This week’s Member Spotlight is on Johnston County EMS! In the early 1970’s the ambulance was operated by the local funeral home. In the mid 70’s, there were grants given by the Department of Commerce at which time it was operated by the county and the individuals took the ambulances to their homes until there was a call. The county contracted with the hospital after the citizens passed an ad valorem tax and a 522 EMS District was formed. The EMS was stationed at the local hospital where the staff were hospital employees who did many other jobs.
In the 1990’s, the EMS ran approximately 50-60 calls per month. In 1998 the operation moved from Johnston County Memorial Hospital and occupied the building previously known as Dr. Bell’s Clinic. Prior to the end of the county operation of the hospital, JCEMS moved from a hospital-based EMS to a stand-alone county-EMS. In December 2004, they moved into their current facility at 604 E. 24th Street in Tishomingo.
Oklahoma and Texas. During business hours there are at least seven medics available to respond and during the off-hours there are four medics ready to go with others on call. Service is available 24/7.
JCEMS has been an agency of United Way for the last 15 years, which provides them with some grant funding. They receive funding from collections on ad valorem taxes and a portion of all sales tax. They also receive monies from CDBG and REAP grants, the State of Oklahoma, the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation, and the Chickasaw Nation. These grants have yielded more than one million dollars.
Our local EMS responds to natural disasters here at home and across the nation. The facility in Tishomingo is a training site for the American Heart Association and provides CPR and First Aid to more than 200 individuals per year. They are also certified by the Health Department to provide pre-hospital medical care to the 11-county fire departments, in turn, getting Emergency Medical Responders to you quicker.
JCEMS staff are very civic minded and are members of the Johnston County Chamber, Tishomingo Development Team and United Way. They deliver presents for the Angel Tree project in December, coordinate the annual Easter Egg Scramble, which is in its 21st year and also sponsor toy and food drives, hydration drives, car seat check-ups, flu drives, and many other things to help Johnston County citizens.
Andy the Ambulance, an interactive remote-control ambulance, is used for meeting with people in a fun way and talking about health and safety. You may have seen him in parades or at various health-related events.
Johnston County Emergency Medical Services offers all residents of Johnston County relief from direct cost of ambulance services. For $60 per year, you and all permanent residents of your household can receive emergency 911 EMS service anywhere in Johnston County as many times as needed. Your annual subscription fee relieves you of any direct costs of 911 EMS service not paid by your insurance.
“JCEMS couldn’t do the job that we do without God and the support of our staff, Board, County Officials, and the people that live and pass through our great county,” said JCEMS Director, Kenny Power. For more information about our local ambulance service, or to learn how to enroll in their annual subscription service, call 580-371-0569.
Read next week for a Spotlight on Tish Barbershop!
-Jordyn Frazier, JCCC Executive Director