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Accreditation first in state for township EMS

Groveland Township Fire Chief Steve McGee. Photo by Patrick McAbee. (click for larger version)
December 28, 2011 - Groveland Twp.- The township Emergency Medical Service has received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation Services (CAAS) for its compliance with national standards.

On Dec. 20 the township became the 11th fire department in the country to successfully complete the voluntary review process, which included completion of a comprehensive application and on-site review by national experts in the emergency medical services industry.

The cost of the two-year township project was about $20,000. The township fire department is the first in Michigan to receive CAAS and certification required to operate in Genesee County after Jan. 1, said Steve McGee, township fire chief.

"CAAS allows us to stay in Genesee County," he said. "That's the key—taxpayers will benefit by increasing township revenues with the non-emergency transfers. We are better now—we've done a great job over the years, but now the fine details of the business have been worked out. It's very systematic and standardized by all the EMS."

Currently, the township utilizes about 70 firefighters with three full-time. About six EMS are on duty each day, averaging 1,800 responses per year with five EMS vehicles in operation. The township serves all of Genesee and Oakland counties.

"In late 2007 our township management anticipated the negative impact that the decrease in housing could have on the area due to a decrease in tax dollars," said McGee. We expanded our services to include non-emergency ambulance and wheelchair transfers. In doing so, the fire department works closely with the Genesys Medical Health System in an effort to fully utilize both organizations in North Oakland County."

The CAAS is a non-profit organization which was established to encourage and promote quality patient care in America's medical transportation system. The primary focus of the CAAS standards is high-quality patient care. This is accomplished by establishing national standards which not only address the delivery of patient care, but also the ambulance service's total operation and its relationship with other agencies, the general public, and the medical community. The CAAS standards often exceed state or local licensing requirements.

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