Panola industry donates mobile rescue systems

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Panola County first responders will soon have new equipment that will shorten the time from accident scenes to medical centers, and enhance working conditions for EMTs treating patients in the field.

Daniel Cole included the news in his report to the Board of Supervisors during their meeting Monday at the Batesville Courthouse.

Cole’s Emergency Management Office will get two deluxe model rescue systems to mount on the county’s side-by-side vehicles that are often used to reach citizens hurt during activities in woods, lake bottoms, and other places where terrain makes it difficult for ambulances to traverse.

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“From hunters falling out of their deer stands to people hurting themselves trying to cross a creek, our office and the ambulance service responds to a lot of calls every year in areas that we have to use ATVs to get people to medical care,” Cole said. “That doesn’t count the numerous four wheeler accidents there are every year. There are lots of times this equipment was badly needed in the past and we are so grateful for the donations that made it possible.”

The donations were from local industries with a matching grant from the Panola County Community Foundation.

Panola Partnership led the effort to raise the funds, about $15,000, needed for the equipment. Each side-by-side will soon be outfitted with a Stokes basket, equipment for hanging IV bags, storage for trauma treatment, and a jumpseat for a paramedic, or anyone, to care for an injured victim that needs transporting to a waiting ambulance.

“It’s not just out in the woods either,” Cole said. “Think about our dirtbike show and rodeos we have at the Civic Center. Depending on where someone gets hurt an ambulance would be slower than getting there quickly with the side-by-side. This is something that will be used all over the county, unfortunately, because accidents will always happen.”

A Stokes basket is a splint stretcher with lightweight construction designed to immobilize trauma patients during transport. They are often seen in footage showing ski rescues and other conditions where responders are carrying patients to ambulances.

Panola Partnership CEO Joe Azar said his office took on the project when he heard Cole’s department needed the equipment on recent patient transport, but funds had not been allotted in the current budget.

“I’m so proud of the way Panola County industry leaders responded to this opportunity,” Azar said. “We have an amazing group of people leading our local manufacturing and service industries and their contributions to the citizens of Batesville and Panola County with these purchases is proof of their commitment to a better future for all citizens.”

Other industry donating to the purchases were: GreenServ, Inc., Panola Paper Company, Newco, ACI Building Systems, CITE Armored, Panola Medical Center, United Solutions, Dunlap & Kyle, Toyoda Gosei, GE Aviation, Blauer Mfg., and Inca Presswood Pallets, Inc.