Peace Corps Mission!

Aetna Ambulance is proud to have EMT, Ryan Sullivan back to full time duty after his recent return from a volunteer Peace Corps mission in West Africa. He describes his amazing journey in the summary below!

It’s hard to describe my experience in the Peace Corps. Everything was just so different from what I was used to. I left home and four days later, I was in Guinea, a country where no electricity, no running water, and huge snakes were the norm. Guinea is close to the equator in West Africa. It has 6 months of dry season and 6 months of rainy season. No matter what season it was, the weather was always super-hot. And of course there was no air conditioning. Communication was always a problem. Guinea’s official language is French, but there are over 70 local languages used. All Guineans knew at least some French, but everyone spoke in their local languages most of the time. In my town, people spoke Pular.

Peace Corps provided language and cultural training for the first two months, and after that they placed all of the volunteers in their assigned town. Once I was in my assigned town, my closest neighbors became my family. They took care of me like I was their child. It was a super heartwarming experience to be with them. In return for the generosity, I would give them $25 each month. That is about 250,000 Guinean Francs, so they were very happy with me. I was the only American in my town, the closest volunteer was a 3 hour taxi ride away. Everyone was very eager to start working with me. I felt like a celebrity because everyone wanted to be friends with the American. I was a Public Health Volunteer, so I tried to teach people simple ways to improve their health. How to use a mosquito net, how to properly wash hands, STI prevention, things like that.

Everything had to be communicated in Pular, which made even the simplest concepts hard to explain. I never really grasped Pular, but my host family was always so happy when I could say a simple sentence. Everyone was always super kind to me and I learned many things while in Guinea. The only unpleasant part of my experience was the food. It was usually rice with some sort of dried fish sauce. I ate that 3 times a day, every day. When I got back to America the first thing I did was eat a bacon cheeseburger with a chocolate milkshake. Best meal of my life.

Now that my experience is over, there are definitely things about Guinea I will miss. But my host family calls to check up on me every day, so at least I can still be a part of their lives. And keep my Pular skills strong.

Aetna Newsletter, Volume 2

Aetna Ambulance Service is happy to release the second issue of The Grady Report, the Aetna employee newsletter. Released quarterly, The Grady Report features 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. Please enjoy!

Meet the Newest Members of the Team: Aetna Hires Seven – 2017

HARTFORD — On June 26th, 2017, seven EMTs 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.

Luisa F. Marulanda: PART TIME, EMT. Hello everyone! My name is Luisa Marulanda and I am 24 years old. I’ve been a BLS instructor and EMS administrator for two years at CPR Training Professionals where I also received my EMT certification. I realized a few years ago that my calling involved a career that allows me to help others. This led me to become an EMT and begin my journey as a first responder. My ultimate goal is to become a Paramedic. I plan to accomplish this in the near future and after gaining experience as an EMT for Aetna. Thank you for the opportunity.

 


Kristen Wall: PART TIME, EMT. Hi! My name is Kristen Wall. I am 22 years old and just graduated from the University of Maryland where I studied Kinesiology. I have lived in Avon my whole life and have returned after college to gain some more medical experience before hopefully matriculating to an east coast PA school. Ultimately, I am hoping to be a PA specializing in emergency medicine. In my free time, I like to work out and travel. I just returned from Europe where I was backpacking for 3 weeks!

 


 

Anthony Chirico: PART TIME, EMT. I am 21 years old and currently a senior at UCONN. I am pursuing a B.S. in Biology and Psychology. After college, I plan on applying to medical school or PA school. I have been a Connecticut resident for my whole life. I live in Glastonbury currently, but I grew up in Manchester, Connecticut. Outside of work, I like to get active! I enjoy hiking, skydiving, biking, and traveling. I look forward to working for Aetna Ambulance and I am happy to be a part of the team!

 


Kristen Askin: FULL TIME, EMT. I’m 27 and originally from Boston, but have spent most of my life in Danbury. I’ve been working at Nelson Ambulance since February 2016, and volunteering for Newtown Ambulance since November 2015. I got into EMS after lifeguarding for 3 years on Candlewood Lake in Danbury. I graduated from WCSU with a BA in writing but have found being a first responder to be a much more rewarding experience. I plan to attend the medic program at Capitol Community College. Outside of work I enjoy reading and kayaking.

 


Nick Caisse: PART TIME, EMT. My name is Nick Caisse. I’m 24 years old and from Portland, CT. I currently reside in East Hampton, CT. I joined the military 7 years ago as a Military Police Officer and deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 to 2013. In 2014, I re-classed to a Combat Medic and became the Training NCO of a medical unit within the state. I began volunteering in my local community where I decided to pursue EMS as a career. I’m currently coming off of active duty and attending a Paramedic program either at Capitol Community College or New Britain EMS Academy starting this September with the goal of eventually becoming a Flight Medic. I’m excited, and thankful for the opportunity to work with and learn from all of you!


Nicole Kozlak: FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Nicole Kozlak and I am from Torrington, CT. I am 22 years old and I just graduated from UConn with a B.S. in Allied Health Sciences and a minor in Molecular and Cell Biology. I have been an EMT for a year and a half and I am a volunteer EMT with Winsted Area Ambulance Association. For the final two years at UConn, I was one of the instructors for the EMT class offered at the Storrs campus. I really enjoyed teaching and interacting with students and helping them to develop their skills. I also just recently became a CPR instructor. I plan on applying to PA school within the next year and a half and am very interested in Emergency Medicine and Orthopedics. I’m so grateful to now be a member of the Aetna team and can’t wait to start learning and gaining experience!


 

Lauren Hartwell: FULL TIME, EMT. I graduated from CCSU with a Bachelor’s degree in Bio-molecular Science. I started in EMS in 2014 at Vintech Ambulance Service in Litchfield County. Future plans involve either further school for a PA degree, or pursuing a career in pharmaceutical sales. Traveling is my passion and seeing the world is my goal.

 

Cleared for Independent Dispatch: Aetna’s Camilo Quezada Completes Precepting Phase

HARTFORD – As of May 19th, 2017, Aetna’s Camilo Quezada has been cleared by Hartford Hospital medical control for independent dispatch as a paramedic to the towns that Aetna serves. His preceptor was Paramedic Matt Carter. Camilo started at Aetna in August of 2012, and graduated from Capital Community College Paramedic Program.

As with all precepting phases at Aetna, Camilo’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 Camilo the best of luck and say we are very proud to have such skilled professionals on staff.

Cleared for Independent Dispatch: Aetna’s Cora Gingras Completes Precepting Phase

HARTFORD – As of May 23rd, 2017, Aetna’s Cora Gingras has been cleared by Hartford Hospital medical control for independent dispatch as a paramedic to the towns that Aetna serves. Her preceptor was Paramedic Greg Kendall. Cora started at Aetna in December of 2016. She graduated from the Goodwin College/Hartford Hospital Paramedic Program after studying psychology at Eastern Connecticut State University. As with all precepting phases at Aetna, Cora’s final approval came from Hartford Hospital after shadowing her and her preceptor in the field as they responded to emergency calls.

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

National Nurses Week 2017

 

ASM and Aetna would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the nurses our employees interact with on a daily basis. Your continued dedication and compassion remains an essential aspect of the patient care experience. Please know that your efforts will never go unnoticed.

 

 

Aetna Company Newsletter

Aetna Ambulance Service, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of The Grady Report, the Aetna employee newsletter. Released quarterly, The Grady Report 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.

 

Provider Wellness

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.”

Find the article in its entirety below:

Eat, sleep and be healthy – a paramedic’s guide to healthier shift work

Stryker Power Pro Stretchers Arrive!

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.

Aetna’s Bob Mara Promoted to Field Supervisor

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.

Meet the Newest Members of the Team: Aetna Hires Five – 2017

HARTFORD — On February 20, 2017, five EMTs 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.

Amy Lee: FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Amy Lee. I am 22 years old, and a UCONN student pursuing a B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology. Currently, I am taking some time off to work in EMS. I have been working as an EMT instructor for over a year, but I am still relatively new to working in the field. I completed my EMT course in NYC about two years ago. I plan on applying to medical school or PA school within the next two years.


 Stuart Buchanan: FULL TIME, EMT. I am 24 years old, currently living in Windsor, CT. I’ve lived in Connecticut all my life and I am proud to call it home. I enjoy going to the gym, biking, swimming, the occasional video game or two, and traveling when I can find the time. I’m currently looking to get into martial arts and I am learning the German language. I attended Capital Community College, where I enrolled in their EMT course and loved it from the start. I’ve always wanted to be a part of the support that EMS brings to a community. In addition, the job has turned out to be very rewarding and it’s nice to occasionally put a smile on someone’s face when they see you arrive. I hope someday to be able to provide even more and become a Paramedic when the time and experience comes. I’ve been volunteering at Windsor Ambulance for about 7 months, and can’t wait to get started working in the city. I look forward to my new career at Aetna Ambulance and I am happy to be a part of such an amazing team!


Ryan Jano: FULL TIME, EMT. I’m Ryan Jano, full-time EMT new hire.I am 21 years old from Simsbury, CT. I have been in my town’s volunteer fire company since I was 15. I have been in EMS since I was a senior in high school. I plan on going to the Capitol Community College Paramedic Science Program. Outside of work, I enjoy fishing, working on and modifying cars, hiking, and weight lifting.


Kate Filosi: FULL TIME, EMT. Hello! My name is Kate Filosi and I am 23 years old.  I am from Killingworth, a small town down by the shoreline. I attended Michigan State University, where I majored in Kinesiology and minored in Health Promotion.  While at MSU, I competed for the Women’s Gymnastics team and absolutely loved my time as a Spartan.  Over the summer, I completed the accelerated EMT-B program at Code One Solutions in East Hartford and became nationally certified.  I am thrilled to begin learning from the Aetna team, and look forward to gaining experience in the EMS field. In the future, I hope to further my education by attending a Physician Assistant program and am especially interested in Emergency Medicine and Orthopedics.


Brandon Butler: FULL TIME, EMT. I’m 24 years old. I’m originally from Plainville, CT where I was an active firefighter from 2012 until October 2016. I then moved to East Hampton, CT with my wife and our two kids where I have been active with their fire department, as well as their EMS. I took my EMT course at Code 1 training Solutions in East Hartford. My long term goal for the future is to become a fire/medic or flight medic.

Provider Wellness

Below is a link to an article published in JEMS Magazine. Written by 25 year veteran paramedic Bryan Fass, the piece tackles the important, yet often overlooked topic of physical fitness within EMS. Understanding the daily challenge of balancing work, family, finances, and health/wellness, Fass introduces what he calls “The Change Equation,” offering ideas on how to get motivated, form positive habits, and produce long-lasting behavioral changes.

In addition, Fass dispels some common myths that act as barriers to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He even offers a sample training routine with detailed steps and photos demonstrating safe and effective body mechanics.

Check It Out!

 

Words That Describe Us: Volume 90

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 part of the survey asks that the respondent, “Please use a word or phrase to describe us and/or the ambulance crew.”

Some of the most recent answers and responses provided in the survey responses include the following quotes:

  • Excellent service from all – Thanks so much. You’re helpful.
  • Caring.
  • Very attentive and kind.
  • Excellent x 2.
  • Professional and caring.
  • Couldn’t have been cared for or treated better.
  • Good. It is the best service in Town. Keep it up.
  • Compassionate.
  • The crew was professional, concerned, engaged and courteous. Under circumstances I felt secure being cared for by M and K. (16-65719; K. Russell, M. Hoyt).
  • You were all very kind and helpful. No one could do any better. (16-61175; A. Linardo, R. Fraley).
  • Excellent care!
  • Caring professionals.
  • Very caring and polite.
  • Professional.
  • I appreciate the compassion and care that was shown. The ambulance crew was fantastic. Thank you to each of them. (16-63448 R. Buechele, H. Digirolamo)
  • Seemed professional and competent.
  • Compassionate
  • Compassionate, professional, calming.
  • The ambulance crew- I believe the driver’s name was William and the one with me was Cory. They were both wonderful to me. (16-64241 W. Schnepp, C. Lemire).
  • Very professional and caring.
  • Very Professional
  • Professional
  • Kind
  • Excellent and caring people. Thank you again.
  • Very good
  • Professional and respectful
  • Prompt, Professional
  • Efficient and Professional
  • The best, guys were wonderful to me! (16-67722 M. Traber, S. Debarge).
  • Professional and caring
  • Friendly, supportive
  • Matt and Kat were excellent in every aspect of performing their jobs. And their relationship with ER staff was exceptional. They were clearly highly regarded. (16-69636 M. Carter, K. Stewart).
  • As an RN I was happy with the care given to me
  • Kenya was excellent.
  • Very Professional. Listened and had a caring manner.
  • Very attentive
  • Dedicated. This was my first ambulance experience and I was very impressed and satisfied. (16-68246;  M. Levasseur, J. Hornish).
  • Friendly and competent.
  • Don’t know the lady’s name who cared for me. She was excellent.  Thank you. (16-68616; M. Carter, T. Webster).

Annual CCMC, CSP, ASM & Aetna Ambulance Toy Drive

The 2016 Toy Drive was again a great success. Below you will find a collage of pictures from the days spent collecting toys for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Above and Beyond!

Mitch KarrHartford – Aetna Paramedic and Preceptor Mitch Karr has recently joined a prestigious group of critical care providers by obtaining his Flight Paramedic Certification (FP-C). According to The International Board of Specialty Certification (IBSC), “The FP-C certification targets competency at the mastery level of paramedic practice.” This accomplishment required over 6 months of self-study, and the successful completion of a grueling exam. While working full time, Mitch took it upon himself to develop the knowledge base necessary to achieve his goal. Paramedic Sam Dybdahl shares this distinction as well.

Their desire to continually progress as providers demonstrates the commitment our employees have to patient care.