HOUSTON (May 09, 2014)

Memorial Hermann Southwest HospitalDuring National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, May 18-22, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital joins the community in saluting those men and women on the ‘front line’ of emergency medical care.

“EMS personnel work long hours, usually in difficult environments and under trying circumstances, providing life-saving care and urgent transportation for the sick, injured, or elderly,” said Director of Emergency and Trauma Services Laura Price, R.N., Memorial Hermann Southwest. “Our hospital takes this opportunity to thank them for their dedication, service, and sacrifice.”

Through the month of May, the towers at Memorial Hermann Southwest are lit in red and blue to honor EMS workers, who are typically the first to arrive on the scene in emergency situations. National Emergency Medical Services Week was started by the American College of Emergency Physicians to publicize safety, educate the public, and honor the dedication and history of EMS workers.

In 1971, the Houston Fire Department assumed operation of emergency ambulances, which until that point had been run by local undertakers. As was the case across the United States, the development of formalized EMS was still in its infancy, but a growing priority for the city. Houston was one of the early pioneers, and District Chief L. O. "Whitey" Martin was assigned to put together the new service. Houston's EMS started with 126 personnel and 21 light van-type ambulances. In 1976, Martin and James "Red" Duke, M.D., who still is its medical director, founded Memorial Hermann Life Flight®. Today, Life Flight® completes more than 3,000 missions each year and the City of Houston's EMS is recognized as a global leader in emergency medical care.

Memorial Hermann Southwest operates the only Level III Emergency Room (ER) in southwest Houston and along Highway 59. Requirements for Level III designation include 24-hour-a-day coverage by trauma-trained surgeons, emergency department physicians and nurses, as well as 24-hour-a-day access to anesthesia, laboratory, and radiology services.

The ER at Memorial Hermann Southwest is equipped to stabilize and transfer trauma patients, including ambulance and Life Flight® helicopter access to Level I Trauma Centers at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital.

With online ER check-in, Memorial Hermann Southwest’s ER offers:

  • 43 beds, including two fast-track beds for minor injuries or conditions that require no or minimal diagnostic testing;
  • two rooms for triage and medical screening;
  • coverage 24/7 by board-certified emergency physicians and a support staff that includes physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and emergency-trained registered and licensed nurses;
  • full-body scanning equipment (64-slice X-ray computed tomography) and portable radiology equipment for rapid diagnosis and treatment;
  • clean, comfortable waiting rooms;
  • an accredited Chest Pain Center by Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care;
  • a certified Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission;