South Jefferson Rescue Squad leading county in using ‘paramedicine’ to administer COVID-19 vaccines

ABC50 NOW

ADAMS, N.Y. (WWTI) — As announced on April 13, the South Jefferson Rescue Squad has been designated the first EMS agency in Jefferson County to now be able to administer COVID-19 vaccines. 

This is permitted through Executive Order 202 enacted by Governor Andrew Cuomo, which allows agencies to perform “Paramedicine,” where paramedics travel to residents’ homes and vaccinate individuals on site.

According to South Jefferson Executive Director Deborah Singleton, the want for this service in the North Country is high, especially among vulnerable populations. 

“We know people that haven’t left their homes and over a year and they want to get out, but they’re not comfortable until they get that vaccine,” shared Singleton. “A lot of them have pre-existing conditions. But we let them all know that we have been fully vaccinated, we still are wearing an N95 mask when we go see them just to give them that additional assurance and it’s in their own home. So they’re much more comfortable.”

Singleton believes that this step for the agency, could be a pivotal moment in Emergency Medicine.

“This opportunity to show the state that we should be doing community paramedicine and what a vital role we can play,” expressed Singleton.

Adding, “paramedicine vaccination is the start.”

And the support from the community for these service has been immense. Hoping to further vaccinate those who maybe need it the most.

“Our community recognizes that South Jeff Rescue has always been at the forefront of doing things and, and that’s what we’ve always strived to do,” stated Singleton. “So step one, one is getting out and vaccinating.”

The South Jefferson Rescue Squad completed a trial run of this new program during the first week of April 2021, where paramedics successfully administered 30 vaccinations. The agency now plans to expand upon this in the coming months.

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