the ones that earned this award.”
The Frank Giampetro Distinguished EMS Educator Award is given to an educator who has made contributions to the EMS system that have helped improved the quality of care given to patients.
Panchal, this year’s recipient, is an emergency medical physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He works as the EMS medical director for Delaware County EMS and the Delaware County Dispatch Center.
When not working to assist residents in Delaware County, he works as the assistant medical director for the Worthington Fire Department.
Panchal conducts research that focuses on prehospital care to help improve the lives of patients before medical emergencies take place, in particular cardiac arrest.
Contact Alex Hulvalchick @amhulvalchick.