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In good hands

Oak Crest EMS wins Star of Life Award for outstanding service

Created date

July 23rd, 2013
Oak Crest EMS wins Star of Life Award for outstanding service

Do you feel safe coming home to an empty house after dark? Do you worry about the security of your house while you re away on vacation? What would you do if you had a medical emergency and couldn t get to the phone? Those who live at Oak Crest, the Erickson Living community in Parkville, Md., rest easy thanks to a multifaceted security system that makes their personal safety a top priority. Going far beyond protection from muggers, vandals, and burglars, Oak Crest features round-the-clock monitoring for fires, emergency situations, home safety assistance, as well as a detailed preparedness plan in the event of a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake. Everyone deserves to feel safe at home, at every hour of the day and night, says Eric Trautman, senior facilities manager, who oversees all security procedures at Oak Crest. People who live at Oak Crest enjoy a feeling of calm and security as they go through their busy days.

Safe and sound

Some of the safety features at Oak Crest include trained personnel who work the gated entrance and keep the campus secure throughout the day and night 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; 31 round-the-clock security cameras; a sentry latch on the front door of every apartment home; and a reverse 911 system known as Swiftreach, which provides emergency information to all 2,100 residents by phone. Resident George Shrader moved to Oak Crest a year ago and has experienced that protection first-hand. Not long after I moved in, I had someone come to the front gate and request to see me, says George. The security guard called me to verify that I was expecting a visitor. I wasn t. It turned out to be a salesman. They sent him away, and that was the end of it. Oak Crest currently employs 47 security officers, 5 of whom are trained and certified in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and automated external defibrillator (AED) by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. Thirty of those officers are certified emergency medical technicians; 7 are licensed paramedics; 7 are retired county fire department personnel; and 14 are actively affiliated with volunteer fire departments. This May, Oak Crest s emergency medical services team received the Star of Life Award from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) for providing high quality care, effective policies, outreach in the community, health and well-being, and training staff in administering basic first aid. It was an honor to receive this recognition from MIEMSS, says Trautman. We are particularly proud of the daily coordination that goes into serving our residents.

Like clockwork

Trautman says that the synchronization between physicians in the Oak Crest medical center and access to electronic medical records is part of the integrated health system that residents trust. Those partnerships enhance preventive care and can actually eliminate some non-emergency trips to area hospitals. Each resident also has emergency pull cords in their apartment homes. Trautman noted that the average response time is 2.8 minutes, a testimony to the responsiveness of the team in covering an 87-acre campus. Training is a vital part of our operations. Our dispatchers receive the same preparation as 911 operators, and our responders take continuing education and monthly courses as well as satisfy state requirements, says Trautman. Oak Crest employees aren t the only ones who have the opportunity to undergo training. The emergency medical team offers a variety of different classes for Oak Crest residents on topics like fraud prevention, fire safety, and emergency preparedness. Oak Crest also has a disciplined focus on crime prevention and emergency preparedness. Twice a year the community conducts an emergency preparedness drill providing the opportunity to practice responsiveness and preparedness in the event of a real emergency. To Ernest Rehmeyer, chair of the Oak Crest resident advisory council, the systems provide comfort. These professionals are very prepared to do their jobs, says Ernest. Just as important, it s the human element that makes the difference. These men and women care about us, and their presence provides peace of mind to our families. Trautman says, for him, knowing he s making a difference in people s lives is what matters most. I love hearing feedback from residents, he says. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to hear someone say, thank you for taking care of my mom, dad, husband, or wife.