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AMH EMS celebrates three decades of excellence

Author: ROBERT S./Monday, January 07, 2019


Rex Allen Book, left, and Dennis Eyer have been with AMH’s EMS team since it started in 1988. | Photo by Tim Mudrovic

AMH | The AMH emergency medical services (EMS) team is celebrating a big birthday: For 30 years, the area’s leading provider of emergency care has been providing services for families in need.

Dennis Eyer, EMT, and Rex Allen Book, paramedic, have been a part of the team since the beginning. “It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years,” says Eyer. “The department started with around eight to 10 people and just two ambulances. Now there are 67 people.”

The area’s only hospital-based ambulance service’s coverage area has expanded beyond Alton to 475 square miles. In addition to covering a larger territory, the 11 ambulances in the fleet are equipped with more life-saving, pre-hospital medicine and resources.

“We have a much faster response time, and the technology on board allows us to learn more about a patient’s health sooner so we can diagnose and problem-solve,” says Book.

Every ambulance is equipped with Bluetooth technology that sends information about patients to the staff at the hospital. “Our onboard EKGs can transmit information to our cardiac cath team. This means our ER team can be better prepared for the patient’s proper treatment when the patient arrives at the hospital,” says Jason Bowman, EMS manager.

The ambulances also have equipment that makes it safer for paramedics to transport patients and administer care. “Some of the biggest changes that I’ve seen are the additions of self-loading cots and the self-compressing CPR machines,” says Eyer.

“We are so much better prepared because the hospital and BJC are committed to ensuring that we have what we need to serve the communities,” says Book.

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