Scurry named EMS director
by Robert Joseph Baker | July 19, 2014 8:17 am
Last Updated: July 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm
Not long after he was named the new director of Clarendon County EMS, he and his wife, Teresa, welcomed a little girl.
Mary Lee Scurry is now about nine weeks old, and her father has been heading up the county’s paramedic service since the end of April.
“It’s been a busy time,” Scurry said.
Scurry took the reins from former director Buck Turbeville. He had first joined EMS in the late 1990s, and left after about six years of service.
“I went to Lee County and was EMS director there for a little more than three years,” Scurry said. “Then I went to Colleton County Fire Rescue and worked there for three years.”
He came back to Clarendon County EMS about two years ago as a paramedic, he said. Now, as director, he said his main responsibility is “making sure that the county EMS has the adequate resources to handle emergency calls.”
This involves two divisions, he said. One – EMS – responds to calls made to 911; the other – Cypress Transport – takes patients out of the hospital or from nursing homes to dialysis or other similar appointments.
“If it is medically necessary for the patient to go, then we do provide that transport service,” Scurry said. “So we have those two different divisions under this one umbrella. Both are owned by the hospital, and we’re able to provide both emergency and transport services to our citizens.”
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE DEPARTMENT?
I’m just going to work toward constantly improving the department by adding new medical treatments, adding new medications and just trying to basically make sure that we have the structure here so that it’s always becoming a better workplace for my staff. I have a really great staff and they deserve the best. I want our department to be something that they can be proud of.
HOW MANY PARAMEDICS DOES EMS HAVE?
We have 14 full-time paramedics. We have a full-time staff of 25 employees overall.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A PARAMEDIC?
Your next call could be something totally different than your previous one. You have to be versatile and ready for anything. You have to be able to manage patients that are critical in different situations: Not every person that’s critical is going to be presenting that status the same way. I think one of the toughest jobs is being able to juggle really sick patients and to be versatile. Many times, especially if it’s a bad accident or something like that, and you have multiple patients, it can be challenging to prioritize care and decide who comes first.
WHAT ABOUT THE HOURS?
The hours are long, it’s true. We can spend a third of our lives up here at work. Our paramedics work an average of about 120 hours every two weeks.
WHAT IS THAT LIKE WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO HAVE A FAMILY?
It’s tough on a family. That’s why I want to try to make them have the best possible living conditions that I can. That’s really a big part of what I’m striving for as director: I want to make them feel appreciated.
WHAT IS MOST REWARDING ABOUT BEING A PARAMEDIC?
Really knowing that you made a difference in your patient treatment. That doesn’t have to be anything lifesaving, although that is rewarding, too. It could be just helping someone get the patient care that they need, or getting them into a facility where they can get medications they need. It can be helping them secure their home so it doesn’t catch on fire. It’s just knowing you made a difference in their lives.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY.
I married Teresa 12 years ago. We have an older son, John Lewis, who is 11. And we just had Mary Lee.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
I’m away from my family a lot, so anything that I do I like to do it with my family. I do enjoy hunting and fishing.