Hoke sheriff launches ALS deputy medics program

Initiative aims to improve public safety and medical response in rural areas

RAEFORD — In an attempt to address the challenges of timely emergency medical response in rural areas, the Hoke County Sheriff Office has launched a Deputy Medics program that will see deputies cross-trained as emergency medical technicians (EMT).

The Sheriff, himself a flight paramedic, worked with county and state officials, as well as Cape Fear Valley hospital administrators to develop an advanced life support training program for deputies.

Set to go live on April 1, the program is the first of its kind in the region. Deputies will operate as EMTs, and the department is currently awaiting licensing for Advance Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) capabilities from the North Carolina Office Of Emergency Medical Services.

AEMT certification will enable Deputy Medics to perform critical medical intervention before EMS arrival, including starting IVs, administering some medications, placing advanced airway “breathing tubes”, 12-lead ECG cardiac monitoring prior to EMS arrival, saving significant time and, potentially, saving lives.