Paramedics are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays, to serve the public. Johnson County Med-Act paramedics work 24-hour shifts. They may sleep during the shift, but must be able to quickly respond to the ambulance in the event of an emergency call. Crew members must be prepared to respond to a variety of things that can happen on an emergency incident. Some of the major challenges faced are mass casualty or multiple patient situations, dealing with life and death situations, risks from emergency driving and performing in inclement weather.
Paramedics work a modified Berkeley shift schedule of alternating days of 24 hours on-duty and 24 hours off-duty for a total of three shift days over a five day period. The paramedics then enjoy four days off in a row to recharge, and recuperate for another rotation of shifts.
Crews are composed of two paramedics. Each two-person team is led by an officer, either a captain or lieutenant. The officer provides medical leadership and guidance for all personnel who are part of the on-scene EMS team. The team may confer with each other about decisions to be made, but the officer has the final accountability and bears primary responsibility for any actions taken by the EMS crew.
Med-Act Battalion Chiefs (BCs) assure the delivery of high quality emergency medical services and maintain a supportive, progressive, participative and quality oriented work environment. There are six Battalion Chiefs, with two assigned to each of the three shifts (A, B or C). Each shift is divided into the North Battalion (BC1103) or South Battalion (BC1105). Battalion Chiefs are responsible for six to seven field crews. The Battalion Chief oversees the performance of Paramedics and is a critical component to the future development of leadership skills in each Officer and Paramedic. Battalion Chiefs are frequently dispatched to calls of serious clinical nature, multi-patient calls, unstable crime scenes, calls involving entrapment of patients, and to calls that have multiple agencies responding to the scene.
Battalion Chiefs report to a shift commander, who carries the rank of Division Chief. The shift commander is responsible for coordinating effective EMS and overseeing needed operations. The shift commander is available for response to particularly complex events when needed.
The Support Services Division for Johnson County Med-Act consists of four employees, led by the Division Chief for Support Services. It is a subdivision of Operations, and provides the vast majority of equipment and supplies necessary for Med-Act personnel to conduct EMS activities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This team is housed in a 5,500 square foot facility near the center of Johnson County.
This Division is responsible for vehicle maintenance and repair, restocking, retrieval of reusable equipment from hospitals and sterilization procedures. The Support Services Division also handles bid specifications for emergency equipment and vehicles, retrofitting and installing emergency equipment in new vehicles.