Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services, Inc (SEMS) is a third service, not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 provider of emergency medical services serving approximately 10,000 residents of rural Washington County, MD. Smithsburg is situated at the western base of South Mountain, and approximately 10 miles from the Mason Dixon line separating Maryland and Pennsylvania. Due to its unique geographic location, SEMS provides direct mutual aide to Frederick County, MD; Franklin County, PA; and the eastern suburbs of Hagerstown. Staffing is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All advanced life support services are provided by Nationally Registered Paramedics (NREMT-P) and EMT-Intermediates (NREMT-I). Basic Life Support (BLS) personnel trained at the EMT-Basic level provide services for those patients requiring less intensive and specialized care.
SEMS has three fully equipped advanced life support ambulances, two ALS chase (sometimes called intercept) SUVS, and two support service vehicles. At least one crew is fully staffed at all times, with supplemental staffing provided by dedicated and highly trained local volunteers. SEMS is a member of the Washington County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association and receives direct oversight from the Washington County Department of Emergency Services. The department is independently operated by a combination of dedicated career administrators and volunteer officers. Funding is provided by direct billing, county government assistance, and the generous donations of the greater Smithsburg community.
SEMS was formed in 1980 to better address a growing need for professional EMS services in the Smithsburg area. Originally chartered and operated out of the local fire department by volunteer personnel, the organization quickly grew in size. Call volume expanded as the local population grew. In 1989 several founding members embarked on an ambitious journey: to build a station and complex solely dedicated to the provision of emergency services for the sick and injured. The current building was dedicated on November 18, 1990. For 20 years local volunteers have provided the vast majority of administrative and operational support out of the same building.
Today, EMS has drastically changed. The steady march into the future has led to an ever complex list of required knowledge and technical competencies. Paramedics in Maryland now carry over thirty different drugs for the treatment of a vast variety of medical emergencies. ECGs are captured in the field and transmitted wirelessly to local hospitals. For the first time in the history of the profession, serious empirical research is being applied to develop better treatments and to save more lives. Paramedics now wear many hats. They are both field clinicians and social workers. They respond to our worst disasters. They bring comfort when tragedy strikes. Most importantly, they must be equipped with the mental fortitude to answer the call for help when all other options fail. To this end SEMS has dedicated itself to being a world class provider of prehospital emergency care. By maximizing the benefit of local, qualified volunteers we have accomplished this goal while avoiding costly staffing expenses. This has allowed the department to provide EMS service at unparalleled value to the citizens of Washington County
Our mission? To save lives. Every day.