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Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services reports on July activity

August 04, 2009

SMITHSBURG -- Warm weather brought a spike in calls during the month of July, as well as an increase in outdoor and local functions, according to James Ulrich, deputy chief of Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services.

The volunteer department, with a primary response area covering approximately 70 square miles in Washington and Frederick counties, responded to 77 calls in that area and another 16 calls as mutual aid to the areas of other neighboring departments, Ulrich said in a press release. Personnel ran 24 calls in the Smithsburg town limits, eight to the Leitersburg area, seven to the Mount Aetna area and one to the Cascade/Pen Mar area.

Most responses for July were for general sickness (14 calls), but some other call types included vehicle/pedestrian incidents (12 calls), structure fires (three calls) and injured persons (15 calls), Ulrich said.

In addition to responding to 911 calls, SEMS volunteers participated in numerous local functions, including the Fourth of July parade in Waynesboro, Pa.; Salute to Independence (provided an ambulance to assist Sharpsburg Area Emergency Medical Services with potential increase in emergencies); neighborhood back-to-school block party on Waltz Road; vacation Bible school function at Saint Paul's Lutheran Church; Smithsburg Pride Days; and the Clear Spring Volunteer Fire Co. carnival (provided personnel to assist the Clear Spring Ambulance Club with potential increase in emergencies).

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Several volunteers are nearing completion or have completed various training, including the 131-hour course for Emergency Medical Technician - Basic.

Area residents are reminded to make sure their houses and driveways are conspicuously marked with their house numbers, especially when the residence sits off the roadway or several addresses are served by a single driveway or lane.

"Unfortunately, we can't help you if we can't find you," Ulrich said.

Homeowners and landlords need to do their part to ensure that EMS, police and fire personnel can locate them in the event of an emergency, Ulrich said. A properly marked house and driveway can reduce unnecessary delays. In extreme cases, the minutes or seconds saved might even save a life, he said.

For more information, call Smithsburg EMS at 301-824-3314.

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