Caring for kids: Paramedic named NFD’s first pediatric care coordinator

Nate Young is Noblesville Fire Dept.’s pediatric care coordinator. (Photos by Anna Skinner)

When Nate Young’s son spent a month at Riley Hospital for Children, it stirred a passion for caring for children.

Several years later, Young is now Noblesville Fire Dept.’s first pediatric care coordinator.

“I always liked treating pediatrics. I’ve always liked taking care of kids in the back of the ambulance, and I thought I was good at it,” Young said. “Once I had a kid and he spent a month at Riley, that set the spark and solidified my interest in medical care in kids.”

Young was hired at NFD in 2012, and he recently became one of three of the department’s community resource paramedics.

“The three of us do all of the community outreach stuff, fall prevention, mental health, and we respond with the police for mental/emotional call-outs to rule out the medical component,” he said. “We do an in-home fall assessment for older people, and we do referrals to Aspire and Community North and the Shepherd’s Center here in town.”

Young’s recent appointment to the pediatric care coordinator role takes his involvement with the fire department one step further.

“There is an initiative with emergency medical care for children. EMS Care for Children is a national organization that advocates for proper medical care of kids in the pre-hospital environment,” Young said. “Kids are traditionally a low-frequency, but high-acuity run. When we interact with kids during a 911 call, it’s typically for a fairly serious thing.”

Young said there is a concern about undertreatment care for children across the nation, such as lack of proper restraint systems and correct-size treatment tools.

“So, one of the things (the organization) recommends through that is every (department) identifies a pediatric emergency care coordinator, so that’s what we do,” Young said.

Young said he isn’t aware of a similar position in nearby departments. The position was created in April.

When Young heard about the position, he immediately applied for it. In the role, he is responsible for educating the department and the community, making sure the department stocks adequate equipment for pediatric patients, working on protocols and ensuring quality control.

Young helped NFD purchase restraints for babies. Prior to the acquisition, Young said the mother and child had to be secured together to transport the baby to the hospital. Typically, the mother would hold the baby and they would be secured together to a cot, but that was not the safest technique.

Young also is focused on community outreach.

“If a family comes home from Riley or Peyton Manning (Children’s Hospital) or somewhere with a brand new diagnosis, we are able to meet them and learn all about what their kid’s needs are and prepare all the ambulance and medics so if that 911 call comes, we know the address and the kid’s needs,” Young said. “That’s where we’re headed.”

Young is 32 and lives with his wife and child in Southport.

In addition to serving as NFD’s pediatric care coordinator, Nate Young also is one of NFD’s community resource paramedics.

 Advice for parents

Noblesville Fire Dept. Pediatric Care Coordinator Nate Young recommends that all parent learn CPR.

“Just a general thing for all kids is for mom and dad to know CPR and all the classes that American Heart Association has around that (such as) choking and first aid and all that,” Young said. “Drowning is a big one, so make sure the pools are safe and kids wear the right stuff like life jackets and all that. Then, outside of that, if somebody comes home with a significant diagnosis (it)  is (important) to know we are here and it’s a priority and they can call us and we can sit down and know about their kid and know the best way to take care of them and plan ahead of time so we are not playing catch up when 911 happens.”


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