Missoula Emergency Services has been officially recognized as a Level IV Pediatric EMS Service with a Safety Plus Endorsement.

The award came late last week from Montana Emergency Services’ Child Ready Montana Project, according to Missoula Emergency Services Manager, Don Whalen.

“There were a lot of elements to the award,” he said. “A Lot of it was the equipment that we carry above and beyond what’s required to treat the pediatric population, as well as training and education to our medics and our basics. We’re also involved in the community with car seat programs, we do kids safety, everything to do with pediatrics we’re pretty involved with.”

Whalen said the personnel at Missoula Emergency Services are busy 24/7.

“Call volume-wise with 9-1-1, we can run anywhere from 20 to 50 calls in a 24-hour period,” he said. “We have transfers on top of that, a lot of out-of-town transfers and we ship a lot of people to Spokane, and we’ll go to outlying hospitals to bring sick patients and cardiac patients back to Missoula. On a busy winter’s day where there are a lot of accidents, we have five ambulances that are staffed and one of them is on call, but we have a total of 10 and it’s not uncommon that we’ll be staffing nine or even ten, or even during the summer when there are severe storms.”

Whalen said the services of MES are paid for through medical insurance.

“Our payer mix is pretty scary,” he said. “Most of it is government payer, like Medicare, Medicaid and VA, but those are all below-cost reimbursement, so we make up the difference from private health insurance, and they pay a little higher rate.”

According to a press release:

‘Missoula Emergency Service has a Medical Director (Dr. Michael Kremkau), a Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator (PECC Kathy Andress); a Child Passenger Safety Technician on staff and they conduct at least one public child passenger safety seat inspection annually.  They offer a minimum of 4 hours of pediatric education to staff on an annual basis to ensure the best pediatric care. They work in collaboration with local public schools, YMCA, day care providers, and Safe Kids Coalition.’