BY LOGAN MCCOURTNEY –
Each year thousands of people need the services of an Emergency Medical Services [EMS], often the EMS provides care that helps save lives. EMS are a first line of defense, caring and treating those who need the service, until they arrive at the hospital. At Liberty EMS in Mena, they believe that quality care should not have to wait until the hospital.
“We started planning in 2014 and then began making runs in June 2014,” says co-owner, Terry Freeman. Liberty was the dream of Larry Thompson, George Muns, and Greg Henry. Each of the men wanted to set the standard in patient care in Polk County. With over 25 years of experience each, the guys at Liberty believe they can make a difference in the community with emergency care.
At Liberty, the standard has been set high for quality care and patient treatment. “Our expectation is that we would treat patients like family. I wouldn’t ever want to hear that if my mom needed an ambulance she was treated bad. I want to care for patients just like I desire for my mom to be cared for,” explains Terry. Through various training and meetings, it has been stressed to the EMT’s and paramedics at Liberty that caring for their patients is the top priority. Although medical care is important to Terry and Greg, they care even more that patients are treated with the respect and tenderness that they deserve. “It’s not how good our skills are, it’s about the care, compassion, and empathy that we show. Our skills are important, that could be the difference at times between life and death, but if we can’t give care without compassion and empathy we have missed the point.” One of the things that Terry has done to ensure the best quality of care for their customers are postcard surveys, “We send anybody that has used our services a card with a survey. The survey asks how our services were and what we might do better. We take time to review each of the cards so that we can continue providing excellent care.”
For those that are interested in the services of Liberty, they have a membership program. The membership program has several benefits, one of those being that people can predetermine which ambulance service they want to receive their care from. In this case, customers have the availability to choose Liberty as their main emergency provider. Another benefit of membership with Liberty is that they are providing care for customers at a cost that is affordable. “If somebody signs up for membership and they have no insurance, we will take 40% off the total cost and if they do have insurance or they are under insured, that 40% will be applied after the insurance is paid,” explains Terry. Liberty understands the high costs to receive care and they wanted to take another step in being able to provide the quality care that patients need. “Our hope is that people will buy in, meaning, if they ever need an ambulance, they will go with us because they have received this discount upfront.”
Currently, Liberty provides transfer and emergency services. Transfers may include taking a patient from the Mena hospital over to Little Rock, or any other hospital that the patient needs to be transported to. Along with transfers, emergency services can be utilized by people in the community. “This is another perk of being a member. You can trust that in your time of crisis, we are just a phone call away and we are ready to provide quality, caring service for you and your family,” says Terry with a smile. At the moment, Liberty has seven full time employees and several part time employees, along with full service ambulances that can be utilized for patient care. “We hope soon to hire more people and start another unit that would allow for us to better serve the people of Polk County.”
Terry and the crew believe that it is your liberty to choose which ambulance service you utilize. Their goal is to not only provide excellent medical care, but to do so with a smile on their face as they serve. “We believe the customer is the most important responsibility we have each day. We want to continue to raise the standard for patient care.” For more information about Liberty EMS, the services provided, or membership, call them at 479-394-4367 or visit them at 1402B Hwy 71 South.