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Indie, a two-year-old St. Bernard, hangs out inside EMS headquarters, Thursday, December 17, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. Indie, a Nationally registered ADA service dog, is the in-house service dog for East Baton Rouge EMS that responds to critical incidents and supports employees following tough calls.

East Baton Rouge Emergency Medical Services is the only municipal EMS service in Louisiana holding national accreditation, which involves being evaluated by a panel of industry experts.

EMS spokesman Mike Chustz said the agency recently received a perfect score during its recent evaluation, which resulted in the accreditation being renewed for another three years. The perfect score means the reviewers found no deficiencies.

"Our staff has been key to our successful completion of the process. I think it gives the feeling of prestige and pride to work in an accredited ambulance service," Chustz said. "Everyone here played a valuable role in our ability to meet the commission's high standards."

Those standards often exceed state or local licensing requirements, he said. The process is completely voluntary. 

East Baton Rouge EMS first earned accreditation in 2007. Over 180 agencies nationwide are accredited, according to the national nonprofit Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, which oversees the process.

Chustz said the review process focuses primarily on patient care, in addition to relationships with other agencies, the general public and the medical community. It includes interviews with EMS staff and a complete review of internal policies and procedures.

Chustz said being accredited can help with recruiting and demonstrate to the public and elected officials that EMS is providing high quality care, among other things.

EMS Director Chad Guillot said it "represents our firm commitment to our patients and community."

"We continuously strive to do our best and we viewed accreditation as another step toward excellence," he said.


Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.