Seneca County EMS leans on the dedication, expertise of volunteers to provide quality care

A photo of some of the Seneca County EMS fleet is shown

Seneca County EMS uses a community-based system of service that relies on the expertise and dedication of volunteers to provide quality care to those in need.
Emergency Services Director Ken Majors said his department responded to 1,240 runs in 2018.
The department runs seven Advanced Life Support ambulances and has one fully stocked backup ALS ambulance.
The agency has seven full-time employees and 11 intermittent employees. Those employees are supplemented by several experienced, talented and dedicated volunteers from across the county.
Majors said he enjoys the “community-based EMS atmosphere” in the county.
“Seneca County EMS has a 40-year history of being a community-based system that is supported by county government and delivered by emergency medical professionals at the local level in the townships and villages,” he said. “These professionals are primarily volunteers and when they are compensated, it is far less than one would expect.”
Majors said people from all different trades and professions pitch in to make sure quality care is provided.
“We are a service made up of trade professionals, laborers, factory workers, farmers, students and career medical professionals. We have registered nurses, LPNs, emergency room doctors, veterinarians, truck drivers, firefighters, railroad workers, construction workers, architects, teachers, electricians and just about every profession or career that you can think of to make up Seneca County EMS,” he said,
Majors praised the people who sacrifice their own time to make sure the community is safe.
“Our EMS professionals do it for the love of the game,” he said. “Take care of your community and it will take care of you. That’s the mindset, and that’s why I love what I do and who I do it for.”
Majors, who is an Army veteran, a paramedic and a registered nurse, said taking care of others has been his life’s work.
“Seeing other people succeed in a medical career, in or out of EMS, really makes me feel like I have accomplished something,” he said.
Majors said the biggest challenge his agency faces, is finding enough people willing to do the work.
“Rural EMS is challenging everywhere,” he said. “We are a primarily volunteer agency, in other areas of the state and country, most EMS agencies are paid. Finding a funding stream for EMS personnel is a key issue. These issues are not unique to Ohio, but they are becoming a major issue locally.”
Majors said new products and technology are important in making crews safer, more efficient and more effective.
“CPR devices that don’t get tired and do perfect CPR, cots that lift load into the ambulance and video laryngoscopes to aid in the securing of the airway … these are examples of seriously cutting-edge technology,” he said.
Not only does technology help the agency with direct care, but also in other ways.
“Liquid spring suspension in ambulances so that the ambulance rides like a Cadillac instead of a grain wagon,” he said as an example. “Geographical information systems that plot the closest, fastest route to an emergency, airbags, supplemental restraint systems and driver assist devices. These all help make the job easier.”
Majors said the technology available today is amazing.
“It’s very hard to remember how we did all of this 20-30 years ago,” he said.
Majors said he believes it is very valuable for the department to a be a member of the Ohio EMS Chiefs Association.
“OEMSCA has given a voice to the third-service EMS provider and organization,” he said. “We are not fire-based, we are not hospital-based, we are not private EMS contractors. We are EMS providers by choice and profession because we choose to excel in medicine on the front line of health care. We needed a voice at the table where big decisions are made involved the big business that is health care. OEMSCA filled that need and is being led by a determined group of professionals that will see to it that our voices are heard.”
Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas thanked Majors and all the Seneca County EMS personnel for their hard work and dedication to providing quality care to those in need.
“It’s great to know that the people residents need in their worst moments are putting in the extra work to be as prepared as possible to serve,” he said.