Beulah PD approaches ambulance board for QRU agreement
By Daniel Arens
Quick Response Units have been an unexpected focus for the Mercer County Ambulance Service Board in the last several months. Having had extensive discussions with the Zap Fire Department for a possible agreement between those two services, the ambulance board members were more informed when Frank Senn, Chief of Police for the Beulah Police Department, approached them about a similar agreement.
Senn noted that the police department has been providing some basic level of care for people whose calls they respond to already, but that state law requires a more formal agreement for this care provision. The Quick Response Unit (QRU) is an organization affiliated with a local ambulance service and allowed by that ambulance service to provide basic level of care until the ambulance arrives on scene.
In 2012, the Beulah Police Department came under the medical direction of Dr. Aaron Garman, who supervised the police response and whose protocol the police followed. Now, in response to growing drug issues in the state, law enforcement may be able to carry Narcan, a drug which can reduce the effects of overdose.
“Everybody in my community and surrounding communities are part of my family,” Senn said, noting that his philosophy as police chief was for the Beulah Police Department to do everything it can to help community members, including basic medical care.
Implementing a QRU with the ambulance service would in large part be a formality, according to Senn. He noted that, when they took Garman on as medical director, they did not realize that they were placed at a different level of care response according to state law.
Senn praised the relationship the Beulah police and the ambulance service have had, noting that the ambulance has always helped to replenish medical supplies which the police officers have on hand.
The ambulance board agreed that the simple recognition of the police department with a QRU was simple, but questioned whether the QRU should act under its own protocol or that of the ambulance service. Senn said he had no problems adopting the ambulance service protocol, as it would ensure continuity of care and clear up any confusion that could arise from competing protocols.