From the Director
Welcome to Gaston County Emergency Medical Services (GEMS)! This website is designed to inform and educate all who visit about GEMS. I hope that you enjoy your visit here and will come back again to check up on us from time to time. We are proud of what we do, and we are proud to serve the residents and visitors of Gaston County. Hopefully, you won't need us. But know that we work hard to be prepared and proficient at all times just in case you do. So... please check us out and get to know us... we're here for you. When you see us, say hello or give us a wave. If at times we seem to be in a hurry, it's just because we're on our way to someone who needs us.
Our purpose here at GEMS, as our condensed mission statement says, is to "Preserve Life and Promote Safety." Much of what we do is responding when someone needs us. We have the medical and rescue training and equipment to respond to any type of situation. When a person's life hangs in the balance, we do our best to use all our knowledge, skills, and tools to save them. We use these same capabilities to treat any situation to reduce the morbidity or long term effects of sudden illness or injury. Of course, there are a lot of times when what we do best is show some compassion to those we are called to see. Part of our job is also to promote safety and educate people about safe practices. After all, we'd rather get to know you in some manner other than to treat you in an emergency.
We value our preparedness, proficiency, pride, and compassion. Preparedness includes training, equipment readiness, response plans, medical treatment protocols, and the well being of the caregivers, just to name a few. Proficiency has to do with how well-trained and practiced we are. Pride relates to how well we do our job. Finally, but just as important, is compassion. Our aim is to treat every patient we see just as we would want our own family members treated, proficiently and compassionately.
To do our job well, full-time personnel are Paramedics and are also trained as Emergency Rescue Technicians. In addition, we have several special teams made up of paramedics with specialized training. Our Special Tactics and Rescue (STAR) team members are technician level trained and equipped for Trench rescue, Confined Space rescue, Structural Collapse rescue, and High Angle rescue; some are also trained as Rescue Divers and some as Swiftwater Rescue Technicians. Our Bicycle Emergency Response Team (BERT) deploys medics on bikes for large event coverage and standbys. We also have a group of Tactical medics which train to deploy in support of the local SWAT and Emergency Response Teams. In addition, a group of personnel train with the local Bomb teams to support their operations.
GEMS was established in 1982 as a basic level ambulance provider. Today, we operate all Advanced Life Support units, and deploy a Rescue Support Unit and various special teams. We were the first EMS service in North Carolina to achieve accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services in 1995. GEMS was the 2002 recipient of the Emergency Medical Services magazine Gold Standard EMS Service of the Year Award.
All of us at GEMS value our relationship with the people of Gaston County . You might see us responding to an emergency or standing by at a local school event. You might even see us "posting" (sitting at a corner to cover the response zone of another unit). Wherever you see us, we're here for you. When you need us, we'll be there.
Mark A. Lamphiear
GEMS Mission Statement
Preserve Life - Promote Safety
The mission of Gaston County Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) is to preserve and enhance the quality of life for the residents and visitors of Gaston County by providing superior quality Emergency Medical Service.
GEMS will continue to be a leader in the Emergency Medical Services by focusing on clinical excellence, patient outcome, and customer service; public education and injury prevention; broad operational preparedness; and response readiness, efficiency, and collaboration. We will take the care to the patient.
Preparedness - Proficiency - Pride - Compassion
- We recognize the value and the gift of human life and pledge to treat every individual in the most caring and respectful manner possible.
- We recognize that each employee has intrinsic value, as well as unique talents and goals, which we will respect. We will help them realize their goals and ambitions to the extent of our ability.
- We recognize the importance of maintaining the highest standard of integrity in our dealings with patients, customers, and our peers. We will respect the privacy of others and maintain confidential; the information entrusted to us. We will speak respectfully to others at all times.
- We recognize that it is our duty to serve as patient advocates in all our dealings with our customers, and to protect their best interests and individual rights.
- We recognize that we must maintain the highest state of organizational and individual readiness, and value the physical and emotional well being of our personnel. We acknowledge the importance of training and education as a perpetual process.