Joint EMS Task Force Agrees on Plan to Enhance Service Countywide


A joint task force on Emergency Medical Services appointed by County Mayor Bill Ketron and Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland has committed to work together to enhance communications for coordinated emergency response in Rutherford County.

The verbal agreement comes after members of the task force appointed to review and recommend best practices met Tuesday (Sept. 18) to discuss how various emergency response agencies in Rutherford County can best serve residents who need emergency medical treatment.

The agencies include Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services, Murfreesboro Fire Rescue, Rutherford County Fire Rescue, Smyrna Fire Department, LaVergne Fire Department, Eagleville Fire Department and the Rutherford County Emergency Communications District (RCECD). Murfreesboro currently has an Interlocal cooperation agreement with Rutherford County EMS and these other departments are reviewing similar interlocal agreements.

The agreement to enhance Emergency Medical Services is essentially two-fold. Immediately, agencies agreed to adopt protocols to centralize and enhance communication, so life-saving response is the quickest from medically-trained personnel throughout the County. Long-term, the County and cities agreed to develop a plan for “consolidated dispatch” or one state-of-the-art dispatch system that will enhance the ability of all agencies to communicate effectively in an emergency. Members of the task force will report back with an initial long-term plan report by mid-November.

“We are already good, but we want to be the best in Tennessee,” said Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron. “Enhancing the services between Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services, Murfreesboro Fire Rescue, and all other municipalities in Rutherford County is a top priority for patient safety and care in my administration.”

“We need to leverage the City’s resources, including the City’s state of the art dispatch center, radio systems and tower space, for the good of the County,” said Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland. “Murfreesboro Fire Rescue has a highly-skilled, professional team of Emergency Medical Service providers. Creating a unified approach to enhance efficiencies and coordination of patient care is vital to our growing community.”

Rutherford County is working to implement an advanced Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) interface that will greatly improve communications between Rutherford County and Murfreesboro by January 2019. The task force’s agreement also charges RCECD with developing a plan to centralize dispatch of all agencies from one location. That plan will be reported back to the task force in mid-November.

Currently, Rutherford County operates ambulances with emergency medical services throughout the entire County and provides paramedic services within the City limits with Advanced Life Support (ALS), including patient transport, and advanced treatment to emergency room facilities. Murfreesboro Fire Rescue responds to emergency medical calls for help from ten strategic locations across the City and provides Advanced Life Support (ALS) to residents within the city limits. Rutherford County Fire Rescue responds to medical calls in the County as an ALS responder, and LaVergne Fire Department provides emergency medical response as Basic Life Support (BLS) First Responders. Smyrna and Eagleville have fire departments and are interested in adding improved emergency medical response.

Members of the Joint Task Force on Emergency Medical Services:

  • Chris Clark, Interim Chief, LaVergne Fire Department
  • Bill Culbertson, Chief, Smyrna Fire Department
  • Larry Farley, Chief, Rutherford County Fire Rescue
  • Mark Foulks, Chief, Murfreesboro Fire Rescue
  • Russ Galloway, Medical Director
  • Joe Haffner, Deputy Director, Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services
  • Brian Hercules. Smyrna Town Manager
  • Bill Ketron, Rutherford County Mayor
  • Kim Lawson, Assistant Chief of Medical Services, Murfreesboro Fire Rescue
  • Shane McFarland, Murfreesboro Mayor
  • Mike Nunley, Director, Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services
  • Rick Parks, Chief, Eagleville Fire Department
  • Bruce Richardson, City Administrator, La Vergne
  • Hellyn Riggins, Eagleville City Manager
  • Steve Smith, Director, Rutherford County 911
  • Craig Tindall, Murfreesboro City Manager
  • Paula Todd, Rutherford County EMS Training
  • Randy White, Assistant Director, Rutherford County Emergency Medical Service

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