June 26, 2020
Yesterday, Maine EMS suggested that all agencies begin (if not already practicing), the use of cloth or surgical masks within the common areas of the stations. We here at Delta, are going to begin this process now. If you are sleeping, and obviously eating, you do not need to wear them, just make sure you are maintaining your social distancing. This also means wearing them when you come into one of the offices to speak with anyone when you are within six feet of each other.
Along with this requirement, Maine EMS and Maine CDC are also advising people to wear eye protection on all calls, even if the patient is wearing a surgical mask. If the patient is refusing to wear a mask or cannot wear a mask due to treatment, Maine EMS is also suggesting that we wear full PPE (gown, N-95, eye protection and gloves) to keep possibility of exposure even lower. We here at Delta are going to endorse these recommendations.
These requirements are just another layer to help keep everyone healthy. There are many in the public that have forgone the use of masks, and as the state opens up further, we will begin to see our cases go up. If you look to our southern states, you will see the uptick in cases now, because they opened up everything earlier than the Maine EMS recommendations
We appreciate everything that you do, and please continue to be safe.
Director of Operations
May 25, 2020
At this point, we anticipate being able to add the following on or about July 1, 2020
1. Resuming of our in-house, employee-only training sessions while maintaining all appropriate cautions based on recommendations from the USCDC and Maine CDC.
2. Resuming of our Community Paramedic services while maintaining all appropriate cautions based on recommendations from the USCDC and Maine CDC.
We hope you are and continue to stay well and that you take appropriate cautions in your lifestyle. Please check back from time to time for any additions or deletions that may be necessary. If you have not yet had the opportunity of viewing our informational video, please follow the link below.
April 30, 2020
1. Any visitor to any Delta Ambulance station (visitor is defined as a person(s) who will be entering the building for a period of 5 minutes or longer) must have their temp checked and asked the standard questions about COVID-19 symptoms and name recorded at the bottom of the employee surveillance form. Obviously a febrile person or one who admits to having symptoms should not be allowed to continue into the building. If all is good they need to be given a cloth mask to wear while in the building. The cloth mask is theirs's to keep.
2. Delta personnel must wear a mask (cloth or medical, but not N95) when greeting potential visitors at our stations.
3. During your work/shift hours and visiting a public place where it may be difficult to maintain social distancing, all personnel shall wear a mask either cloth or medical (but not N95) until such time as the Governor lifts that requirement. (For example a convenience store to grab a coffee)
4. We encourage all personnel when not on duty to wear a mask when in a public space where it is difficult to maintain a social distance.
You all have done a fantastic job of staying safe and healthy throughout this pandemic, which speaks to your attention to detail and willingness to adapt to the changing times. It isn’t time to let down our guard! We need to stay focused and look out for one another on all levels, but most importantly stay safe and healthy.
If you need a cloth mask, head covering or head band please see MJ, a Supervisor or someone from Administration. (Congratulations to MJ, who has networked to surpass her goal of 500 cloth masks. I think we are approaching 700!!)
Please wash the cloth mask after each day's use and remember it is not meant to replace the medical masks worn in clinical situations.
Thanks for everything you do!
April 7, 2020
During the current COVID-19 health crisis and beyond, Delta Ambulance is committed providing the highest quality emergency medical services to the communities we serve safely and effectively. This is Delta’s number one priority.
Since the onset of COVID-19, Delta has taken great measures to ensure the safety of our patients and crews, executing the following procedures:
· Implemented an Incident Command Structure to efficiently manage the flow of information and operational changes based on recommendations from Maine EMS and Maine CDC.
· Constant communication with our two hospital partners, MaineGeneral Medical Center and Northern Light Inland Hospital
· Staff surveillance measures are in place including temperature checks and assessment for any COVID-19 symptoms.
· Streamlined a process with partner hospitals to obtain results on patients who were tested for COVID-19 and disseminate the information to first responder services.
· Wearing of surgical masks during every patient encounter while determining the need for a higher level of personal protective equipment.
· Detailed procedures on how to manage the situation in the event an employee becomes ill.
· Maintain inventory of personal protective equipment for staff and reliable supply chains to obtain more as needed.
· Developed a plan to deploy up to 16 ambulances in Delta’s fleet, as needed, during a potential influx of patients.
Delta is proud to employ a staff of more than 100 Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), Advanced EMTs, Paramedics, Certified EMD dispatchers, billing representatives, educators and wheelchair van operators - comprising one of the largest EMS workforces in Maine. Routine transfer calls have significantly decreased during this time, giving Delta an even greater capacity for emergency calls.
During this unsettling time of uncertainties, please know Delta is prepared and proud to serve you, our central Maine communities, as your trusted emergency medical service provider.
Tim Beals, Executive Director
Two minute video about Delta, you
and the COVID virus
March 12, 2020
Steps to protect our employees and our patients from the spread of COVID-19.
Delta remains committed to serving our communities throughout this COVID-19 crisis and beyond. In addition to embracing good PPE practices and routine cleaning of our medical equipment as well as other preventative measures, Delta is also taking the following steps as of Friday March 13 through April 30 - as a minimum.
- Our Leadership team is in daily communication to adjust operational needs as new information is released
- We have implemented the guidance from Maine EMS (MEMS) and Maine CDC with regards to clinical protocols and workforce surveillance.
- We are in daily communication with our hospitals and local nursing homes
- We are well stocked with Personal Protective Equipment
- We have been in contact with all of our 1st Response agencies to communicate Maine EMS recommendations on U21 positive, U21 negative and U21 inconclusive all codes for someone who calls 911 and is determined to be a potential COVID-19 exposure
- We are planning to ramp up staffing if needed.
To protect our employees and our patients from the spread of COVID-19, except where noted, the following are in effect until further notice.
- In addition to electronic messaging, a new COVID-19 bulletin board space has been created at each station; notices, guidance and company information can be found here.
- All field employees must update fit testing for the N95 masks.
- Access to the business office by the general public has been modified. The public is being asked to telephone rather than visit and when visiting to knock on the office door in order to gain entrance.
- All in-house education is now postponed, indefinitely, including monthly CEH, Basic EKG, PEPP, ACLS-EP
- All community educational classes are on hold until further notice.
- VENTILATOR PROFICIENCIES (critical skills lab) WILL BE HELD AS SCHEDULED.
- All student tours, clinical rotations and job shadows are suspended
- Recruitment of new employees will continue on a case by case basis
- We have implemented, upon the recommendation of MEMS, a surveillance tool to track employee health. Essentially, at the beginning of one's shift, temperature will be recorded and once again at or near the midpoint of the shift during a down period, (24 hr crews are slightly different) including the presence of any signs/symptoms (new or worsening cough, fever, shortness of breath)
- HR is monitoring the proposed benefits changes that are part of proposed legislation
- If one needs to call out, we have created a short list of questions that we want answered, in no way punitive, but we anticipate having to report if employees are out-of-work and for what reason. This data may also be needed to determine eligibility for the benefits being proposed by Congress.
- Our Community Paramedicine program has been suspended for 30 days.
- Our public open house EMS week celebration scheduled for May 16 has been cancelled.
- We have been in contact with 1st Response agencies in regards to MEMS guidance. In cases of respiratory calls that are U21 positive or U21 inconclusive, MEMS is suggesting limiting the number of 1st responders in contact with the patient and if we are close enough they may wait for us to initiate patient contact.
- We are keeping in touch with the local Nursing Homes and hospitals for any changes in their operations and will continue to issue separate notices on clinical guidance.
- We encourage you to avoid attending large public gatherings and particularly indoor events
- We encourage employees to reconsider any travel plans that would take them out-of-state or bring visitors to your home from-away
- If you are ill, self-isolate. Stay home and contact your immediate Supervisor and health care provider.
Continue to keep yourself abreast of advisories from USCDC and Maine CDC. Please keep in mind there are many rumors floating throughout the media. Your best source of information on this topic is the CDC
By taking these measures we are doing our part to limit the spread of this illness (and others) among our staff, patients and community.
Please don’t hesitate to seek out a member of our leadership team if you have questions or concerns, we will do our best to answer your question or find the answer.
Stay well and be safe - and keep those hands clean!
Tim Beals, Executive Director