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Mount Nittany Medical Center’s emergency medical services team providing excellent pre-hospital care


Rich Kelley, NREMT-P, EMS Manager, Mount Nittany Medical Center

Mount Nittany Medical Center’s emergency medical services (EMS) team is committed to providing outstanding pre-hospital care to our community. Mount Nittany Medical Center EMS, currently led by medical director Kasandra Botti, DO, and Rich Kelley, NRP, manager, EMS, has proudly served our community for over 30 years. The Medical Center’s EMS is responsible for serving areas across the region, including The Pennsylvania State University campus, Bellefonte, Penns Valley, Snow Shoe, Millheim, Howard, Northern Huntingdon and as a back-up to the State College community.

EMS professionals play a vital role in caring for our patients, often serving as the first medical point of contact. Whether it’s responding to everyday emergencies or adapting and supporting our community during a pandemic, EMS team members are ready to respond to any situation. In addition to responding to calls, the team helps to stabilize and safely transport patients to the most appropriate level of care, at times providing basic or advanced life support as well. Acting quickly and decisively, EMS professionals work hard to deliver compassionate and life-saving care to our community in high pressure situations.

Mount Nittany Medical Center has been operating its own ambulance as early as 1930, when the Medical Center was known as Centre County Hospital. In July 1987, Mount Nittany Medical Center began providing advanced life support to Centre County, assisting the local volunteer basic life support providers. At that time, the only other advanced life support systems nearby were in Lock Haven and Philipsburg.

Over the years, the EMS team continues to improve and expand their services and technology to meet the needs of the community. Our ambulances are equipped with up-to-date tools and resources to treat a variety of medical emergencies including cardiac, trauma, burn, stroke and obstetrics patients. Five of our ambulances house the LUCAS™ Chest Compression System, which can perform 100 compressions per minute—with proper depth—for patients experiencing cardiac arrest. Ambulances are also equipped with televisions and DVD players to help calm patients, such as children, who may be frightened or anxious during long transports.

Mount Nittany Medical Center’s EMS department strives to make a difference in patients’ lives by providing quality patient care. In 2019, the Medical Center’s EMS department received the American Heart Association’s (AHA’s) Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award for providing excellent ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) care to patients. STEMI is a severe type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of a coronary artery. Each year, approximately 250,000 people experience a STEMI in the United States. Patients experiencing a STEMI require immediate emergency care in order to reopen the blocked artery.

EMS plays an essential role in the care for STEMI patients with their timely response and care making a critical difference in patients’ outcomes. The Mission: Lifeline EMS program recognizes EMS teams across the nation for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the Medical Center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel. To receive the Mission: Lifeline EMS Award, EMS teams must adopt the most up-to-date, evidence-based medicine practices to provide quality care to patients experiencing severe heart attacks. Mount Nittany Health is proud of our Medical Center’s EMS department for receiving the AHA’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award in recognition of the team’s ongoing commitment to patient care. Mount Nittany Medical Center’s EMS department is expected to receive the AHA’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Award for 2020.

“We participated with the voluntary recognition program because we believe in the importance of continuously seeking ways to improve the care that we provide locally,” shared Kelley. “The minimum standards set by the Pennsylvania Department of Health are just baselines. Finding opportunities to excel is what we strive for.”

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