This year marks 30 years of service to the community by Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services (HCEMS).
HCEMS was established under the administration of then County Executive Dalton Roberts in February 1988 to provide emergency medical care to citizens of Hamilton County. The service began with two ambulances and 17 employees providing coverage for the East and West sides of the County. In its first month as a service, HCEMS responded to 87 requests and transported 73 patients to the local medical facilities. Only one month later, HCEMS added three additional ambulances. With a total of five ambulances by December 1988 the service answered over 2,300 emergency calls in Hamilton County.
HCEMS now operates 14 ambulances strategically placed throughout Hamilton County and employees 120 licensed paramedics and advanced EMTs. As the 9-1-1 provider for Hamilton County HCEMS responded to over 38,000 requests for medical services and emergency transportation to local hospitals in 2017.
Over the years HCEMS has established and continues to maintain various divisions within the service including Training, Logistics, Tactical Medicine, Customer Service, Community EMS Education, and Special Events coverage for special events in Hamilton County such as Riverbend and Ironman Competitions among other community activities. Over the last four years, HCEMS has shown its support of the community by donating over $11,000 from its Annual Pink T-shirt Campaign, a fundraising effort to bring breast cancer awareness to the forefront in the area. HCEMS participates in National EMS Week by hosting a three-day celebration for all local EMS agencies, First Responders and their families.
HCEMS Director Ken Wilkerson said, “It has been exciting for me to see the 30 years of dedication and growth of HCEMS, its staff and employees. Our county leaders originally saw a need for EMS and made the decision to provide coverage for all Hamilton County citizens, a decision that is still supported by Mayor Coppinger and the current County leadership. Our dedicated employees continue to provide excellent pre-hospital, emergency care and live up to our service motto of ‘Setting the Standard of Care’. I am very proud to be a part of this service and its accomplishments over the years and look forward to future developments in our efforts to serve the people in our area with quality emergency medical care.“