Behind the Scenes Extra: Q&A with West Chester Fire Department Captain

In a recent episode of our Behind the Scenes docuseries, we spent an evening with the trauma team in the Emergency Department at UC Health’s West Chester Hospital. You can watch the episode here.

The trauma team works closely with local EMS, including the West Chester Fire Department, to ensure patients receive the best care in a timely manner. We caught up with Captain Jason Hartley to learn more about how he partners with West Chester Hospital.  

By Matt Martin

Jason Hartley has been with West Chester Fire Department since 2007, serving as captain since 2017. During his time as a paramedic and captain, he’s seen the powerful role UC Health’s West Chester Hospital plays for the local community.

Q: How closely does the West Chester Fire Department work with West Chester Hospital?

A: Very closely. We have various trainings throughout the year either at the hospital or onsite at our fire headquarters where the physicians are available to speak directly to the crews to see their point of view. The hospital EMS coordinators have always been great at working together and handling any concern we may have. We even have department members, myself included, who were once employees in the Emergency Department.

Q: How do paramedics decide which hospitals they will take patients to?

A: For each department it’s different. In our case, if that patient is able to make the decision on their own, we allow them to choose. In cases where they can’t make the choice, or in a life-threatening situation, we will transport to the closest and/or most appropriate facility.

Q: What’s the process like in transporting patients to West Chester Hospital’s Emergency Department?

A: The transport and turnover process at West Chester Hospital is a seamless operation. In the event of a serious or life threatening call, the hospital will have a room and staff set aside awaiting our arrival and can begin treatment immediately with our crews assisting. For the less emergent runs, the registration process begins as we walk in the door and a room is assigned with a nurse to follow shortly after. This reduces our time on the call and allows the patient to be seen rapidly.

Q: What kind of impact does West Chester Hospital have on the local community?

A: The hospital has had a huge impact on the community. From the department aspect, our EMS units are returning to services faster thanks to the reduced travel time, which allows them to be available for another call. For the community as a whole, the hospital has participated in various community events where they have the opportunity to meet the residents and talk about a variety of classes and programs that are available.

Q: What makes the relationship between West Chester EMS and West Chester Hospital work so well?

A: Having the hospital in our backyard has allowed members of both teams to form a solid working relationship. The most stressful situation seems a little easier when you’re dealing with a familiar face who you know and trust.

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