In the world of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) we are confronted on each call with a variety of circumstances that can challenge even the most seasoned EMTs and Paramedics. Working in environments that are often uncontrolled, (i.e., a wreck scene or cardiac arrest where family members are often distraught), there are times when Murphy’s Law tends to take center stage. “If something can go wrong, it will.”
Fortunately, our team members are experienced and trained to manage chaos while at the same time providing high quality patient care and medical transportation. As part of the healthcare team, it is our desire to help the communities we serve understand steps they can take to decrease their need to utilize EMS. Subsequently, if 911 is called, it is important to understand how the EMS system works. To this end, NorthStar EMS began a unique media campaign.
- To maximize our exposure to the community.
- To reach a wider audience to present injury/illness prevention information.
- To improve our relationship with our local Fox News affiliate.
Planning & Implementation
NorthStar EMS contacted our local news affiliate, WBRC Fox 6 News, to develop a monthly news segment during their afternoon newscast focused on EMS topics. There topics have included: when to call 911, what information someone should be prepared to provide when talking to the 911 dispatcher, injury and illness prevention strategies, and advice on how to manage medical emergencies prior to the arrival of the EMS Team.
To accomplish this goal, a commitment was made to the following:
- NorthStar EMS and Fox 6 news established a monthly schedule for the segment.
- NorthStar EMS would develop “Talking Points” to aid the news anchor to ask specific questions to guide what information needs to be conveyed to the public.
- NorthStar EMS has been able to promote EMS throughout the community with segments Nielsen Audience estimates reach 55,000 households per newscast.
- A by-product of our effort has afforded NorthStar EMS with an ad value calculated at $2,100 and a calculated publicity value of $6,300 per monthly segment.
- NorthStar EMS will often invite local healthcare professionals to join us in our segments based on their expertise on the monthly topic being presented. This has allowed us to develop great professional relationships within the local medical community.
- This effort provides an opportunity for NorthStar EMS to meet its internal goal in cementing our community involvement, particularly in the area of providing education on injury and illness prevention.
In the last 18 months NorthStar EMS (NEMS) has participated in 16 news segments. The most popular segments are those where actual demonstrations are performed, i.e., CPR, use of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED), managing the Choking patient, and how to control bleeding.
According to Neilsen ratings, the news segment reach 55,000 people each month.
NEMS receives over $90k in advertising exposure per year.
Another unexpected benefit of this plan has been the overall relationship we have developed with the Fox 6 News team. Whenever they have questions related to medical emergencies or EMS in general, they call us for information. We have become their industry expert on all EMS related matters.
For our industry, this is indeed a Community Impact program. NorthStar EMS has enhanced our name recognition throughout the community. People don’t just say, “Call an ambulance.” They are now say, “Call NorthStar!”
$25 per month. $300 per year.
The majority of the news segments are facilitated by NEMS Management (salaried). Hourly Team Member participation would be for less than an hour.