Blount EMS receives national accreditation


Jason Henderson (left), Blount EMS supervisor, and Weslie Powell, Blount EMS operations manager, apply new accreditation decals to the ambulance fleet.

Last week, NorthStar EMS was awarded another national accreditation. This one is from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services. The most recent accreditation includes Blount EMS, a subsidiary of NEMS.

NorthStar EMS is the first ambulance service in the state to earn both the CAAS and ACE (Accredited Center of Excellence) accreditations by the International Academies of Emergency Medical Dispatch.

“To have a third party review and validate that our company’s business and clinical practices meet the national EMS gold standards that have been defined by CAA is a true testament to the dedication of our EMS professionals,” Tony Smelley, president of NorthStar, said.

According to Weslie Powell, Blount EMS operations manager, CAAS not only makes sure business practices are defined and followed, but it also assesses a company’s commitment to quality improvement initiatives. The commission’s independent review of NorthStar’s organizational performance, vehicles and equipment, community engagement, and patient clinical standards “validates that the company is adhering to the highest standards in the emergency medical services industry.”

Accreditation by the commission shows that both NorthStar and Blount EMS meet all national performance benchmarks while delivering high quality care to patients and their families. Out of more than 17,000 EMS agencies spread across the United States, only 180 have received the prestigious CAAS accreditation. Blount EMS/NorthStar is one of four out of 216 transport EMS agencies in the state to hold that honor. “We can now be counted in this elite class of EMS organizations who have made the commitment to become a leader in EMS,” Powell said. “We have always attested that Blount EMS does a great job, but to be validated by a third-party that we are in fact meeting all the standards required of an accrediting agency solidifies our commitment to provide excellence in pre-hospital medicine to the communities we serve.”