CoxHealth pioneered EMS pre-hospital services for Greene County in 1971 at Cox North with a mobile coronary care unit.
This ambulance was staffed with highly trained personnel and specialized equipment to help patients experiencing a cardiac event. In 1985, a second coronary care unit was added at Cox South to provide additional coverage for the accelerated growth occurring in southern Springfield. Another specialty ambulance launched in 1982 - the neonatal transport ambulance, or Baby Buggy. This ambulance was created to transport NICU nursing staff, respiratory therapists and neonatologists to smaller regional hospitals and to provide advanced care for newly born babies in distress while transporting them to Cox South NICU. The Baby Buggy still serves the community today.
Local counties, such as Christian County, began to form tax-based ambulance districts in 1984. With the formation of these districts, CoxHealth began to provide management and staffing for advanced life support (ALS) ambulances in 1987. The services were first launched in the rural areas of Stone, Douglas and western Greene County, including the Republic, Billings and Clever areas. Services were first provided to the Christian County Ambulance District in 1988. The ALS ambulance service also expanded throughout Springfield in early 1988.
During the late 1980s, CoxHealth EMS continued to expand into the six-county coverage seen today. CoxHealth has continued to be an innovator in EMS and a front-runner of emergency care throughout Missouri. CoxHealth EMS was among the first in the state to perform in-field 12-lead ECGs and transport those patients to an emergency department. CoxHealth EMS was also one of the first to perform rapid recognition and transporting of acute stroke patients. Since Missouri passed legislation calling for time-critical diagnosis (TCD) for trauma, cardiac and stroke care, CoxHealth EMS has been used as a model for the development of TCD systems across the state.
The Future of CoxHealth EMS
CoxHealth EMS continues to expand into areas of recognized need. The CoxHealth Advanced Practice Paramedic (CHAPP) program was developed to provide in-home care with the hope of minimizing the number of emergency department visits for select patients. CHAPP Paramedics, or Community Paramedics, are highly trained and work directly with the patient’s physicians. These paramedics provide basic and advanced care in the patient’s home, arrange scheduled physician visits, obtain needed services and equipment and educate patients to better care for themselves.
In 2018, and as a result of high quality, fast paced and uncompromising patient care, CoxHealth was awarded a contract with the United States Department of Defense (DoD). This contract gives CoxHealth the privilege and honor of providing advanced hospital and field training to the DoD’s Special Operations Combat Medics (SOCM). Military based, advanced life support practitioners receive both one-on-one classroom and field training from CoxHealth physicians and field paramedics. This advanced training enables the finest combat medics in the world to become even better.
CoxHealth EMS provides timely, advanced emergency care to more and more citizens through close and expanding relationships with local public and private EMS agencies and city and rural fire departments. CoxHealth EMS educators provide EMS education to partnering agencies, as well as CPR and Stop the Bleed training to the community. In addition, our ongoing relationship with Ozarks Technical Community College allows CoxHealth EMS to continue educating future EMTs, AEMTs and paramedics.