Before an EMS first responder service was available, Health Providers through the Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center responded to medical emergencies until an ambulance arrived. The need for EMS personnel was first initiated for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community through the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Health Representatives (CHR) program. CHR responsibilities were best described as an advocate between the patient and the health care center. They would assist the community members with their medication needs, transportation and anything else that might create a barrier for patients to get their health taken care of. Because of their trusted outreach work and connection with the community, the Stockbridge-Munsee Health Board required the CHRs to become our first trained EMT's in 1974-75.
In 1979 the Stockbridge-Munsee Community hired an EMS Coordinator to put a program together for emergency services. As people took an interest in taking the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training, it wasn't long before a good number of trained EMTs were available.
Fully staffed by EMTs, the Stockbridge-Munsee Ambulance Service became available in the early 1980's. Between 1983-84 Emergency Medical First Responders were also recruited to work with the EMTs.
As time went on ambulance personnel could not be retained in order to keep the ambulance service available and licensed. The Stockbridge-Munsee ambulance service was discontinued in 1987. A new strategy followed to recruit EMS personnel. The new focus would be to coordinate an EMS first responder program made up of both EMTs and First Responders without the Stockbridge-Munsee Ambulance. Tigerton Area Ambulance would be the primary responding area ambulance service.
Due to a limited number of EMS 1st Responders available only (1) Responder at a time could be scheduled daily for responding to emergencies. The EMS Coordinator decided to move on and resigned from his position in October of 1992. Rehiring for the position was postponed.
Coordination responsibilities of the Stockbridge-Munsee EMS continued to be carried out by the Stockbridge-Munsee Health Center Facility Safety Coordinator under the guidance of the Stockbridge-Munsee EMS Medical Advisor. Later recruitment efforts resulted in an increase of 1st Responders, which allowed Stockbridge-Munsee EMS to schedule (2) responders at one time, rather than (1).
In 1998 the Tribe decided to post a position to hire a full-time Coordinator that would coordinate the EMS part-time and Volunteer Fire Department part-time. In July of 1999 this position was filled.
In October of 2001 the Stockbridge-Munsee EMS services was separated from the fire department responsibilities. The Coordinator's positions would now focus more on emergency medical services and injury prevention for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community.
In October of 2002 the full time EMS Coordinator moved on and the Coordinator position was again vacant. Until the position could be filled, the Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center Safety Director would again carry out the Coordination responsibilities for the Stockbridge-Munsee EMS Services.
In August of 2003 the full time EMS Coordinator position was filled.
Today the Stockbridge-Munsee EMS 1st Responder Service is staffed by (5) active responders made up of both EMTs and Emergency 1st Responders. In an effort to assure that someone is available at all times to respond to an emergency, stand by coverage is scheduled on a 24 hour basis, seven days a week, weekends and holidays. The service is very important to the Community and is supported well by the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Government. The service has also been enhanced with good team support received from the Tigerton Area Ambulance Service.