By Mark Ross
The Hope Lion’s Club heard from John Gray with Pafford Medical Services at their Monday meeting this week, learning about the over-all operations of Pafford Medical Services, the services they provide, as well as how the ambulance industry has evolved over the years.
Gray began his program with discussion on how far ambulance services have come since the early 1970’s, saying that one of the biggest changes is communications. Whereas in the past, 911 calls were dispatched through the police department, now they are transferred directly to Pafford dispatch; they are able to gather information more quickly. Identifying the caller’s name, address and phone number, the reason for the call and are then able to guide the caller with a series of instructions related to the medical emergency, all within a 45 second window. The ambulance industry has also made many improvements to the ambulances themselves. Gray stated that where once the older ambulances were basically, “transport vehicles to the local hospital,” they are now “Rolling Emergency Rooms on wheels.”
Gray also touched on the history of Pafford and the locations they operate from. In business for over 52 years, they employee approximately 100 personnel at their headquarters on West 16th Street, here in Hope. They have a fixed wing aircraft base in Fort Smith and helicopters based in Pine Bluff, AR, Ruston, LA and Clarksdale, MS. In addition, they staff the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers MAT Sinking boat base, which patrols up & down the Mississippi River out of Vicksburg, MS. Pafford also has operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
To conclude his program, Gray touched base on first aid procedures for grease burns. Since the Lion’s Club participates in numerous fish fry’s throughout the year, Gray explained the 3 levels of burns and the do’s and don’ts of how a first responder should treat them.