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Susan Clark PhotoThe Bedford Fire Department's emergency medical services team was named the EMS Unit of the Year by the state Department of Safety Division of Fire Standards and Training and Emergency Medical Services. From left are Firefighter/Paramedic Corey Fecteau, Deputy Chief Mark Klose, Firefighter/EMT-Intermediate Sue Marden, Advanced EMT Lt. Aaron Lambert, and Fire Chief Scott Wiggin. The award is sponsored by the Bound Tree Corporation in Henniker. 

Bedford EMS awarded for exceptional service

BEDFORD — The Fire Department has earned a place among the best emergency medical services in the state.

Bedford EMS was named the New Hampshire Emergency Medical Services Unit of the Year, an award sponsored by Bound Tree Corporation of Henniker.

The award is presented annually to an EMS unit that exhibits exceptional service while delivering patient care, public relations, education, prevention programs or other activities.

"The guys feel it's a good recognition for them. It's a reflection on the agency and the quality of service we provide to the community," said Fire Chief Scott Wiggin.

Bedford was nominated by Dr. Tom D'Aprix, the medical control physician who serves as the liaison between EMS services affiliated with the Elliot Hospital in Manchester.

"We were presented the unit of the year for the level of services we provide regarding our quality assurance, quality improvement (QAQI) program," said Mark Klose, deputy fire chief of operations and training for the Bedford Fire Department.

The QAQI program logs each patient's care report, which is reviewed the day it's written, then reviewed again by a senior member who makes sure the chart meets state standards, is complete and uses correct protocol. A group of Bedford firefighters in all levels from intermediates, advanced EMTs and paramedics, also meet once a quarter to review patient charts. The objective is to improve patient care and promote more efficient care providers.

"It's a checks and balance. We do the check, then it's kicked up to the QAQI committee. If there's a discrepancy, the patient care provider checks the chart and makes corrections. It's good for them to know what the discrepancies are. They also get attaboys for doing it right," Klose said.

Klose oversees the discrepancies and if it continues, the report then goes to Wiggin and D'Aprix.

"I think in four years we've only had one case that went to the chief," Klose said.

Bedford's QAQI program was created through communications with the Derry and Concord fire departments, after which Bedford adapted the program to fit its needs.

"Now other fire departments are using our model, and shared our model with different agencies across the state," Klose said.

Hooksett began its ambulance service about three years ago and has met with Bedford paramedic Lt. John Leary regarding its QAQI program.

Klose said he was the department's first paramedic in 1992, and now Bedford has 16 paramedics and eight EMT/Intermediates.

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