Words That Describe Us: Volume 61

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 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 answers/responses included:

  • Fast response, great guys! Kept us calm. (15-48312; A. Fine, M. Sparks).
  • I was terrified but they eased my fears. Very friendly. (15-46567; C. Cabral, T. Paulasantos).
  • The ambulance crew was excellent and went above and beyond duty to make me comfortable and relaxed. The crew members were absolutely wonderful. (15-41591; Manchester Fire Rescue EMS w/ R. McConville, A. Sarles).
  • Compassionate.
  • Professional and kind.
  • Incredibly fast – they arrived 2 minutes into my phone call with 911.
  • Service was very good + professional.
  • Everyone was awesome.
  • Can’t say enough about the two that came to us. (15-48409; F. Tomboly, R. Berwick).
  • My wife + I appreciate your service.
  • Professional x 2.
  • The [EMS Providers] were the BEST, EXCELLENT SERVICE. (15-48479; H. Marshall, C. Tevnan).
  • No words could describe their help.
  • Thanks! Great at keeping me calm.
  • I experienced a first time hemiplegic migraine (transient paralysis on one side). Incredibly frightening but the symptoms had resolved before the ambulance arrived…they were so pleasant enroute, keeping me talking and my mind off the issue. Thank you so much to both of the guys. (15-48781; V. Maston, C. LaChance).
  • Caring.
  • Professional and caring.
  • Professional – kind – caring.

ASM and South Windsor Fire Department Standby at Circus

SOUTH WINDSOR — On July 19, 2015 ASM and South Windsor Fire Department were requested and assigned to ‘Circus Smirkus‘ at South Windsor High School due to the expected crowds and extreme heat. The circus was hosted by the Silk City Chorus. No transports were reported.

Pictures courtesy of the South Windsor Fire Department Facebook page.

Historical Photos: Ambulance Service of Manchester #14

ASM Historical 11MANCHESTER — Year unknown, likely early 1960’s. Pictured is Manchester Ambulance (now known as ASM) patriarch Roger Talbot (standing, upper left) on the scene of a motor vehicle accident. Many of the ‘car wrecks’ from the time have the patients out on the ground, either due to concern over fire or simply because they were ‘thrown clear’.

Click on the photo to see full size. Can you identify anyone else in the photo?

Photo credit and many thanks to Kenny Burkamp.

Words That Describe Us: Volume 60

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 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 answers/responses included:

  • The crew was amazing – especially the medic who was calm, patient, supportive and eased all stress as we transported my newborn – a huge thank you to him! (15-41868; V. Maston, M. Khan).
  • Very kind and caring.
  • Very calming + caring.
  • Well done.
  • Very professional service, medic in the back with was very nice. I worked in the 80’s with [Volunteer Ambulance].
  • Very helpful!
  • Professional, clean cut.
  • Very professional. Many thanks.
  • The EMT/Paramedic was extremely kind & caring and at first I was not going to go in the ambulance but after talking to me I agreed I should be checked out. (15-3903; S. Parent, M. Khan).
  • Sharp, courteous, professional. (15-44267; T. Lachappelle, R. Fross).
  • Excellent!
  • I felt at ease during my heart attack and felt I was getting the best possible care. (15-38292; C. Willey, M. Campbell).
  • Caring, efficient + responded quickly.
  • Wonderful.
  • T. and his partner were excellent caretakers during our most trying moments. We were very grateful to have them. (15-16368; T. LaChappelle, J. Startup).
  • Excellent.
  • Thank you!
  • Arrived promptly. Quickly assessed I was not having a stroke.
  • Crew was timely, caring and professional.
  • The crew was phenomenal. Very compassionate and reassuring. (15-37889; T. Oliver, B. Langan).
  • Professional and friendly. Thank you!

Cleared for Independent Dispatch: ASM’s Jonathan Lentini Completes Precepting Phase

Jonathan Lentini 2MANCHESTER – As of July 9, 2015, ASM’s Jonathan Lentini has been cleared by Eastern Connecticut Health Network medical control for independent dispatch as a paramedic to the towns that ASM serves.

Jon’s preceptors were Paramedic Greg Derosier and Paramedic Supervisor Vinnie Maston. 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 ASM, Jon’s final approval came from Eastern Connecticut Health Network after shadowing Jon and his preceptor in the field as they responded to emergency calls.

Jon started at ASM as an EMT-Basic in 2011 and graduated from the Capital Community College Paramedic Program.

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

Stephanie Boutot Represents ASM in 30th Boom Box Parade

Note: ASM is NOT the ambulance transport or paramedic service provider in Willimantic. In an emergency, always dial 9-1-1. 


Submitted by ASM’s Stephanie Boutot

WILLIMANTIC — Saturday July 4th, Willimantic, CT celebrated the holiday with the 30th year running of their famous Boom Box Parade. ASM was proud to be a part of the tradition again this year. It was a tradition that began in 1986 when Kathy Clark suggested using boom boxes while the radio station played the music, when a marching band was not available for the parade. It was surprising success and became a regular event.

I was in the very first Boom Box parade in 1986, carrying my very own boom box, walking down the street with family and friends. Now I drive my source of music and proudly play 1400 AM as the parade sounds “boom” out of the speakers of the ASM ambulance, while I roll down the parade route. It’s great to see how all the different groups that participate and how well received ASM is, with all the waves, excitement, and thank you’s from spectators as I drive by.

For the past six years, I have enjoyed being in the Boom Box parade representing ASM, a company I am ecstatic to work for, doing a job I love. A tradition I hope to continue for many more years.

Words That Describe Us: Volume 59

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 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 answers/responses included:

  • Very confident of being cared for. I am very grateful for the care given me. I was in extreme pain and nervous and they did everything to make me comfortable and well cared for. (15-35230; B. Langan, B. McDonald with Manchester Fire Rescue EMS).
  • They both did their job well and professionally. I have nothing but good to say about their treatment. Thanks very much! (15-37089; K. Stock, J. Shapiro).
  • Excellent.
  • They acted very professional.
  • They were very nice, informed me of what they were doing and what might have been going on with me. I appreciate them. (15-14308; B. McDonald, S. Gregg with Manchester Fire Rescue EMS).
  • Everyone was excellent – (Thank you so much).
  • Professional, caring, kind.
  • Professional and attentive.
  • Effective and efficient.
  • Treat you like family.
  • They were very professional.
  • EMT in back of ambulance was very calming and informational. Made ride more relaxing. (15-37376; A. Harkins, B. Chase).
  • Thanks for everything!
  • Very, very impressed with the entire episode. Thank you so much for helping me! (15-35797; J. Bak, M. Makulis with East Hartford Fire Department).
  • D + S were wonderful – Very professional but very kind, caring and reassuring. D + S were excellent! A tremendous asset to your team. (15-39491; D. Achilli, S. Testa).
  • I was pleased with all of them, thank you.
  • Empathetic.
  • Very good.
  • Confident. There were 2 calls in the same day – ALL care both times were A++ (15-42274; A. Fine, M. Kleza).
  • Very nice + considerate.
  • Very knowledgeable, respectful.
  • Very comforting and caring! (15-42306; J. Traber, D. Rice).
  • I wish I could personally thank the EMT who saved my life. He successfully stopped my heart with medication and thankful to him and Jesus Christ that my heart restarted. (15-39149; R. Gonska, J. Basora).
  • Professional.

“Turn something tragic into something heroic and courageous”

LifeChoice LogoI began my career in the Westport, CT, Fire Department in 2007 as a 20-year-old kid who had just achieved his lifelong goal of becoming a firefighter.  During the first few years of my career, I became a volunteer with Donate Life CT to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation.

Ironically, only a couple years later, I blew out my knee on the job and required surgery that involved donated tissue.  I went through nine months of rehabilitation to get conditioned to do the job again and went back on the line.  Throughout this time, I had given speeches and worked events as a volunteer for organ and tissue donation, always thinking that organ donation was the biggest and most iconic part.

It wasn’t until I met another volunteer who had lost a sister in a motor vehicle accident that I realized how important tissue donation is.  We were talking about it and I mentioned how I never really felt like I had much “street cred” being a tissue recipient giving speeches next to heart and liver recipients.  She then told me about her sister and how she was only able to donate her tissue due to the circumstances of her accident.  I was truly humbled hearing her talk about how the experience of losing a sister was able to have some positive outcome.  And that is really the reason that I feel organ and tissue donation is so important, especially in the emergency services field.

Every day we are faced with terrible and tragic scenes where people lose their lives.  But given the advances in modern medicine, we have the ability as human beings to turn something tragic into something heroic and courageous.  I think that the mission of organ and tissue donation is an extension of our mission in the field, and I encourage everybody to talk it over with their friends and families.  Chances are you know somebody who has benefited from organ or tissue donation.  Even if you don’t, the statistics showing the need for more registered donors are staggering.

I encourage you to learn more about organ and tissue donation and consider becoming registered donors.

– Firefighter Joseph Arnson

Words That Describe Us: Volume 58

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 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 answers/responses included:

  • Friendly, knowledgeable, calming, attentive. I felt my son and I were safe with them and in good hands. (15-27515; E. Sheils, C. Masslon).
  • T. and R. were great. Very comforting. (15-35382; R. Gonska, T. Dixon).
  • They were great + kind.
  • The crew were very professional, and knew what they were doing.
  • Very friendly and informative, explained everything they were doing. (15-25385; V. Maston, J. Lentini).
  • Excellent.
  • Professional + caring.
  • Caring and professional.
  • Professional x 2.
  • Calm, friendly and clear without being condescending. They were great.
  • Very pleased.
  • The two paramedics were excellent!! My first trip (ever) in an ambulance so they were very helpful and reassuring. (15-36708; G. Geres, S. Boutot).
  • Professional + caring.
  • Can’t imagine being cared for before I even got to the hospital. They were great!
  • Ambulance crew was great.
  • Caring and skilled.
  • Efficient + caring.
  • Skilled.
  • Very nice + professional.
  • Very professional.
  • Excellent and professional.
  • The ambulance crew was excellent and they did a great job. (15-39025; T. MacLean, B. McDonald with East Hartford Fire Department).
  • Very comforting and thoughtful – They did an excellent job. My first time in an ambulance. (15-37659; H. Mendes, R. Houser).
  • Excellent + caring. The service provided was professional and very well performed. Thanks to the paramedic who was wearing a Manchester Fire shirt. My grandfather was a past deputy chief and would be very happy with the service provided to his great grandson! (15-37893; Manchester Fire Rescue EMS with J. Bush, B. Delgaizo).

Kudos from the Cath Lab: Volume 14

Aetna Paramedic receives Kudos from the Cath LabSTAFFORD — During June 2015, ASM Paramedics Jonathan Lentini, and Greg Derosier responded to a medical call in Stafford with Stafford Ambulance. The EKG was indicative of a STEMI and Jon wirelessly transmitted the 12-lead EKG to Hartford Hospital, activating their cardiac catherization lab from the field. (#15-46694). The following are comments provided by Hartford Hospital’s Dr. Marcin Dada with some acronyms and patient information removed:

Today’s STEMI: Stafford to Hartford Hospital TOTAL Ischemia time 73 min !!!

Congratulations everyone!!!

This patient was brought from Stafford to HH by ASM and Stafford Ambulance (pre hospital ECG was sent and communicated to the ED attending: Drs. Dufel/Price and Cath Lab was activated).

Highlight:   We utilized the quick registration where the EMS team was met at the triage and the patient was brought straight to the Cath Lab.

In a nut shell:

STEMI Stafford to HH 2 STEMI Stafford to HH1) HH D2B Time = 30 min

2) Total Ischemia Time =  73 min  (goal <90 min [1st Medical Contact in the field to Open Artery Time in the Cath Lab]

3) 100% mid-RCA –> 2 DES (TIMI III Flow)

In particular, we would like to recognize the following teams:

1) HH Cath Team – Dr Hirst; D. Jordan, T Schrimer

2) HH ER Team – Drs Dufel, Price and Tilden, and the rest of the clinical team (I am sure we missed many as this was a quick triage)

3) EMS team : G. Derosier and J. Lentini and the Stafford crew.

Strong Work.


Marcin Dada, MD

Co-Director, CPC

Manager, Structural Heart Program

Manager, Cardiovascular Data Management Center

Manager, Preventive Cardiology and Cardiac Rehab

ASM Participates in Weekend Food Drive in South Windsor

SOUTH WINDSOR — On June 20, 2015 crews from ASM were on-site at Stop and Shop and Geissler’s in South Windsor to participate in a food drive to benefit the South Windsor Food and Fuel Bank.

ASM received the following note from South Windsor’s Human Services Department:

Thanks to ASM for helping out with the Triad Sponsored Food Drive to benefit the South Windsor Food and Fuel Bank!

This was truly a team effort with The Fire and Police Department, Explorers, ASM and Triad volunteers all pitching in to help! Geisslers and Stop and Shop were also very helpful with pre-packing bags, which made it easier for shoppers!

On behalf of the Human Services Department, THANK YOU for making a difference!!!!


Required Forms for Non-Emergency Ambulance Transport in Connecticut – Volume 2

ASM Bariatric 3This post is an update and rehash of a previous post due to renewed interest in the topic.

Below is a comprehensive list of forms needed to complete a basic life support, routine inter-facility ambulance transfer in the State of Connecticut in 2015. More medical and billing information and demographics are necessary but in regards to forms that go to the ambulance crew, this it…

None of the information below should be construed as legal advice. If there are questions always consult the proper authority. If you have basic questions on this material please call us or post your question in the comments and we will answer to help the greatest number of interested parties. 

Medical Necessity Form (aka Physician’s Certification Statement (PCS) or MNF):  An MNF is required on routine, non-emergency ambulance transports where the patient has Medicare as their primary insurance. It is helpful to have on file for beneficiaries of Medicare HMOs as well. The form essentially works as a prescription for ambulance transport. Medicare never pays for wheelchair van transport so this form represents the threshold between wheelchair van (and all other types of transportation) and ambulance. There are some types of transports from skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and hospital where the sending facility is required to pay for the transport and therefore will not issue or sign an MNF.

There is a misnomer that MNFs are not needed on hospital to hospital and STAT transports because they are inter-facility or emergent. They are indeed required regardless of acuity or receiving facility. Although there are some rules around this they are detailed and convoluted. It is best to provide an MNF on every scheduled ambulance transport in which Medicare or Medicare HMOs are the payor.

A Medical Necessity Form alone does not guarantee payment. In fact it does very little in this regard. It must be on file, but the most important factor is the patient’s condition. The patient must be unsafe to travel by any other means. There are more rules regarding repetitive patients in which a new PCS is only needed every 30-60 days.

The rules around the use of an MNF and meeting Medicare’s medical necessity requirements are extensive and cannot be captured adequately here. Aetna and ASM crews are trained, reviewed, remediated and subject to a rigorous quality assurance process in this regard. If you represent a facility in our service area and feel you would benefit from an in-service to learn more about this, please call (860) 647-9798 x 249.

Physician’s Emergency Certificate (PEC): A PEC is required for the ambulance transport of a psychiatric patient going to any destination (typically a locked behavioral health unit) against their will (or by the will of the physician). In other words, they are being committed to the facility and their ability to make self determination is temporarily suspended by law.

A PEC must be an original form, typically demonstrated by being two-sided and often written in blue ink for this purpose. A copy cannot be used and it must be signed by a physician. It must accompany the patient and therefore cannot be faxed or emailed ahead as facilities will not accept a copy. This form is NOT used for voluntarily committed patients or patients who are conserved where the conservator has ordered transport.

This form also authorizes the ambulance crew to hold the patient against their will. In Connecticut, the only forms that allow an ambulance crew to hold a patient against their will are a PEC and an Emergency Examination Report issued by a licensed clinical social worker or a police officer. Ambulance crews must always use the minimum force necessary and most often this means simply confining the patient and does not necessarily mean the use of force or restraint.

Ambulance crews are not trained or equipped to subdue individuals. Chemical and physical restraints used by ambulance crews are intended to be applied with the assistance of law enforcement or healthcare staff. Judicious, prophylactic application of soft restraints should be strongly considered for patients that present a risk of elopement or danger to self and others. The back of an ambulance is not a controlled and static environment and this should be taken into consideration.

Transportation Authorization Certificate (TAC): A TAC compels the State of Connecticut to pay for the transportation of a patient in need of psychiatric care who is being admitted to an inpatient, state-operated facility. The receiving facility representative signs on Line 4 of this form and it is used as a check and balance before issuing payment to a transportation provider.

There are only five state-operated, inpatient psychiatric facilities in the state, Blue Hills, Cedarcrest, Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH), Greater Bridgeport Mental Health and Capitol Region Mental Health Center. An ambulance crew does NOT need this form if the destination is any other facility. The need for this form is not created by any other factor such as the chief complaint, the payor or the sending location.

W-10 (demographic portion of the discharge summary): Hospitals are required to provide the ambulance provider with enough information to safely complete the ambulance transport. Aetna and ASM are Covered Entities under HIPAA, have approved policies and procedures in this regard and all employees have been trained in appropriately handling protected health information (PHI). A hospital can restrict the amount of information they issue as long as the transport can be safely completed and sufficient information has been provided to carry out treatment, payment and healthcare operations.

Hospitals are no longer required to provide a State of Connecticut W-10 form or a full discharge summary and quite often they send the summary electronically to the SNF. Although the W-10 format is not mandated, hospitals must provide demographics, history, meds, allergies and any other pertinent information even if the patient is returning to a private residence without scheduled services.

No other form is required for routine BLS ambulance transport. Ambulance crews should NOT be looking for a full discharge summary, so-called “No Harm” letters, full medication administration logs (MARS), psychiatric notes, or any other form that is not listed above. EMTALA-type forms may be useful in informing an ambulance crew as to the patient’s condition and though they may be required paperwork, they are not for the ambulance crew.

Questions? Call the billing office at (860) 647-9798.

Words That Describe Us: Volume 57

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:

  • Caring.
  • Wonderful EMTs, put me at ease.
  • Efficient + competent, professional, comforting. Very nice. (15-26436; K. King, A. Fine).
  • Thank goodness for you. (15-31147; S. Norton, C. Masslon).
  • Crew was courteous + professional + careful with my Mom.
  • Very good.
  • Compassionate + empathetic – great team.
  • Very professional and highly skilled.
  • Courteously professional.
  • Professional + caring.
  • Great!
  • Professional, skilled, compassionate.
  • Professional – caring – careful of my 95 year old mom.
  • Compassionate, caring, knowledgeable, courteous. (15-32391; S. Norton, J. Hornish).
  • Kept me positive, safe & comfortable J (15-29160; S. Crittenden, B. Langan).
  • Comforting, assuring, kind, gentle, skilled, professional. (15-34834; S. Norton, S. Shirshac with Manchester Fire Rescue EMS).
  • Very professional + took my injury seriously.
  • Excellent!
  • Professional + caring.
  • Professional.
  • Efficient, caring and courteous. (15-30398; G. Kendall, L. Adamowich).
  • Very professional + caring.
  • Upbeat and helpful.
  • Pleasant and thoughtful – attitude lowered my apprehensions. (15-28277; T. Houle, R. Fraley).
  • Professional and friendly.
  • Prompt + professional.
  • The paramedic…seemed knowledgeable of my issue with low calcium levels.
  • Professional + caring.
  • Complete team available to help. Decisive. A big “THANK YOU” to the entire service, Ambulance, Paramedics, fire engine and police car!! (15-35393; J. Bonneau, L. Mazzoni with 8th District and Manchester Fire Rescue EMS).