Richland County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was honored by a statewide EMS organization for its multi-faceted approach to community service.

At the SC Emergency Medical Services Network Annual Symposium Award Ceremony held recently, Richland County EMS was recognized as the 2015 EMS Large Service of the Year. The County’s EMS staff, part of the Emergency Services Division (ESD), was cited for its programs to assist and educate residents, its collaboration with local hospitals and its response during the October flood event.

“Richland County’s EMS workers are proud of the service they provide to the community through emergency response and educational outreach,” said Michael Byrd, Director of the ESD. “And this award exemplifies how committed they are to providing the highest level of service every day.”

Richland County EMS, which responds to more than 70,000 calls annually, was cited for the following accomplishments in 2015:

  • Implemented newly revised patient protocols
  • Provided service to more than 650 special events
  • Participated in several public events and fundraisers for non-profits, including Pawmetto Lifeline, Sister Care, American Cancer Society and American Red Cross
  • Provided free initial emergency medical technician training to volunteer fire fighters to improve medical response in rural areas
  • Received the National American Heart Association Mission Lifeline award for its efforts to improve the treatment of patients who experience a type of severe heart attack known as a ST Elevation Myorcardial Infarction, or STEMI
  • Initiated South Carolina’s first Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) Collaborative. The MIH program meets the needs of low-income residents and has worked with more than 100 patients to save more than $300,000 in healthcare cost through education, resource guidance and assistance.

The Richland County EMS team also was lauded for its work during the devastating October 2015 flood. EMS maintained a disaster mode of operations for 45 days, responding to 9,000 calls for assistance – without requiring assistance from any other EMS in the state.

In addition to the “Large Service of the Year Award,” Richland County also had an individual award winner. Cynthia Plant received the Jack Niles Award for providing outstanding EMS education.

“No doubt, 2015 presented many challenges for the EMS staff,” Byrd said. “But we have great people, like Ms. Plant, who deeply care about the community they serve.”