By Ken Bustin
Hardy County Commissioner Steve Schetrom is the newest member of the West Virginia Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council. Schetrom represents the County Commission Association, one of several entities whose appointees comprise the 15-member Council. He replaces Nancy Cartmill of Barboursville.
“This is a great honor,” Schetrom said, explaining that the Council advises and makes recommendations to the Commissioner of Health and Human Resources and the Office of Emergency Medical Services regarding the development and implementation of emergency medical services for the entire state.
Judge Carter Williams administered the oath of office to Schetrom last Wednesday morning at the Hardy County Courthouse. Upon concluding the swearing-in, Williams congratulated Schetrom on his appointment, saying, “I don’t think they could have picked a better person for the job.”[private]
Created by §16-4C-5 of the West Virginia Code, the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council is charged with:
• Advising the Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health and/or the Commissioner’s designated representative concerning emergency medical services;
• Working with the Commissioner/designee to develop standards for emergency medical service personnel;
• Providing advice to the Office of Emergency Medical Services and to the Commissioner/designee on establishing and maintaining adequate emergency medical services for all portions of the state;
• Reviewing the current emergency medical system and making recommendations for improvement, and;
• Providing assistance to the Office of Emergency Management.
The 15-member Council is comprised of: two representatives of the Mountain State Emergency Medical Services Association (one paramedic, one EMT-Basic); one representative from the County Commissioners’ Association; one representative from the West Virginia Firemen’s Association; one representative from the West Virginia Hospital Association; one representative from the West Virginia Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians; one representative from the West Virginia Medical Services Administrators Association; one representative from the West Virginia Medical Services Coalition; one representative from the Ambulance Association of West Virginia; and one representative from the State Department of Education.
In addition, the Governor appoints three members representing the general public, one person representing the emergency medical service providers operating in the state, and one person representing the small emergency medical service providers operating in West Virginia.
The Council has also created liaison positions to interface with other agencies, associations, or EMS specialty groups. The primary purpose of the liaison positions is to exchange information. Liaisons are not voting members of the Council, but they are included in discussions. Whenever possible, the Council solicits the liaisons’ opinions.
While State code requires the group to meet at least twice a year, the Council’s bylaws require it to meet at least quarterly. The meetings are open to the public, and notices are posted on the Secretary of State’s website. Meeting minutes are available to the public.[/private]
For further information about the Council, readers may visit their website at: http://www.wvemsac.org.