Emergency Medical Technicians and Emergency Medical Responders throughout Lassen County will be trained on how to administer Epi to patients. The Susanville City Council approved the arrangement at their Nov. 7 regular meeting.
Back in February, the Lassen County Emergency Medical Coordinating Committee recommended the Nor-Cal EMS Board of Directors endorse the recommendation that $2,000 be allocated to the Epi-auto-injector for EMRs and Epi-safe kits for the EMT operational safety project in Lassen County.
The funds are to be reimbursed by NorCal EMS 100 percent.
The program is funded to also provide an initial Epi safe kit to any trained department or agency that desires.
Susanville Fire Department Chief James Moore has volunteered to implement the Epi-auto injector program, with the department providing the training and purchase of the Epi-safe kits for the program.
The arrangement came about as a result of the assessment and collection of penalty payments made by SEMSA in Lassen County under the terms of the Exclusive Operating Area contract between NorCal EMS and SEMSA.
Moore detailed the parameters of the arrangement of those penalty payments saying, “Those penalty fees have to be used within Lassen County to benefit Lassen County.”
The city’s resolution states that the city fire fighters as well as Lassen College nursing staff are qualified to instruct, certify and purchase the Epi kits.
It is estimated that 85 individuals will receive instruction and be certified at an estimated per student cost of $23.53 and no instructor costs. Upon the project’s completion, the Susanville Fire Department is to submit a statistical summary of the services rendered to NorCal EMS. Examples of statistics to be acquired are the numbers receiving instruction and certification, number of individuals receiving instruction but not certification and whatever facts believed relevant.
Invoices will be submitted monthly and must contain backup, such as copies of receipts for materials, instructor name, wage and number of hours charged, student names and any other program expenses.
The project must be completed by May 31, 2019, with invoices to be received by NorCal EMS no later than June 30, 2019.
Moore explained to the council the difference between the auto injector and the Epi-safe kits, saying, “You may be familiar with an Epi-auto injector. They were the spring-loaded needles that the kids or adults would carry if they were allergic to peanuts or bees. Those are $600 and if they get hot, as we go on a wildland fire in 60 days, we throw them away. The Epi is no good. Secondly, we can only assist that individual to administer that to themselves so if they’re too far compromised, we were not trained at the time.”
The new kits, according to Moore’s statements, can be drawn into a vial from a needle and administered by an EMT. The vial of Epi costs $20 and the kit costs $100, which is still several hundred dollars cheaper than the spring-loaded Epi pen.
The reason the council item was written to include both the spring-loaded and vial kit, according to Moore, is “If there are not EMTs in, for instance, Doyle Fire Department, we would train them to administer the auto-injector; the spring-loaded needle. They would be certified to do that. That’s why you see both (on the agenda item).”