September 27, 2022

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Intervals of clouds and sunshine. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 91F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph..
Variable clouds with scattered thunderstorms. Low 72F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Updated: August 29, 2022 @ 2:45 am
Pratchaya Leelapatchayanont/Dreamstime/TNS

Pratchaya Leelapatchayanont/Dreamstime/TNS
WATERTOWN — With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating tensions on emergency medical services, the need arose for more EMTs to help relieve the pressure that had been building.
In recognition of the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization’s program that helps to do just that, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded the organization a Community Health Award of $2,300 to support the emergency medical technician/EMS training program.
The FDRHPO program provides students ages 17 and 18 who are eligible for state certification an opportunity to become certified entry-level EMTs. The program covers the cost of textbooks, program supplies and the New York certification exam for 10 people and promotes the EMS workforce in the Jefferson County area.
“The EMS workforce shortage has resulted in service delays throughout the region,” said Beth Solar, FDRHPO workforce outreach manager. “Increasing the EMS workforce will mitigate long wait times for patients when they are in crisis and improve the efficiency and efficacy of care. It will also lessen burnout among existing EMTs.”
The Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization’s mission is to strengthen the health system for the integrated Fort Drum and civilian communities by analyzing the north country, identifying needs and leveraging resources to fill gaps. FDRHPO supports a system of health that involves all aspects of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties with the goals of promoting health and wellness, preventing illness and injury, and providing the highest quality care when and where necessary, all while positively affecting citizens’ behaviors and the environments where roughly 251,000 residents live, work and play.
“Providing access to high-quality health care is core to our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Utica regional president. “We are proud to support Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization with essential community health funding to improve access to emergency medical services by increasing the EMS workforce.”
Johnson Newspapers 7.1
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