A not-so-traumatic award

Maine Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) last week honored the Mount Desert Island Hospital with its Trauma System Hospital of the Year Award. Considering the many quality trauma centers at hospitals all across Maine, it is a major feather in the institution’s cap.

According to a statement from MEMS, which is an arm of the Maine Department of Public Safety, the hospital was selected for its “involvement in the local and regional EMS system and their commitment to providing high quality trauma training for their staff.”

Katelyn Damon of the Cranberry Isles also was honored by the state for her work in building a dedicated cadre of emergency medical responders on the islands from two to nine. “Through her leadership, the service has continued to grow with new members and expanded training opportunities for its members,” the award says.

The hospital’s award serves as a fitting reminder of the hard work and dedication of the Emergency Department staff there in having the best emergency care available for area residents and the more than 2.5 million people who visit each year. Undoubtedly, MDI has benefited in part from its longstanding relationship with Penn Medicine and its interaction with, and training at, that hospital’s Level 1 Trauma Center.

Damon’s award exemplifies the spirit found through the island’s EMS system, from park rangers and U.S. Coast Guard personnel, to sole providers on offshore islands, to the crews and drivers of the ambulance services in Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor and Tremont.

Combined with the quick availability of Lifeflight of Maine’s helicopter ambulances, which can whisk patients to nearby major trauma centers, and the support of fire fighters, police and others, Mount Desert Island reaps the benefits of having one of most robust emergency medical systems in Maine. And for that, everyone living here, and the millions who visit, should be eternally grateful.

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