Harnett County,
North Carolina

Emergency Medical Services 

About Harnett County EMS System

Starting In 1978

Harnett County EMS has been in existence since 1978 providing emergency care to the citizens of Harnett County under the Medical Direction of Dr. Stanley McQuade, MD. Harnett County EMS has also been available to backup any and all of the local rescue squads throughout the county and provide non-emergency transport care for the hospitals, nursing homes, and the invalid citizens of Harnett County. When Harnett County EMS began, all of the employees were certified at the EMS-Basic (EMT-B) Level. They were able to provide only basic life support to the patients who were transported.

In 1982

Harnett EMS began providing Advanced Life Support at the EMT-Intermediate (EMT-I) Level. In addition to the skills of a EMT-B, the EMT-I could insert intravenous (IV) catheters with the subsequent administration of IV fluids, perform DextroStix to obtain blood sugar level, administer Dextrose 50% IV for Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar), treat Anaphylactic Shock with subcutaneous Epinephrine, insertion of an Esophageal Obturator Airway, application of Medical Anti-Shock Trousers, and obtain venous blood samples from the patients who are treated and transported. In August of 1982 Dr. Stanley McQuade would turn over Medical Direction to Dr. Mark Glaser, MD.

In 1988

A need was seen for a higher level of care. At that time, Harnett EMS began providing advanced life support at the EMT-Advanced Intermediate (EMT-AI) Level. In addition to the skills of the EMT-B & EMT-I, the employees were instructed in Endotracheal Intubation, administration of Several Cardiac Medications to include Epinephrine, Lidocaine, Atropine, Sodium Bicarbonate, Nitroglycerine and other Medications. Other additional skills included applying a Cardiac Monitor/Defibrillator, Manual Defibrillation of a Cardiac Arrest Patient, performing External Cardiac Pacing. To obtain this Level of Training, Harnett EMS Employees had to attend an additional 72 hours of Classroom and 72 hours of Clinical Training if different areas of Good Hope Hospital.

In the spring of 1992

A decision was made to progress to the Paramedic level. On October 12, 1992, the employees began their training. This training consisted of 200 hours of Classroom instruction, 80 hours of hospital clinical, and 108 hours of field internship with other EMT-P organizations. Upon completion, Harnett EMS employees certified at the EMT-P would also be able to administer additional Drugs such as Valium, Lasix, Morphine, Thiamine, Dopamine, and Benadryl, perform Nasotracheal Intubation, Chest Needle Decompression, administer Aerosol Nebulizer Treatments, and perform Cardioversion for unstable fast ventricular and supraventricular rhythms. Since the implementation of the Paramedic program, there has been various changes in the Medications and Procedures allowed by Harnett Paramedics. They had three Paramedic Transporting Units (24/7 - two at EMS Base in Buies Creek and One in Northern Harnett) and One Daytime Intermediate Transport Unit (8am-5pm at Buies Creek)

On September 1, 1999

First Health of the Carolina started running all non-emergent local transports and all out of county transports. They provide the citizens of Harnett County with the same quality of service that Harnett County EMS provided since it's conception.

On October 7, 1999

Harnett County EMS underwent another major change. For the first time in Harnett County's history, there was Paramedic Coverage in every area of the county. The following describes all the changes:

Before October 7, Harnett EMS had 3 - 24 hrs Transporting Ambulance and One Day Time Ambulance. After October 7, The commissioner decided to restructure Harnett EMS as follows: Four Quick Response Vehicle (QRV - Paramedic Level) and Two Paramedic transporting units were established throughout the County. This is in addition to all the contract EMS Agencies (at various levels) that already exist in Harnett County.

The Paramedic QRV & Transporting ALS Zones are as follows:

  • County Wide - One Supervisor QRV furnished by Harnett County EMS at the Paramedic Level (EMS-3)
  • Benhaven & Spouts Springs - One QRV furnished by Harnett County EMS at the Paramedic Level. Transporting Units furnished by Benhaven EMS at the EMT-Intermediate Level.
  • Anderson Creek - One QRV furnished by Harnett County EMS at the Paramedic Level. Transporting Units Furnished by Anderson Creek EMS at the EMT-Intermediate Level
  • Boone Trail - One QRV furnished by Harnett County EMS at the Paramedic Level. Transporting Units furnished by Boone Trail EMS at the EMT-Defibrillator Level
  • Buies Creek & Coats Grove - One QRV furnished by Harnett County EMS at the Paramedic Level. Transporting Units furnished by Buies Creek and Coats Grove at the EMT-Defibrillator Level.
  • Lillington/ Summerville/Bunnlevel - One Paramedic Transport Unit furnished by Harnett County EMS
  • North Harnett - One Paramedic transporting unit furnished by Harnett County EMS
  • Angier/Black River - One Paramedic transporting unit furnished by Harnett County EMS.
  • Erwin/Duke – One QRV furnished by Dunn Rescue at the Paramedic Level. Transporting unit furnished by Erwin Rescue at the EMT-Defibrillator Level.
  • Dunn/Averasboro - QRV & Paramedic Transporting Unit furnished by Dunn Rescue.

This system enabled us to provide a first duty response time of 10-12 minutes countywide. This is a recommended goal proposed by Dr. Glaser, ALS Medical Director for Harnett County. This program has not affected the operations of the individual contract EMS Agencies in Harnett County. Every contract EMS agency operates independently as they have in the past to include the budgeting process, their elections of Officers and Board of Directors. Every Contract Agency continued to provide coverage 24 hours a day.

In July of 2005

Harnett County EMS resumed all Non-Emergency Transport Services from Firsthealth of the Carolinas. Harnett County EMS began operating 2 non-emergency ambulances 24hrs a day 7 days a week and 1 wheelchair transport van during normal business hours. This service allows those citizens who need transport during non-emergency situations the ability to receive this service without regard to financial status. To help coordinate this effort the service hired a Transport Coordinator who receives and schedules these transport request.

In 2009

Harnett County EMS began to change is staffing and unit dynamics by request of a few contract agencies. We have continued this staffing and unit dynamics to this day while continuing to maintain a first duty response time of 8-10 minutes countywide. Below is a list of primary 911 EMS response areas and staffing levels of each unit:

  • County Wide - One Paramedic Supervisor on a QRV & One District Chief on a Transport unit at the Paramedic Level provided by Harnett County EMS. (EMS 102 & EMS 103)
  • Benhaven & Spouts Springs - Two Paramedic's from Harnett County EMS and 2 Transporting Units furnished by Benhaven EMS with two EMT-Intermediate Level responders. (Medic 1 & Medic 13)
  • Anderson Creek & Flat Branch- Two Paramedic's from Harnett County EMS and 2 Transporting Units furnished by Anderson Creek EMS with two EMT-Intermediate Level responders. (Medic 2 & Medic 3)
  • Boone Trail - A Paramedic from Harnett County EMS and a Transporting Unit furnished by Boone Trail EMS with an EMT-Basic Level responder. (Medic 12)
  • Buies Creek - A Paramedic from Harnett County EMS and a Transporting Unit furnished by Buies Creek EMS with an EMT-Basic Level responder. (Medic 8)
  • Coats Grove - One QRV furnished by Harnett County EMS at the Paramedic Level. Transporting Unit furnished by Coats Grove EMS at the EMT-Basic Level. (Medic 6)
  • Lillington/ Summerville/Bunnlevel - One Paramedic Transport Unit furnished by Harnett County EMS (Medic 4)
  • North Harnett - One Paramedic transporting unit furnished by Harnett County EMS (Medic 14)
  • Angier/Black River - One Paramedic transporting unit furnished by Harnett County EMS. (Medic 9)
  • Erwin/Duke - A Paramedic from Dunn EMS and a Transporting Unit furnished by Erwin EMS with an EMT-Basic Level responder. (Medic 5)
  • Dunn/Averasboro - Two Paramedic Transport Units furnished by Dunn EMS (Medic 10 & Medic 15)

In February 2016

Harnett Health System requested to add Paramedic's to their ER staffing. This request was granted into our EMS System as the First Non-Traditional Practice settings for Paramedic's. Medical Director Dr. Mark Glaser appointed Dr. Dan Minor Assistant Medical Director for Non-Traditional Practice Paramedics to oversee these technicians.

On April 4, 2016

The Harnett County Board of Commissioners appointed Dr. Greg Christiansen as the Assistant Medical Director in preperation for the upcoming retirement of Dr. Mark Glaser. Dr. Greg Christiansen received his bachelor of science degree in biology from the Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture and his osteopathic medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his emergency medicine residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he served as chief resident during his final year. He also holds a master of education degree in adult learning from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education. Dr. Christiansen has been a member of the board of directors of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP) since 2001 and was president of the organization from 2011 to 2013. He also has been a member of the boards of directors of the Emergency Medicine Action Fund advocacy group and the Old Dominion Emergency Medical Service Counsel; a reviewer for the journal Resuscitation; and medical director for several emergency medical service agencies. As medical commander of the Virginia-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team, he was deployed to support the president and to assist at disaster events including Hurricane Katrina.

On July 31, 2016

After 34 years of continuous and dedicated service Dr. Mark Glaser, Medical Director retires from the Harnett County EMS System. Dr. Glaser was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, Dr. George Johnson Jr. Medical Directors Award, and numerous other state and local awards. Dr. Glaser is thought to be the longest continuous serving medical director in the State of North Carolina. His tireless effors and the legacy he leaves has forever shaped the EMS services here in Harnett County and surrounding communities. See the The Harnett County Board of Commissioners appointed Dr. Greg Christiansen, DO as acting Medical Director effective August 1, 2016.

On October 3, 2016

Dr. Erin Wirths, DO was appointed by the Harnett County Board of Commissioners as the Assistant EMS System Medical Director. Dr. Wirths is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services Physician and a graduate of University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her Emergency Medicine Residency at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Wirths obtained her EMS & Disaster Medicine Fellowship at State University of New York - Upstate Medical Center. Prior to medical school Dr. Wirths also served as a Firefighter/EMT in Maine.

On November 30, 2016

Dr. Greg Christiansen, Medical Director resigned to become the Dean of Medicine at Des Moines University in Des Moines, Iowa. Although Dr. Christiansen only served a few short months as the medical director, his wisdom and service has left a lasting impact on our EMS System. Dr. Christiansen developed a partnership between Campbell's School of Medicine Simulation Center and the Harnett County EMS System to allow our EMS Technicians the ability to train at this state of the art facility. This partnership continues to this day with multiple technicians being trained each month. Dr. Erin Wirths was appointed by the Harnett County Board of Commissioners as Medical Director of the Harnett County EMS System effective December 1, 2016.

 
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