SOUTH WINDSOR — In mid April, 2017 ASM received another heartfelt Thank You card directed to ASM Paramedics Matt Tuttle and Rob Bilodeau and EMTs Bekka Fross and Jeff Hornish. The card reads:
I wanted to thank the ASM team that came to our house and saved my son’s life. You can’t imagine how much that means to my son and our whole family. You are the best! Your expertise and speed to save him was outstanding. Thank you again and again.
MANCHESTER – In early April, The Ambulance Service of Manchester received a hand written thank you letter addressed to EMT’s Mike Sparks and Stacy DeBarge. The note, as depicted below, is in regards to a transport completed a few months prior.
I would like to thank the young lady and gentleman who assisted me to the ER this past February. They were soothing, gentle, and very knowledgeable. I needed a “life LOL,” and their combined grace and joy did just that for me. Thank you again.
HARTFORD- On April 10th, 2017 The Uniformed Professional Fire Firefighters Association of Connecticut hosted an event at Hartford FD’s Training Academy. “Fire Ops 101 Day” provides elected officials and other civilians the opportunity to experience the physical and mental challenges that first responders face on a daily basis.
Representative from Aetna Ambulance, several local fire departments, and other agencies acted as handlers walking representatives through real life scenarios.
Please note below Aetna Ambulance Field Supervisors Bob Mara and Matt Campbell assisting participants with the care of a simulated trauma patient.
MANCHESTER – As of April 4, 2017, ASM’s Cody Lemire has been cleared by Eastern Connecticut Health Network medical control for independent dispatch as a paramedic to the towns that ASM serves. His preceptors were Paramedic Supervisors Robert O’Neil and Tim LaChappelle.
Cody started at ASM in June of 2011 and graduated from the Capital Community College Paramedic program. His interest in EMS began while volunteering with the North Windham Fire Department where he now serves as a Lieutenant.
As with all precepting phases at ASM, Cody’s final approval came from Eastern Connecticut Health Network after shadowing him and his preceptors in the field as they responded to emergency calls.
On behalf of the ASM Family, we would like to wish Cody the best of luck and say we are very proud to have such skilled professionals on staff.
The Ambulance Service of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of Pulse, the ASM employee newsletter. Released quarterly, Pulse will feature numerous articles outlining company news and events, training opportunities, case studies (periodically), health and wellness tips, and more. Additionally, each issue will contain an Employee Spotlight article, recognizing an EMT or Paramedic that has demonstrated a commitment to patients and co-workers alike via positive attitude, work ethic, and overall inspiring demeanor. The first issue of Aetna’s employee newsletter will be released on May 1st.
Canadian Paramedicine is an informative and progressive magazine complete with numerous research articles beneficial to EMS providers. One such article entitled “Eat, Sleep and be healthy-a paramedic’s guide to healthier shift work,” outlines some of the risks associated with working outside of the traditional 8-hour daytime schedule. More importantly, it provides evidence based suggestions for healthy eating, staying fit, and developing better sleeping habits.
Quotes from the article:
“Exercise can enhance alertness at work in addition to increasing neural activity and clinical performance. Blocking out 20 minutes (or more) prior to a shift will boost their mood and combat fatigue while working.”
“Prepare meals for a number of days for quick and easy access. Experiment with slow-cookers or freeze portion sizes of healthy meals. Pack healthy snacks such as prepared fruit and easy-to-eat vegetable pieces like baby carrots and celery with hummus, or a small container of mixed unsalted nuts and seeds.”
MANCHESTER- On March 20th, 2017 ASM hosted a Difficult Airway Course put on by Clinical Team Educator Fred Jeffries of Boston MedFlight. With assistance from co-worker, and Critical Care Transport Paramedic Jen Wheeler, the 8-hour course was attended by ASM employees, as well as members of local fire departments and other healthcare agencies. A comprehensive assessment of anatomy and physiology, case study reviews, demonstration of advanced airway techniques, and the opportunity to perform a surgical cricothyrotomy on a pig trachea include some of the features available to attendees.
Fred Jeffries has presented at ASM on numerous occasions. In addition to the airway course, Fred offers an interactive lecture on 12-lead interpretation as well. Please access ASM’s Webpage for upcoming CME opportunities from BostonMedflight and other great providers.
BOLTON-On March 5th, ASM employees were invited to Bolton Fire Department’s Headquarters to present to the town’s local Girl Scout Troop. Paramedic William Schnepp and EMT Tiffany Armas worked alongside FD members offering tips on how to work with emergency personnel. Tours of the ambulance were provided as William and Tiffany discussed ideas on how to avoid and prepare for emergencies. In addition, Girl Scout members received a tutorial on different types of equipment commonly used by EMS and Fire Personnel.
HARTFORD- In preparation for Winter Storm Stella, Aetna Ambulance Operations Supervisor Matt Martinelli and EMT Kate Filosi were interviewed by FOX 61 Reporter Jim Altman. In the segment, Matt and Kate discuss the necessary steps Aetna takes to ensure that both the crews, and ambulances are ready to weather the storm. In order to safely and promptly reach residents, Aetna strategically places ambulances at staging areas proven to reduce response times. As portrayed in the interview, crews will be posted at these locations even during the storm.
“First Responders always have to be on top of their game, regardless if a blizzard is on the way.”
Read the article by Jim Altman and watch the segment in its entirety by clicking below!
Occasionally we will share severe weather information consequential to public health, public safety and EMS response. Below is a CT DPH Press Release addressing the dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
HARTFORD – With growing confidence that Connecticut will be impacted by a major winter storm on Tuesday, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) warns residents of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and urges them to take steps to prevent deadly CO poisoning. In anticipation of power outages, DPH is very concerned about improper use of portable generators and other sources of heat, which could lead to CO poisoning. When power goes out many people run portable generators inside or close to the home, or use charcoal grills inside the home. Generators should be placed at least 20 feet from the house and never inside the house, on a porch, basement, garage or shed. Charcoal grills should never be used indoors.
CO is an invisible, odorless gas that can be fatal. Breathing in excessive amounts of CO can cause loss of consciousness and death. The symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic those of the flu, including headache, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, confusion, or loss of consciousness. People who are sleeping or unconscious can die from CO poisoning before they exhibit any symptoms. DPH warns that anyone exhibiting these symptoms should leave the house immediately and call 911 and the Connecticut Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 from another location.
Improper use of portable generators have caused more than half of CO poisonings in Connecticut, according to DPH. DPH offers the following safety tips to prevent CO poisoning:
• Never use portable generators or other gasoline-powered equipment (including tools) indoors or in the garage, basement, shed or other enclosed spaces. Even if the garage or shed doors are open, CO gas can still build up to dangerous levels within minutes.
• Place portable generators at least 20-25 feet from your home. There have been instances where exhaust containing CO gas has been blown back into the house and poisoned occupants when outdoor portable generators were close to the house.
• Opening windows and doors, and operating fans is NOT sufficient to prevent buildup of CO in a home.
• Use charcoal and gas grills or camping stoves outdoors only.
• Make sure exhaust vents for your furnace and gas appliances (dyers, stoves) are free of snow. Exhaust vents blocked by snow can cause combustion gases to back up into the home.
• After a snow storm, make sure your car’s exhaust pipe is clear. A clogged exhaust pipe could lead to carbon monoxide buildup in your vehicle. Fatalities have resulted from people trying warm themselves in their car without clearing snow away from exhaust pipe due build-up of CO gas in car.
DPH developed a video, Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer, to help raise awareness of the dangers of CO and how to prevent poisoning. It is available online in English and Spanish by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pe-8QcFJ1ME .
Occasionally we will share severe weather information consequential to public health, public safety and EMS response. Below is a warning issued by CT DESPP-EMHS.
BLIZZARD WARNINGS ISSUED FOR SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT…
WINTER STORM WARNINGS ISSUED FOR NORTHERN CONNECTICUT…
Tuesday Morning: Snow beginning between 4:00 – 6:00 AM and becoming
heavy by 9:00 AM. Blizzard conditions are expected after 9:00 AM with
extremely heavy snow (3” – 4” per hour), Northeast winds gusting to 60
MPH at times with near zero visibilities. A crippling impact on all travel is
expected. Minor coastal flooding is also possible at noontime. Tuesday Afternoon: Blizzard conditions continue thru the afternoon with 3”
– 4” per hour snowfall rates and winds gusting to 60 MPH at times.
Conditions are expected to start to improve by 4:00 PM as the snow tapers
down to moderate levels and then to light levels by 7:00 PM. Tuesday Evening: The light snow may continue for a few hours and end
completely by 11:00 PM. However the strong winds may continue into
Tuesday night gusting to 30 MPH at times causing a lot of blowing and
drifting of snow. Total snowfall: of 18 – 28 inches is currently expected across Western and
Central CT with lesser amounts near the southeast coast of 10” – 15”. The
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Division of
Emergency Services and Public Protection will continue to closely monitor
this dangerous storm. Another update will be sent out this afternoon at 2:00
PM once the new model runs are in.
MANCHESTER – In early March, The Ambulance Service of Manchester received a hand written thank you letter addressed to Paramedic William Schnepp and EMT Cody Lemire. The note, as depicted below, is in regards to a transport completed a few weeks prior.
Your team was awesome! So prompt, efficient, knowledgeable, professional and funny! They took awesome care of me. Thank you! You should be proud of your crew. They Rock!
William was cleared for independent dispatch in August of 2015, and Cody is currently precepting as a paramedic. We look forward to continued success from both William and Cody.
MANCHESTER- On March 7th, 2017, The Ambulance Service of Manchester and Aetna Ambulance received 50 Stryker Power Pro XT Model 6506 Stretchers to be placed into service in the near future.
“This industry- leading ambulance cot utilizes an innovative battery-powered hydraulic system to raise and lower the cot at the touch of a button.”
In addition to the numerous advances that come stock with these units, ASM and Aetna will be adding steering-locks as an after-market upgrade that will increase ease of use and maneuverability. The implementation of these new stretchers will help ensure the comfort and safety for both crews and patients alike. Installation for the ASM vehicles should be completed by the end of next week. Aetna should expect to see them in service in early April.
On Monday, February 27th, 2017, The Ambulance Service of Manchester received a Unit Citation during the Town of Vernon Fire Department’s annual award ceremony. As noted in the photo, the accolade was presented due to ASM’s participation in the August 4th, 2016, East Street home explosion. Along with multiple other agencies, ASM was called upon to provide mutual aid. Paramedic Greg Derosier and partner EMT John Bush, along with Paramedic Todd Marshall and partner EMT Stacy DeBarge responded to the scene to provide care and rapid transport to the critically injured residents. The outcome of the incident demonstrates the true benefit that can occur when members of the first responder community work together.
As provided within the citation:
“Your department’s participation in this operation will not be forgotten and appreciated through the fruitful lives that the trapped residents now have the opportunity to fulfill.”
HARTFORD- On February 17th, 2017, Aetna’s Bob Mara was promoted to the position of Field Supervisor.
Bob is a graduate of Assumption College in Worcester, MA where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology and Sociology. He pursued a certification in Advanced Personal Training following graduation, and eventually assumed ownership of a gym in West Hartford. In addition to concentrating on Orthopedic Rehabilitation, Bob had the opportunity to work with professional athletes, and prepare members for fire and police physical agility testing.
In 2006, after 20 years in personal training and 10 years as a volunteer EMT in his hometown, Bob joined Aetna as a full time employee. He has continued to advance his education by taking numerous courses in the study of biology, chemistry and mathematics. He has persistently demonstrated his commitment and value to the company by becoming cross-trained as a Dispatcher, assisting new employees as Field Training Officer, and serving as a Union Steward mediating conversations between employees and management.
On behalf of the Aetna family, we would like to congratulate Bob on his promotion and look forward to great things from him.