[Letter to the Editor] Regarding the City of Craig EMS Medical Director Resignation - P.O.W. Report

Monday, June 15, 2020

[Letter to the Editor] Regarding the City of Craig EMS Medical Director Resignation

I would like to correct any rumors and misinformation about my resignation as medical director for the City of Craig.

I was asked to become the medical director for Craig in 2016 by the Director of SEREMS. I initially had some concerns, number one not residing in Craig and number two the contentious relationship that Klawock EMS had fostered. Having worked for SEARCH in the past as medical director for all the rural clinics I knew intimately the challenges faced by the communities on Prince of Wales Island. I viewed this request as an important service to folks who live on POW.

I asked for assurances that I would have a reliable representative I could work with to provide advanced life support in Craig. That representative was Chaundell Piburn. She kept in regular contact with me regarding run reports, teleconferences with EMS members and facilitating visits by me to Craig for training sessions. I was also available 24/7 as medical backup to help guide the EMS crew when needed. Ms. Piburn was able to coordinate a Prehospital Advanced Trauma Life Support class for Craig EMS members. This is a very difficult course not only for the students but the coordinator to meet all the requirements. My services were done on a voluntary basis, no payment was received from the City of Craig.

A medical Director is required whenever an EMS service provides services beyond basic life support, which consists of CPR and basic trauma care. While advanced life support includes all the elements of basic life support and medications advanced cardiac care, and advanced trauma care. The Medical Director provides his or her expertise, medical licensure and DEA certificate. This allows the EMS service to provide care under the Medical Directors License.

When I was informed by Ms. Piburn that she had left her position with Craig EMS I was very sad. There were some special opportunities in the works for an EMS service that would also service Klawock. I was also concerned about my liability and losing a trusted colleague who was in agreement with my actions as medical director.

The City of Craig has lost a very dedicated member of the EMS service in Craig. I was routinely amazed at reading and discussing run reports with the crew. Ms. Piburn was routinely the EMS member providing care at the scene and in the ambulance.


J Russell Bowman, DO, MS, MHA, FAAFP, FAAEP

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