Mission: Hands to hold and keep a heart from breaking, a halo symbolizing an angel who comforts and protects, and a diamond symbolizing the guiding light of hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Developed by Dan Kehoe, a member of the SVAA since 1982, the Patient and Family Advocate Team (PAT) helps the "secondary patients" on-scene. These forgotten patients are spouses, children, and close friends who need our help during an acute medical or trauma call but, out of necessity, have been pushed aside by the pressing need to focus the crew's attention on the primary patient.
While the EMS crew is helping the patient, the PAT member takes the family aside and works directly with them. Primarily, the PAT member separates them from the immediate scene, explains what is happening to their loved one, and connects them to the next level of emotional care.
Once the family is satisfactorily connected to hospital patient advocates, clergy, or other family members, the role of the PAT member is largely complete. While some PAT members remain involved or perform a beneficial follow-up service, this is extra and outside the main focus of the PAT program which is to "rescue the family" on-scene.
If you would like more information about starting a PAT group in your service, contact the SVAA using our contact information page.