Hartford Firefighters, Paramedics Save Choking 2-Year-Old

Aetna's responding Paramedic was Samuel Dybdahl (L)

Aetna’s responding Paramedic was Samuel Dybdahl (L)

From NBC Connecticut. Read the whole story here…

[continued…] The fire department posted a letter from Aetna Ambulance on its Facebook page, thanking responding firefighters for their quick thinking.

According to the letter, EMTs and firefighters were called to the city’s South End around noon Thursday. They found the toddler unresponsive with a “complete airway obstruction.” Firefighters performed chest compressions and the Heimlich maneuver.

Medical personnel worked with firefighters to remove the food from the child’s airway and give the toddler oxygen.

Aetna Ambulance director of operations Mark Hannegan said the emergency responders’ teamwork kept the child alive.

Hartford Fire Department - Aetna Ambulance Service, Inc.“There is no doubt that without quick, calm and professional actions by all on scene, the child would have died,” Hannegan said in a letter to the fire chief thanking the firefighters of Engine 10. “The attending physician called and said that prehospital care ‘legitimately saved this kid’s life.’ He said that the child is doing well.”

Aetna’s Ashley Harkins and Justine Monahan Visit Wethersfield Brownies

Wethersfield BrowniesWETHERSFIELD — On April 16, 2015 Aetna’s Ashley Harkins and Justine Monahan visited Brownie Troop 10262 out of Wethersfield, CT. The two afforded the girls the opportunity to learn from strong female role models.

Scouting troop visits serve to increase children’s awareness of Emergency Medical Services, when to call 911, what Paramedics and EMTs do to help people and why serving the community is important.

National Donate Life Month: Jason’s Story

Jason age 12 (2)The following is a guest blog post that came to us as via our commitment to the intersection of EMS and Organ Donation, courtesy of LifeChoice Donor Services, and as part of National Donate Life Month.

The fear which truly speaks to the heart of a first responder and parent answering a child trauma call is, what if that were my son, daughter, niece, or nephew.  I’m here to tell you, having that fear realized is even worse than your worst anticipations. I was a police officer on the City of Groton PD for 25 years. I was on the Dive/Rescue team for 16 years, a Critical Incident Stress Debriefer, started the Dept. bicycle team, MRT, CPR Instructor, and received the Dept. Life Saving Medal. I have seen just about every type of crime, accident, injury, or wrong that can be perpetrated by one human being against another.  None of those skills prepares you to respond to your own son’s motor bike accident in front of your house on a cold early December Saturday while decorating for Christmas in 1997.

Memories of a screech of tires, a scream for “Dad”, doing CPR with my wife, a Nurse Practitioner, the distant sirens, and faces in the periphery. The aftermath of a miscalculation by Jason, my 15 year old, and another friend’s collision, would never be undone.  The hazy memory of an ambulance ride, hospital personnel, worried faces, and then finally a pronouncement the next day of an unrecoverable traumatic brain injury, despite the helmet, all reside within me still.

Through the haze, numbness, denial, phone calls, hugs, and raw soul-wracking tears, I remember being quietly asked about donation.  My wife, having been a critical care nurse at one time, found it easy to respond yes, while I was not yet ready to accept this finality.  But I also knew deep within my heart that if lives could be saved by such a simple choice when no other outcome was possible, then of course we’d do that.  And it might even make some sense out of a senseless loss, or at least be a life-affirming positive side to an otherwise helpless situation.  It also gave us some sense of control in the chaos around us.

The decision was made to donate any and all organs, bone, and skin tissue, and I distinctly remember thinking why do anything limited or ‘half-ass’, that if a life or lives could be saved by this simple act, even though my son’s could not, then that’s what we’d do, and I signed the papers.  (As a side note to all this, we were still able to have an open casket and say our final goodbyes to Jason.)   I won’t pretend it was easy, but it was right, and over time has made life without Jason easier knowing his life had meaning, and does, in a real sense, still go on.

By Jim Murray, Jason’s dad

Norwich, CT

LifeChoice is the federally designated, non-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) for six counties in Connecticut and three counties in Western Massachusetts, with a combined population of 2.3 million people. The OPO serves 23 acute care hospitals for organ and tissue donation, and has two organ transplant hospitals: Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT, and Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA. For more information or to schedule an in-service, please contact Donna Crombez at dcrombez@lifechoiceopo.org.

Cleared for Independent Dispatch: Aetna’s Juan Rodriguez Completes Precepting Phase

Juan Rodriguez (L) with Hartford Hospital's Dave Bailey

Juan Rodriguez (L) with Hartford Hospital’s Dave Bailey

HARTFORD –  As of April 16, 2015, Aetna’s Juan “J” Rodriguez has been cleared by Hartford Hospital medical control for independent dispatch as a paramedic to the towns that Aetna serves.

J started at Aetna as an EMT-Basic in March of 2010 and graduated from the Hartford Hospital-Goodwin College Paramedic Program. His preceptor was Paramedic Kevin Stock. The full precepting phase can take ten to 12 weeks or more as the paramedic is prepped for the realities of the field.

As with all precepting phases at Aetna, J’s final approval came from Hartford Hospital after shadowing him and his preceptor in the field as they responded to emergency calls.

On behalf of the Aetna Family, we would like to wish J the best of luck and say we are very proud to have such skilled professionals on staff.

Words That Describe Us: Volume 53

Aetna Ambulance Service, Inc. - Ambulance Service of Manchester, LLC.MANCHESTER and HARTFORD — Aetna Ambulance and ASM send Patient and Customer Satisfaction Surveys to a random sampling of patients who have received emergency or STAT inter-facility services from our companies.

The final question in the survey asks “Do you have any suggestions on how we can improve our service?” And, “Please use one word to describe us.”

Some of the answers/responses included:

  • Skilled.
  • Very impressive. They were great. I don’t remember much.
  • Competent and comforting.
  • Very professional and thoughtful.
  • Great.
  • Helpful + reassuring.
  • Very professional and kind.
  • Excellent: Thank you!
  • Very professional, caring.
  • Very nice.
  • We were very happy with their service + appreciate their caring help. (15-13680; D. Pozniak, S. Yenco).
  • Caring, well organized & efficient (15-17246; G. Geres, S. Boutot).
  • Professional, caring, competent. Crews on [X] trip and [X] return home were wonderful to Dad and took great care of him. (B. Mathiau, D. Kapplan, P. Gleason, M. Hoyt).
  • The ambulance crew were very kind + took very good care of my wife. Thank you.
  • Professional, low key. (15-17217; A. Harkins, J. Monahan).
  • Attentive.
  • They are fantastic (15-17847; M. Buerk, P. Yakushchenko with Manchester Fire Rescue EMS).
  • Wonderful.
  • The team was caring, gentle and professional. Thank you for all you did for me. (15-17362; R. Davenport, C. Everest).
  • Great!
  • Professional, friendly, courteous. (15-18080; M. Tuttle, D. Tedeschi).
  • Professional/courteous.
  • Professional x 3.
  • Reassuring and efficient.
  • I am glad that I could choose the hospital I wanted to go to.
  • The ambulance attendance (sic) were very caring + supportive + comforting. Thank you.
  • Very comforting.
  • The two ladies that came were very nice and made my daughter feel comfortable and stress free. 1st experience ever with ambulance service. Have nothing bad to say. They came so fast…Very satisfied! (15-19133; G. Geres, S. Debarge).

Kudos from the Cath Lab: Volume 11

Aetna Paramedic receives Kudos from the Cath LabHARTFORD — During March 2015, ASM Paramedic Adam Fine and his partner David Tedeschi responded to a medical call in Coventry with Coventry Volunteer Fire Association (CVFA) ambulance. The EKG was indicative of a STEMI and Adam wirelessly transmitted the 12-lead EKG to Saint Francis Hospital, activating their cardiac catherization lab from the field. (#15-17116)

“First Medical Contact to device under 90 minutes!!!”

         – John Quinlavin, EMS Manager, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

SFH Cath Lab Patient Follow-Up Form

  • 100% left posterior descending artery ballooned.
  • Re-clotted, managed medically.

EMS Agency:                   ASM (Coventry)

Indication:                        STEMI

First Medical Contact (FMC) (at pt side) Date/Time:           16:31          

EMS 12 Lead Acquisition Time:                                             16:34          elapse: 00:03

EMS 12 Lead Transmit Rec’d Time (source: Lifenet):       16:42           elapse: 00:08

Arrival Time (SFHED):                                                          17:06            elapse: 00:24

Cath Lab Arrival Time (SFH):                                               17:21           elapse: 00:15

Procedure Start Time:                                                           17:42           elapse: 00:21

First Device Time:                                                                  17:57          elapse: 00:15

————————————————————————————————————-

SFHED Door to First Device:                                                 51 min

FMC to First Device:                                                               86  min

 

Thank You Note for ‘Grace and Professionalism’

Ambulance Service of Manchester, LLC.April 6, 2015

Dear Ambulance Service of Manchester:

This is a Thank you note; the two young people you sent to take me from Johnson Memorial Hospital on January XX, 2015 were an absolute godsend. I’m just sorry I don;t know their names. They picked me up during a horrible snowstorm with the wind blowing and snow pelting down. Both of your employees were professional, considerate and had a combined sense of humor. I could have have asked for more in helping me get into my house after having had surgery 48 hours earlier. I am not the lightest patient in the world but they handled me with grace and professionalism….Please tell them [Patient Name] said Thank you and well done. They are a credit to your business which requires so many skills that cannot be taught; They have my appreciation.

Sincerely,

[Patient Name], Run Number 15-6828.

ASM Crew: Bill DelGaizo and Laura McHugh

Words That Describe Us: Volume 52

Aetna Ambulance Service, Inc. - Ambulance Service of Manchester, LLC.MANCHESTER and HARTFORD — Aetna Ambulance and ASM send Patient and Customer Satisfaction Surveys to a random sampling of patients who have received emergency or STAT inter-facility services from our companies.

The final question in the survey asks “Do you have any suggestions on how we can improve our service?” And, “Please use one word to describe us.”

Some of the answers/responses included:

  • Could not have been smoother. Thank you. Fast + competent service. (15-7495; S. Crittenden, N. Raiola).
  • Professional, courteous, made me feel safe and well care for. (15-12482; T. Salva, J. Basora)
  • Better than superb. I feel that your ambulance crew saved my life. I don’t have the words to thank you enough. Also, your dispatcher was extremely nice when my son called to get details. (15-19637; R. Bilodeau, J. Startup).
  • Professional and friendly.
  • Compassionate ambulance crew.
  • Great crew.
  • Professional, competent.
  • D + M were fabulous. M was the first [EMS Provider] that gave me a comfortable ride. I’ve had too many ambulance rides. (15-5103; D. Slomcinsky, M. Makulis).
  • Gave me and my husband peace of mind. Thank –u. God bless all of you. (15-12061; M. Hoyt, K. Baker, B. Krzynowek).
  • Great.
  • They kept me calm and at ease. [K. Russell] was very comforting. (15-8437; K. Russell, J. Bush).
  • Kind + caring + professional.
  • I didn’t ride with him but I know they were excellent here at our home and at the hospital. (15-13110; T. Oliver, S. Boutot).
  • EMT staff was great. Many thanks for their help. Please keep up the great work. (15-2044; J. Traber, C. Masslon).
  • Kind and very professional.
  • Very responsive to all questions ask[ed] by myself and they made me feel comfortable & safe. (15-15102; R. Balkun, A. Fine).
  • The crew was fantastic. Used a little humor when needed. Both EMTs were skilled and listened to my fears. I was so nauseated – the Paramedic took the time to start an IV + give me medicine prior to the ride to the hospital – so appreciated! Please let the Paramedics know how much I appreciated their care! (15-14073; R. Gonska, K. Mathiau).
  • Professional yet caring.
  • Very professional and caring.
  • “Doc” and partner were both professional and caring. They took my accident seriously and showed concern for me, which put me at ease. Thanks to both men!! (15-14439; M. Levasseur, J. Lentini).
  • Considerate and comforting.

Kudos from the Cath Lab: Volume 10

Aetna Paramedic receives Kudos from the Cath LabHARTFORD — During March 2015, ASM Paramedic Ted Oliver and his partner David Rice responded to a medical call in Somers with Somers Fire Department ambulance. The EKG was indicative of a STEMI and Ted wirelessly transmitted the 12-lead EKG to Saint Francis Hospital, activating their cardiac catherization lab from the field. (#15-21457)

“Another great job by our ASM partners and this time with Somers Fire. The bar has been raised now with measuring the time from first medical contact to device in the Cath Lab and this requires a strong team effort to meet the new benchmark. Rapid identification and notification are critical elements to success.”

         – John Quinlavin, EMS Manager, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

SFH Cath Lab Patient Follow-Up Form

  • 100% occlusion of the posterior left anterior descending artery.
  • 90% occlusion of the ramus artery (a division of the left main coronary artery)
  • 100% occlusion of the first through third obtuse marginal arteries
  • 80% RCA ejection fraction < 20%. IABP placed. No PCI – CABG performed.

Treatment by EMS and Direct to SFH ED

EMS Agency: ASM  (run # 21457) (Somers FD Ambulance transported)

Indication: STEMI

 First Medical Contact (FMC) (at pt side)            15:05          elapse:  00:00

 EMS 12 Lead Acquisition Time:                         15:10          elapse: 00:05

EMS 12 Lead Transmit Rec’d Time:                    15:22          elapse: 00:12

Arrival Time (SFHED):                                         15:56          elapse: 00:34

 Cath Lab Arrival Time (SFH):                             16:14          elapse: 00:18

 Procedure Start Time:                                         16:17          elapse: 00:03

SFHED Door to First Device:          to start proc.                 21 min

FMC to First Device:                        to start proc                  72 min

Eleven Children Injured In School Bus Crash In Wethersfield

IMG_2330Hartford Courant

by Christine Dempsey and David Moran

WETHERSFIELD — About a dozen children have been sent to area hospitals after a school bus crash.

See the original Courant article here...

Police, firefighters and seven ambulances were dispatched to the scene, 52 Prospect Street, shortly before 8:50 a.m., according to an ambulance company spokesman.

The crash has been declared a “mass casualty incident,” with all students on the bus being transported to hospitals, said David Skoczulek of Aetna Ambulance Service, Inc.

As of 9:15 a.m., 11 patients have been transported to area hospitals. Seven were sent to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, he said, two went to Middlesex Hospital, one went to Hartford Hospital and one went to St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

The small bus appears to have collided with a Jeep Wrangler, which struck another car. The third vehicle then hit a fourth car.

The school bus reportedly collided with two cars, Skoczulek said. The extent of injuries is unknown.

The term “mass casualty incident” means that more resources are needed because of the number of patients. It doesn’t speak to the extent of injuries, Skoczulek said.

Read the full story here…

Courant Staff Writer David Moran contributed to this story.

Meet the Newest Members of the Team: ASM Hires Seven

MANCHESTER — On March 31, 2015 seven EMTs were added to the ASM team. As part of our continued growth ASM and Aetna seek out only the best candidates. We look for employees who are focused on high-quality patient care, are team oriented and conduct themselves in a professional manner. During the orientation, employees learn about company philosophy and goals, quality assurance, and policies and procedures.

Tiffany George:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Tiffany and I am 27 years old. I have worked in commercial EMS since 2008 as an EMT and Dispatcher. I recently moved to Manchester with the intention of pursuing a career as an administrative assistant, but quickly learned the position was not for me. I’m glad to have received the opportunity to continue my work in EMS at ASM. I graduated from Naugatuck Valley Community College in 2010 with a degree in General Studies and along with that came my EMT certification. I have also worked as an ER Tech and have received training in phlebotomy and EKGs.  I’m hoping to someday attend Paramedic school, but until that time I am a junior at Post University working towards earning a degree in Marketing. I’m a former pageant competitor and titleholder in the Miss America Organization and spend as much time as I can volunteering within the program. I enjoy leading an active lifestyle, as well as meeting new people. In the free time that I sparsely have I do enjoy spending time with family, friends, and my dog, Pippa, as well as baking tasty treats.

Robert Grzywinski:    FULL TIME, EMT. Hello my name Robert Grzywinski and I am 37 years old. Originally I was born in Wroclaw, Poland an arrived to the U.S at the age of five. My family settled down in New Britain where I graduated from Mary Immaculate Academy. I currently live in Coventry and enjoy the different pace of life. For over ten years I worked with children and adolescents in different capacities, from a direct care counselor in a safe home, extended day treatment, residential, and a day school servicing special education and behaviorally defiant adolescents. For most of my career I have worked to assist others, so it came to no surprise that I went on to obtain my EMT certification through CPR Professionals out of South Windsor and am looking forward to starting an exciting and new profession. In my free time I enjoy do some DIY projects around the house as well as cooking. The rest of the time I spend with my family, barbecuing, going to parks, beaches, attractions for the kiddos or just hanging around the house with them.

Chelsea Heitman:    FULL TIME, EMT.  My name is Chelsea Heitman.  I took the EMT course at Springfield Technical Community College in 2010 and have been a volunteer EMT at Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association since 2012.  I got into EMS because I want to help people in their time of need or their family members, like the paramedic did for my mom when my dad passed.  While at Central Connecticut State University I decided I wanted to become a Paramedic.  Since then I left CCSU and am currently finishing the Paramedic program at Springfield College with plans to finish my degree.  I was able to put my knowledge to the test while doing clinical study at Baystate Medical Center and my ride time with in Springfield, MA.  I was a Patient Care Technician at Baystate Medical Center in the ER and saw a wide variety of patients doing everything from changing patients, to vital signs, to EKGs, and to lab draws.  In my spare time I like to snowboard, run, and generally spend time outside.  I am a pretty easy going person with a loving personality.  I am excited to start working with ASM and see what the future holds for me

Charles Lodge:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Charles Lodge. I am 24 years old and currently reside in Glastonbury, CT. I graduated from Glastonbury High School in 2008 and went on to earn my Bachelors Degree from the University of Connecticut in 2012. After college I moved to Washington D.C. and worked as an Arborist for one of the largest commercial and residential tree care companies in the country. After moving back to Connecticut I decided it was time to chase my dream of a career in public service. I am extremely excited to learn new skills and apply my training as an EMT. Besides a career in Arbor culture, some of my professional experience includes Community Outreach for underprivileged youths, bar tending, and serving as a Marine Science Technician in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve

Christopher Tevnan:   FULL TIME, EMT.  My name is Chris Tevnan, I am 32 years old and live in Farmington.  I went to Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA and graduated with a degree in Aviation.  For the last six years I was a Federal Agent with Homeland Security in NYC.  It was a great job but I was never home.  In January I completed the accelerated EMT course with CPR Training Professionals in South Windsor.  I’m excited to begin a new career within the medical field and to be able to really make a difference in someone’s life.  My wife and I are happy that I will be around more often especially with our daughter Brooke expected in early May.  In my free time I volunteer with the Tunxis Hose Fire Department, spend time with family and friends, BBQ, and do work at our new house.

Nora Young:   FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Nora Young. I am 21 years old and currently live in Storrs, CT. I am finishing up undergrad at UConn and will be graduating in May with a degree in Physiology and Neurobiology. My goal is to eventually attend PA school. I am also a volunteer EMT in Ellington where I thoroughly enjoy giving back to the community. I am a die hard UConn Huskies basketball fan as well as a Patriots fan. I am very excited to be working at ASM where I can further my education in the EMS field.

Information for the seventh new hire has been removed.

Meet the Newest Members of the Team: Aetna Hires Nine

HARTFORD — On March 27, 2015 seven EMTs and two Paramedics were added to the Aetna team. As part of our continued growth Aetna and ASM seek out only the best candidates. We look for employees who are focused on high-quality patient care, are team oriented and conduct themselves in a professional manner. During the orientation, employees learn about company philosophy and goals, quality assurance, and policies and procedures.

Raymond Berwick:   FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Raymond Berwick and I am 21 years old. I currently live in Ellington, Connecticut. I was born in Vernon but moved from Connecticut to North Carolina at a young age and then on to Mississippi. I eventually ended up finishing out my high school years at Rockville High School, right here in Connecticut. As soon as I could hold a hammer I was building various things with my father. Naturally after high school I quickly became a carpenter. I joined the United States Army Reserve which is where I has my first contact with emergency medicine. I took a “combat life saver course” and immediately knew I loved it. Just the thought of helping people on one of the worst days of their life. Or the possibility of maybe one day being able to save one of my brothers or sisters in arms is amazing. I run a “small time hobby farm” which includes around 30 chickens and a few pigs. In my spare time I enjoy hunting, fishing, backpacking and camping. I cannot wait to explore this new chapter of my life and I am counting down the days until orientation.

Israel Cardona:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Israel Cardona Jr. and I am 23 years old. I was born and raised in Hartford, CT. I received my GED with Honors in 2011 and then graduated from Lincoln Technical Institute in New Britain for Medical Assisting. Since then I have worked for both U.S Security Associates and Allied Barton Security Services for the past two years now. I have worked primarily as security for the Phoenix Life Insurance company in Downtown Hartford. I started as a part-time third shift officer and I was fortunate enough to land a supervisor position within a year. While working at the Phoenix I attended the EMT-Basic course at Code One Solutions in East Hartford which was a great experience and made my decision to be an EMT one I would not regret. I went for my EMT-B certification because I love the challenges that the EMS field faces and know that it is a career that would always push me to learn more. Although I will miss my friends and coworkers at the Phoenix I look forward to working alongside the Aetna Ambulance staff for many years to come. Within the next year I hope to attend paramedic school to further my knowledge in the EMS field.

Joseph Kosswig:     FULL TIME, EMT. Hello my Name is Joseph Kosswig, I am 23 years old and from Plainville, CT. About five years ago years ago I joined the Volunteer Fire Department in Plainville. When I started there I completed fire school and loved helping people in their time of need. I enjoyed it so much I decided to continue my education and took an EMT-B course at New Britain EMS Academy. It was a fast course, full time over a span of a six week period in the Summer of 2013. During the time of this course I began to take on as much ride time with New Britain EMS as I possibly could, as a student. I loved helping the patients and knew I wanted to continue my career. During this time I have also been enlisted in the CT Army National Guard, serving as part of the Charlie Company in the 1-102 INF. I have been in the military for about five years now in which I have taken on the responsibilities of a Team Leader. I have also completed a couple of military courses such as Army Mountain Warfare School and Warriors Leadership Course. I have been a student at Tunxis Community College for a few semesters now and have only eight classes to finish my degree. I plan on finishing my degree and hopefully one day I become a Paramedic. I look forward to starting my career at Aetna Ambulance and becoming part of the greatest team.

Muath Omari:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Muath Omari, I am 27 years old. I am newly married and having my first born son this year. I thank Aetna for giving me the chance to start my new life with a wonderful new career with their company. I love helping people and love the emergency medical field. I am grew up in the streets of NYC most of my life. CT is my new home for my new family. I have work hard to achieve my goals. I have struggled through many obstacles in life to get to where I am today and plan to finish school as a paramedic. My life has changed for the better, but the man who loves football and cars will never change. Now I will look forward about teaching my son about all the things I learned in life and loved in life. Thank you to everyone at Aetna who believed in giving me a chance.

Dennis Pelletier:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Dennis Pelletier, I am 26 years old and currently live in Windsor, CT. I grew up in Coventry and joined the US Air Force right out of high school. I served five years in the Air Force in Security Forces and I was fortunate enough to travel around the world and live in Turkey and Guam for some time. My deployment to Iraq opened me up to EMS and I discovered I had a passion for it. Once out of the Air Force I started college and worked at Cabelas in the firearms section. I took my EMT class in the Summer of 2014 at Code One in East Hartford and I currently have an Associates Degree in Homeland Security from Goodwin College in East Hartford. I am also finishing up my Bachelors degree in Public Safety and Security at Goodwin. My ultimate career goal is to have a career in emergency management however EMS is not just a stepping stone, I see it as a career as well. I eventually want to get my Paramedic license and a Master’s Degree in emergency management with a focus on public health. I am excited to begin a career with Aetna Ambulance and to provide a public service.

David Rivera Jr:     FULL TIME, EMT. My name is David Rivera Jr. I am 27 years old and currently reside in East Hartford, CT. I became a certified EMT about two years ago. I am a volunteer member of the Manchester Fire Department as a Firefighter/EMT. I have always been so interested in how the human body works and its functions. That small fire really burned within me when I went on my ride along with Aetna while working on my certification. Volunteering with the fire department and going on emergency calls just confirmed that this was what I wanted to do. Everyone in this world has a purpose/calling and I truly believe that this is mine. I am a new father to a beautiful baby girl. I will take care of every child as if they were my own. I will a care of every mom, dad, brother, sister, grandmother and grandfather as if they were my own. I spend my free time with my family, loved ones and two dogs. I give thanks to God as He is the rock in my life. My hobbies are working out, fishing and reading. I am blessed and thankful for this opportunity with Aetna and I look forward to the experiences and room for growth.

Shawn Testa:    FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Shawn Testa and I was born and raised in Bristol, CT. I am a six-year veteran of the United States Army. After graduating high school I joined the Army as an Airborne Infantry Medic and was stationed in North Carolina for four years. I was deployed for two combat tours in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom VIII and X with the 82nd Airborne Division. I was attached to an infantry company of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment and participated in daily patrols as the first line of immediate medical attention. Aside from battlefield medicine, I was responsible for clinical and daily care of the soldiers in my unit. The final two years of my military career were completed as a reservist in New York. After my initial enlistment I went to school and recently graduated from Tunxis Community College with an Associates Degree in Science. I enjoy spending time out doors and camping with my family and close friends. My favorite holiday is The Fourth of July. America!

Eric Thepsiri:     FULL TIME, Paramedic. My name is Eric Thepsiri, I’m 22 and I grew up in Vernon, CT.  I first got started in EMS when I became an EMT at 16.  My first call was a respiratory arrest.  I remember being excited, nervous and scared all at the same time. When I began to bag the patient and they started breathing again, it was the best feeling I’ve ever felt. That was the call that sparked my love for medicine. I decided to continue my education at the University of Connecticut as a pre-med student.  As I was going through my studies at Uconn, I came to the realization I wanted more out of my education. Not only did I want a degree but I wanted my education to be practical.  I wanted to learn how to care for patients, how to make tangible differences and explore emergency medicine. Therefore, after my junior year at Uconn, I decided to become a paramedic. I enrolled in Goodwin College/Hartford Hospital’s Paramedic Program, where I recently graduated in December 2014. Currently, I work as an EMT for the town of Vernon and help to teach with the Department of EMS Education at Hartford Hospital. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending my time with friends and family, taking pictures, traveling and providing sustainable medical care overseas. I’m excited to start my journey in paramedicine here as a member of the Aetna Family, while continuing my education towards medical school.”

Information unavailable on ninth new hire at time post was published; a full time Paramedic.  

Words That Describe Us: Volume 51

Aetna Ambulance Service, Inc. - Ambulance Service of Manchester, LLC.MANCHESTER and HARTFORD — Aetna Ambulance and ASM send Patient and Customer Satisfaction Surveys to a random sampling of patients who have received emergency or STAT inter-facility services from our companies.

The final question in the survey asks “Do you have any suggestions on how we can improve our service?” And, “Please use one word to describe us.”

Some of the answers/responses included:

  • Fabulous. The service has always been great since my husband was alive with Alzheimer’s, He had many trips but always great care. I had great care when I needed it. (15-5753; G. Geres, M. Sparks).
  • Professional + caring.
  • Caring Medical professionals.
  • Compassionate.
  • Very friendly. Professional.
  • Excellent, timely, professional, caring service!! The paramedic was experienced, reassuring and very professional. (15-8589; M. Levasseur).
  • Caring x 2.
  • The crew was very professional and sincere.
  • Professional said 7 times.
  • Made me feel comfortable in a stressful situation.
  • Professional yet personable.
  • Friendly + understanding.
  • I was very pleased with the service and thank everyone involved.
  • Efficient – Well Trained – Knowledgeable – Considerate. (15-9703; S. Norton, J. Hornish).
  • Patient, caring, careful, good listeners staff. (15-8729; S. Whalen, N. Foran).
  • Caring and professional.
  • As a director of health (retired) in a private school, I have used ambulance services for students, I can say with experience that the team who responded to me could not have been better. (15-10505; M. Osborne, N. Raiola with Manchester Fire Rescue EMS).
  • Everyone was polite and friendly.
  • Both were very wonderful to me. N. Raiola called my appt for me so I can cancel. I was very grateful for that also. Thanks so much. (15-11201; N. Raiola, G. Derosier).
  • Very nice.
  • Caring enough.
  • Thank you so much for your service!!!
  • The ambulance crew was very professional and showed concern for my mother’s privacy. (15-9096; K. Stock, T. Halligan).
  • Caring x 2.
  • Knowledgeable.

ASM’s Matt Tuttle Promoted to Supervisor

Matt TuttleMANCHESTER — On March 23, 2015 ASM’s Matt Tuttle was promoted to the position of Supervisor.

Matt started at ASM as an EMT-Basic in 2006. He graduated from the Capital Community College Paramedic Program and was cleared for independent dispatch in June of 2014.  

On behalf of the ASM Family we would like to congratulate Matt on his promotion and look forward to great things from and for him. We are very proud to have such skilled professionals on staff.

Cleared for Independent Dispatch: Aetna’s Samuel Dybdahl Completes Precepting Phase

Samuel Dybdahl (L) with Hartford Hospital's Dave Bailey.

Samuel Dybdahl (L) with Hartford Hospital’s Dave Bailey.

HARTFORD –  As of March 18, 2015, Aetna’s Samuel Dybdahl has been cleared by Hartford Hospital medical control for independent dispatch as a paramedic to the towns that Aetna serves.

Sam’s preceptor was Paramedic Matt Campbell. The full precepting phase can take ten to 12 weeks or more as the paramedic is prepped for the realities of the field. As with all precepting phases at Aetna, Sam’s final approval came from Hartford Hospital after shadowing him and his preceptor in the field as they responded to emergency calls.

Sam has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, is a nationally registered Paramedic and received training as an Army Critical Care Flight Paramedic from University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX. He  is a combat medic and healthcare specialist in the military since 2008 with one deployment to Afghanistan. Sam says he enjoys helping others and furthering his knowledge within the medical field. In his spare time he often competes in Duathlon/Triathlons, road races and weight lifting.

On behalf of the Aetna Family, we would like to wish Sam the best of luck and say we are very proud to have such skilled professionals on staff.