Desert Springs Finds Picture-Perfect Way To Honor EMS Crews

October 15, 2020appreciation for frontline workers

COVID-19 has heightened many people's appreciation for frontline workers. But Sue Hoppler, clinical supervisor at Desert Springs Hospital, was celebrating the community's first responders long before the pandemic began.

Hoppler, RN, BSN, has spent the past 35 years managing the transfer of care of EMS patients into the hospital, where she's gotten to know the dedicated professionals who respond to 911 calls and other emergencies. "The clinical supervisor interacts with almost every patient they bring in," she says of first responders. "I've known them for a long time. In fact, some who were medics when I first started now have kids who are medics."

Over the years, Hoppler has gained a deep appreciation for the work these men and women do and formed a close-knit relationship with them that helps to streamline care when emergencies arise. "They're not just ambulance drivers," she says, remarking on the education required for EMS crews to support patients during critical times of need.

"Our nurses and doctors collaborate with paramedics to understand the first moments of care, treatments given and effectiveness of early interventions," adds Tony Greenway, market director of EMS for The Valley Health System. "EMS crews truly are our eyes and ears in the early moments of care. By working together, we ensure patients receive faster care and have better outcomes, especially when minutes matter."

Special Recognition

One way Hoppler has shown her appreciation for EMS workers is by hanging their pictures on a wreath each holiday season. This became so popular that Hoppler decided to take the many pictures she’s collected and organize them into a collage that now hangs at the hospital year-round. Displaying the photos is a way to let them know that "we recognize them and we appreciate them," she says.

Hoppler acknowledges that COVID-19 has introduced another potential risk for frontline workers, but they are rising to the challenge with well-established protocols in place to protect the safety of patients, medical staff and everyone involved.

"When folks call 911 in our community, they can expect professional EMS providers to arrive promptly, ready to help," Greenway says. "Our EMS partners are prepared to treat patients experiencing all varieties of emergencies, including complications from COVID-19. They are trained in infection control processes to help keep the risk of disease transmission low, including the use of N-95 respirators, gloves, goggles and gowns. They disinfect their ambulances and equipment after every call. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 without delay."