ASM and Aetna Host NAEMT EMS Safety Course

NAEMTMANCHESTER — On July 31, 2013, the Aetna Ambulance and the Ambulance Service of Manchester will conduct/host a National Association of EMTs EMS Safety Course. According to their website, “NAEMT’s EMS Safety course aims to promote a culture of EMS safety and help reduce the number and intensity of injuries incurred by EMS practitioners in carrying out their work.”

“The course increases the practitioners’ awareness and understanding of EMS safety standards and practices and develops their ability to effectively implement them. EMS Safety is the first national and most comprehensive education program of its kind that teaches techniques on how to best achieve safety on the job.

“The curriculum covers crew resource management, emergency vehicle safety, responsibilities in scene operations, patient handling, patient, practitioner and bystander safety, and personal health. It offers an overview of current issues surrounding safety in EMS, presents and discusses case studies, builds risk assessment and decision-making skills and provides an opportunity for participants to relate their own experiences with EMS safety issues.”

Aetna and ASM employees that takes and pass the class and are either ACLS or PALS instructors (or are a licensed teacher) will be able to teach the class in the future. It is possible that the program will be integrated in future learning opportunities and orientations.

Three ASM Medics Complete Fundamentals of Critical Care Support

Boston Medflight FCCS

Photo courtesy of Boston MedFlight

BOSTON — Kenya Russell, Mike Levasseur and Greg Derosier attended the Fundamentals of Critical Care Support (FCCS) course on July 18th and 19th. Hosted by Boston MedFlight at Hanscom Air Force Base, FCCS was developed by the Society of Critical Care Medicine to help prepare health care personnel to manage critically ill patients for the first 24 hours or until care has been transferred to a tertiary care center or proper consultation can be arranged.

FCCS has been completed by MD’s, RN’s, and Paramedics enabling them to better prioritize the assessment and manage significant changes in the unstable patient. ASM would like to thank Boston MedFlight for their hospitality. Additional information regarding this course may be found at or for this and other great training opportunities visit

Hartford Courant: Manchester Ambulance Company Changes Fleet

Mercedes Sprinter ambulance, left. and Ford ambulance. Ambulance Service of Manchester has almost completed a fleet change from the Fords to the Mercedes emergency vehicles. (Ambulance Service of Manchester / July 25, 2013)

Mercedes Sprinter ambulance, left. and Ford ambulance. Ambulance Service of Manchester has almost completed a fleet change from the Fords to the Mercedes emergency vehicles. (Ambulance Service of Manchester / July 25, 2013)

3:24 p.m. EDT, July 25, 2013

by Jesse Leavenworth

MANCHESTER — A local ambulance company has made a substantial investment in its fleet over the past four years, gradually replacing Fords with what is now a German/American emergency vehicle.

Ambulance Service of Manchester is among the first medical response companies of its size in the nation to switch its line to Sprinter ambulances, ASM spokesman Dave Skoczulek said Thursday. Sprinters had been a Dodge product, but are now part of the Mercedes-Benz line.

At the end of the month, the company will have replaced 27 of its 28 ambulances with Sprinters. The only remaining Ford will be the company’s bariatric ambulance, which is equipped to handle heavy patients.

The diesel-powered Mercedes ambulances get three to four miles more per gallon than the Ford E-350 vans they replaced, have more head-room can remain in service longer with less maintenance and are equipped with a stablity system that the Fords lacked, Skoczulek said. Another advantage is the Sprinter’s sliding side door, a roadside safety improvement over the Fords, which had swing-out side doors.

The Sprinters arrive from Germany as spare vans and are outfitted as ambulances by North Carolina-based American Emergency Vehicles. The Dodge and Mercedes Sprinters have cost as much as $20,000 more than the $56,000 Fords, Skoczulek said, “but we felt that the improved gas mileage and decreased maintenance was worth the investment.”

“We didn’t expect to have to change after decades working in Fords,” he said, “but when the landscape shifted, we didn’t see anything comparable to the Sprinters as an overall package.” Read the story at The Hartford Courant

Praise for ASM Crew from the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center

598882_388866057841106_1209553279_aMy name is Theresa Stross and I am a Registered Nurse at the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center. I am writing you about three of your employees who were at our cancer center on Tuesday July 16. We had a new patient at our facility who on the way out of the bathroom started to collapse in the hallway. Quickly and professionally your three EMT’s who were here because of another patient,jumped into action and assisted our PCA to get the patient to a stretcher.

Right away they worked with the staff here to obtain vitals, start a line, check a blood sugar, and ultimately transfer the patient to the emergency department for further evaluation. They were very nice, kind, and professional not to mention how helpful they were when this unexpected event occurred at a time when the cancer center was very busy. These three men were: Rob Balkun, Cory Lachance, and Mike Makulis.

I thought it was the least I could do to inform you of how well your employees performed. Many thanks again to Rob, Cory, and Mike.


Theresa and the Staff at the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center

ASM in ‘Run or Dye’ 5k, Most Interesting Ambulance Crew in the World

HARTFORD — On July 20, 2013 a team from the Ambulance Service of Manchester participated in a Run or Dye event in Hartford.

According to their website, “Run or Dye is the world’s most colorful 5K, is a recreational 5K that celebrates fitness, friendship and fun while blasting participants with safe, eco-friendly, plant-based dye powder. A leader in the fitness literacy movement, Run or Dye’s mission is to encourage better health, fitness and nutrition decisions among its participants and supporters. With races planned in more than 50 high-profile venues across the country, it is expected that more than 500,000 people will Run or Dye in 2013.”

A picture of Team ASM after the event appeared on the Facebook page “The Most Interesting Ambulance Crew in the World”.

Hartford Business Journal: CT’s ambulance services fragmented, consolidated

Ambulance Service of Manchester Hartford Business JournalGREG BORDONARO

In Connecticut’s world of emergency medical services, fragmentation is the name of the game.

It may not surprise many people in the Land of Steady Habits, where cities and towns often operate as their own fiefdoms, but nearly every municipality in the state has its own way of providing emergency medical transport services.

When the half-million or so 911 calls are placed each year by Connecticut residents, just who shows up to provide life-saving support depends on location….

Wayne Wright, who is the president and CEO of Hartford’s Aetna Ambulance Service Inc. and Ambulance Service of Manchester, said all ambulance providers are facing financial challenges as a result of declining Medicare reimbursement rates, which are down about 8.6 percent from a few years ago.

Combined, the two companies have a fleet of 48 ambulances and 228 employees, who respond to about 70,000 calls a year. They provide transport services to many Greater Hartford cities and towns including Hartford.

Read the whole article at Hartford Business Journal…

State Police to hold Tactical Medicine Overview at ASM

CSPMANCHESTER — A free Continuing Medical Education course will be held Tuesday, July 23rd at the Ambulance Service of Manchester, 275 New State Road from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Trooper First Class Bob Maynard of the Connecticut State Police will present a Tactical Medicine Overview as well as the Emergency Services Unit of the CSP’s medical capabilities. TFC Maynard will also review critical factors in scene awareness.

All levels of EMS provider are welcome as are fire fighters and law enforcement. For more information or to register, contact Melissa Osborne at CME hours will be available depending on sponsor hospital.

Words That Describe Us: Volume 9

Aetna Ambulance Service - Ambulance Service of ManchesterMANCHESTER 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:

  • Excellent x III.
  • Respectful, professional.
  • Very good.
  • Excellent service.
  • Thankful.
  • Comforting.
  • Friendly.
  • Dependable.
  • Wonderful.
  • Competent.
  • Excellent!!
  • Wonderful!! Thank you for helping me get to the hospital when I needed your specialized help.
  • Reassuring.
  • Professional x IIII.
  • Good.
  • Outstanding.
  • Excellent! I very much appreciated the calm, gentle, quick manner of the medics. Wonderful folks. Thank you for your kind service.

The Hartford Circus Fire and Aetna Ambulance: Volume 2

Hartford Circus Fire 1944

by Sam Porcello

Read Volume 1 here…

In Hartford, there was just one private ambulance company at the time, Maple Hill, provided through the Talarski Funeral Home.  (Many funeral homes including Ahern on Farmington Avenue provided ambulance services in the early 1900s, since hearses were large enough for people to lay down in). Penicillin was newly available, and approximately 85% of the world’s supply was being used in the war to treat infections, including pilots’ burns.

There were several factors that contributed to the Hartford Circus Fire.  Small circus fires were actually pretty common in 1944, because more than 41% of Americans smoked.  Safety codes at the time applied mostly to buildings.  Since tents were “just” temporary structures, they did not generate a lot of attention.  Requirements for detailed safety inspections, exit widths and having fire equipment onsite did not exist for outdoor events.  With resources depleted from the war, manpower was scarce, so there were fewer Ringling employees watching inside the tent for fires.

The tent itself was waterproofed with a highly flammable mixture of paraffin and 6,000 gallons of gasoline, which accelerated the spread of the fire.  From the time the fire started until the tent was completely burned away, a total of 10 minutes elapsed.   A total of 168 people died, and another 484 were injured….(more to come, check back for future volumes).

ASM Appears in Boom Box Parade care of Stephanie Boutot

Ambulance Service of Manchester, 2013 Boom Box Parade, WindhamWINDHAM — ASM appeared in Willimantic’s 28th annual Boombox Parade on July 4, 2013 care of AEMT and Field Training Officer Stephanie Boutot. Stephanie has been insistent that ASM participate each year as she was in the very first Boom Box parade.

According to the WILI 1400 AM website, the WILI July 4th “Boom Box Parade is the largest of its kind in the world. In 1986, no marching band could be found for Windham’s Memorial Day Parade. Five weeks later, the “Boom Box Parade” concept was born, as WILI plays the marching band music on the air, while thousands march and watch, loudly playing their radios (boom boxes).2013 Boom Box Parade
Anyone can march or enter a float in “Connecticut’s Unique People’s Parade.” The only requirement is to wear some red, white, and blue, and bring a radio tuned to WILI (1400-AM). American flags are optional, but encouraged. There is no “official” theme for the parade.

Praise for ASM’s Kenya Russell and Stephanie Boutot

ASM's Stephanie Boutot

ASM’s Stephanie Boutot

MANCHESTER – In June 2013, ASM received a Patient Satisfaction Survey related to an emergency response performed by ASM crewmembers Kenya Russell and Stephanie Boutot. The patient completed the survey and checked all of the Strongly Agree boxes and wrote in the word “Awesome”  to describe the service.

Additionally he hand wrote the following:

ASM's Kenya Russell

ASM’s Kenya Russell

“Kenya and Stephanie were caring and professional and friendly and awesome. Stephanie was a great driver who got us through rush hour traffic quickly and safely. Kenya was a wonderfully caring person who put me at ease while taking care of me. I cannot say enough good things about these ladies! I would like to thank them personally!”

– [Patient, 13-37006]

Praise for Aetna’s Sean Piscopiello and Nicholas Foran

Aetna Ambulance - Sean Piscopiello and Nicholas Foran

(L to R): Sean Piscopiello and Nicholas Foran.

WETHERSFIELD — In June 2013, Aetna received a Patient Satisfaction Survey related to an emergency response performed by Aetna Paramedics Sean Piscopiello and Nick Foran. The patient’s daughter completed the survey and checked all of the Strongly Agree boxes and wrote in the words “Respectful” and “Professional” to describe the service. Additionally she hand wrote the following:

“My mother lives with me. She woke up extremely short of breath. I am a nurse and check her lungs and vital signs frequently and did so right before calling 911. Ambulance personnel listened to what I had to say and made me feel like I was a part of the team! Thank you.”

– [Patient’s Daughter, 13-36724]