First Responders Update

By Kelly Gordon -
President, First Responders

There is a rumor we hear repeatedly on the island when running medical calls. That rumor needs to be squashed so that there isn’t any confusion or false hope for the people we serve. You do not get seen faster at any hospital if you go by ambulance.

There are many factors that come into play once you arrive at an emergency room. Realistically, if you or your loved one is having an emergency that requires immediate attention, you will be seen faster. The obvious ones are listed below.

  • Stroke
  • Cardiac event
  • Traumatic injury
  • Poisonous snake bite
  • Severe burn

I am not suggesting, nor implying, that if you arrive by ambulance that you won’t be seen quickly without the aforementioned issues. It depends on how busy the hospital is and what staff are available to assist you upon arrival. Another factor determining how quickly you will be seen is how triage goes for you and whether your emergency seems dire after being triaged.

When an ambulance arrives on island to take you to the hospital and you decide at the last minute to go by car instead, keep in mind you have now selfishly taken an ambulance off the streets of Savannah that could be assisting someone who needs emergent care.

When you call to report an emergency, you are essentially calling the volunteer Skidaway Island First Responder Team, the on-island paramedic, and the off-island ambulance crew simultaneously. We ALL are en route to you. When we arrive and you casually say, “Oh, I don’t want/need an ambulance”, you basically are wasting critical time for someone else.

Admittedly, the calls on the island for things that aren’t necessarily emergent have slowed down slightly. Is that because it was summer, and a lot of people weren’t here? Or is it because people read my articles and know that we are here for real emergencies? We might never know that answer. Please be mindful when calling EMS.

When you call to report an emergency, please be specific about where you are. If you don’t know the address, try to find out as you’re calling. Giving an arbitrary place that the dispatch personnel can’t locate is only hindering you or the patient.

Try to learn the addresses of the clubs and Marinas in The Landings. They’re pretty easy to remember and if not, you can put them in your contacts on your phone so that you can look it up when calling. Along those same lines, if you’re calling from your own residence, make sure you give the correct address -- specifying lane, road, court, or retreat, can make a HUGE difference. There are many streets throughout the county that have the same name.

If you call from a Marina or a club, please say the name of said location. Dispatch can easily ping an area if they have the correct name. If you say, “I am at the Marina” or “I am on the golf course” it isn’t enough information. Please look for landmarks/streets. If you’re at one of the churches and don’t know the address, give dispatch the name of the church specifically.

As we approach the most beautiful time of year and the weather starts to cool off, don’t forget hydration is still important. Just because the temperatures aren’t scorching doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need to be hydrated well.

Happy fall, y’all!

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit to read the original article.