EJFR chief lauded for contributions

Posted 3/14/17

East Jefferson Fire Rescue (EJFR) Fire Chief Gordon Pomeroy has received the 2017 Outstanding Contribution to Rural Health award from the Washington Rural Health Association.

The award resulted …

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EJFR chief lauded for contributions

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East Jefferson Fire Rescue (EJFR) Fire Chief Gordon Pomeroy has received the 2017 Outstanding Contribution to Rural Health award from the Washington Rural Health Association.

The award resulted from a nomination by Dr. Sandra Smith-Poling, EMS program director for Jefferson County, West Olympic Peninsula and Navy Region Northwest. Pomeroy also received three other anonymous nominations for his work.

A trained paramedic, Pomeroy partnered with representatives of regional fire departments and medical professionals from Jefferson Healthcare hospital to implement a program of field thrombolytics in East Jefferson County for ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

Given long transport times from Jefferson County to cardiac facilities in Bremerton and Seattle, the majority of myocardial infarction (MI) patients suffer from significant and irreversible heart muscle damage before they receive treatment. The thrombolytic medication works to dissolve dangerous clots in blood vessels, improve blood flow, and prevent damage to tissues and organs, thus improving outcomes for MI sufferers in District 1, which includes Port Townsend, according to a press release from EJFR.

At Jefferson Healthcare’s request, Pomeroy participated with other decision makers from Kitsap Cardiology, Harrison Medical Center, Jefferson Healthcare and Smith-Poling to develop a system of using a clot-busting thrombolytic to restore heart function.

While EJFR had been delivering the drug on a pilot test basis since 2009, the protocols were approved by the state Department of Health and formally implemented throughout East Jefferson County in 2013.

Paramedics are able to administer the medication in the field, saving time and heart muscle before the patient reaches a hospital.

More than 75 patients from East Jefferson County have been treated with no resulting complications or deaths from the drug, according to the press release.

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