About Somerset EMS
Serving the community since 1982, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) includes three divisions: the Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU); Basic Life Support (BLS); and EMS and Community Education.
Mobile Intensive Care Unit
The MICU is a rapid response team with advanced life support expertise and technology that responds directly to the scene of serious accidents or medical emergencies. It is staffed by paramedics and specially trained registered nurses who provide advanced life support treatment. The unit is the primary provider of emergency/rapid response advanced life support services to Somerset County and provides secondary coverage to parts of Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer and Morris counties. Coverage is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
As soon as the MICU arrives at the scene, the team links the patient to a physician in the hospital’s Emergency Department through a sophisticated communications system. The system enables the physician to continually monitor the patient’s condition and supervise the treatment administered by the MICU team both at the scene and while en route to the hospital. This is especially important for cardiac patients. The Emergency Department receives EKG readings via modem while being transported.
The team’s services include intravenous therapy, administration of more than 40 medications, advanced airway management, 12-lead EKG interpretation and defibrillation.
The Role of Local Rescue Squads
Squad members, who are emergency medical technicians (EMTs), provide basic life support, which includes monitoring the patient’s pulse, blood pressure and respiratory rate; administering oxygen; applying dressings and splints; and beginning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
When the MICU team arrives, they supplement the squad’s efforts by providing advanced life support. Once stabilized, the patient is transported to the hospital by the rescue squad, accompanied by MICU personnel who continue patient assessment and treatment while maintaining contact with an Emergency Department physician.
When is the MICU Called?
Treatment is administered through a cooperative effort by the local rescue squad and the MICU. When someone dials 9-1-1 to report a medical emergency, the rescue squad is automatically dispatched. The MICU also will be dispatched in the event of:
- Cardiac problems/chest pain
- Respiratory distress/difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe trauma
- Allergic reaction
- Diabetic emergency
- Extensive burns and/or facial burns
- Drowning/near drowning
- Multiple-casualty incidents
- Labor with imminent birth or complications or if the newborn already is delivered
EMS and Community Education
A variety of courses from basic first aid to advanced cardiac life support is available.