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City of McCook Fire Department Ambulances Equipped With Telemedicine Technology

McCook Fire Department

The City of McCook Fire Department ambulances are now equipped with telemedicine technology thanks to a new state initiative.

“Every person and every community deserve access to high-quality emergency care where and when it’s needed,” said Tim Wilson, the state’s director of the Office of Emergency Health Systems for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

McCook is one of many rural Nebraska communities and counties with the new telemedicine technology. 

The Avel eCare telemedicine equipment consists of a cabin-mounted telehealth tablet, microphones, speakers, and antennas to support strong connectivity in the field. The Avel eCare service provides 24/7 access to a team of board- certified emergency physicians, paramedics, and nurses to render emergency care and peer-to-peer support for EMS agencies. When responding to a call, the EMS crew can call Avel eCare and, within moments, the board-certified ER doctor and team of nurses and/or paramedics will show up on the screen to assist. 

In order to minimize dropped calls, the Avel EMS technology package is equipped with a robust connectivity solution which allows the EMS crew to roam throughout our 320 square mile response area between cell towers and carriers and never lose service. 

With our current service, we have access to ER physicians and nurses, this system will allow us to use actual video in situations that may require further evaluation and treatment of patients during events that could overwhelm our every day response such as mass casualty incidents or multiple patient/multiple call situations where our local resources are stretched thin. 

This is just another tool in the toolbox that we will have access to and provides us with some redundancy that will allow us to continue to provide excellent prehospital care.