Words That Describe Us: Volume 68

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:

  • E. Thepsiri and J. Basora were 2 outstanding EMS providers. My two “Top Guns”. (15-78017).
  • Fantastic and thank you.
  • Professional.
  • Your ambulance + crew took good care of me.
  • Very efficient and caring. Appreciated the teamwork. Very fortunate to have this excellent service. The response was appreciated.
  • Caring + professional.
  • Very thankful and grateful for your service! Hoping we won’t need you again. As a former EMT – al crewmembers worked as a team. I felt the EMS person from EH was very professional and took charge. (15-71526; T. Armas, C. Heitman with East Hartford Fire Department).
  • Very caring and helpful.
  • Compassion! I was terrified not being able to breat and they immediately took over and made me feel a bit more at ease. Very professional but comforting!! Thank you all!! (15-72772; M. Tuttle, J. Startup with Manchester Fire Rescue EMS).
  • Exceptional.
  • Very professional, knowledgeable + caring.
  • Very professional and caring.
  • The crew was very professional. Couldn’t ask for better. (15-78310; G. Kendall, R. McDonald).
  • Very professional.
  • They were very helpful! Thank you for being there!
  • Efficient.
  • Professional x 4.
  • Excellent!
  • Awesome crew!
  • Very attentive.
  • Crew was very pleasant, knowledgable. I was very impressed with their service. (15-79633; W. Schnepp, M. Kleza).
  • They performed in a very professional way.
  • Friendly – eased my fears.
  • Comfortable to be taken care of by.

Another Good Year For Emergency Of Hunger Food Drive


By Jesse Leavenworth

MANCHESTER — Donations to the Emergency of Hunger Food Drive show the region’s generosity has not diminished.

Police, firefighters, emergency medical providers and other volunteers gathered food and other gifts over the past two weekends at supermarkets in Manchester, Rocky Hill, South Windsor, Vernon and Windsor.

Estimated totals were: 26,000 food and personal care items; $23,000 in cash, checks and gift cards; and 870 turkeys and hams, organizer Dave Skoczulek of Ambulance Service of Manchester said Tuesday.

Total donations for the seven years that first responders have run the drive are 210,000 food and personal care items, $143,000 in cash, checks and gift cards and over 6,000 turkeys and hams. Read the whole story here….

Little Manchester Road Race Nets Big Food Drive Gain

Little Road Race Food Drive CMANCHESTER — On November 21, 2015 the Little Manchester Road Race (LMRR) for children, a precursor to the Thanksgiving Day race, asked that each runner bring a non-perishable food item for donation.

Those items were ultimately transported  and donated to MACC Charities food bank in Manchester to coincide with the ‘Emergency of Hunger’ Food Drive being run in six towns over the weekend.

The LMRR component of the food drive was a huge success, bringing in over 1300 non-perishable food items for those in need. Pictures of the haul being loaded into an ASM ambulance are attached here, courtesy of Stephanie Boutot and Russell Jones.

Aetna Ambulance Crew Assists Film Crew

HARTFORD — Aetna’s Matt Campbell and Justine Monahan assisted a film crew completing a sequence in Hartford in October of 2015. After speaking with the movie’s director and vetting the film’s concept and basic content Aetna Ambulance elected to help the director capture a few key scenes.

A large portion of the movie was filmed in Africa with the final portions filmed here in Hartford. The final title has not been worked out but the movie’s themes revolve around change, redemption and family as well as darker topics like escaping drugs and alcohol.

First Responders In Six Towns Prepare For Food Drive

Kyle Caldwell, left, and Dave Tedeschi, emergency medical technicians with Ambulance Service of Manchester, at the 2013 Emergency of Hunger Food Drive.

Kyle Caldwell, left, and Dave Tedeschi, emergency medical technicians with Ambulance Service of Manchester, at the 2013 Emergency of Hunger Food Drive.


by Jesse Leavenworth

First responders in Manchester and five other towns are gearing up for the Emergency of Hunger Food Drive, an annual effort that organizers say has proven vital to food pantries in the region.

Read the full article here…

“Many of the area food banks have come to rely on this food drive and the generosity of shoppers to get them through the holiday season,” Skoczulek said.

To date, he said, volunteers have collected about 187,000 food and personal care items, 5,500 turkeys and over $120,000 in cash, checks and gift cards.

“All we ask is for each shopper to purchase one extra item to donate,” Skoczulek said. “Many shoppers go well beyond this and donate multiple items — sometimes even whole shopping carts. But every little bit helps, so we appreciate each item.”

All locations are Stop & Shop supermarkets, except for Geissler’s Supermarket on Sullivan Avenue in South Windsor.

• Manchester: 286 Broad St., Saturday and Sunday and Nov. 21 and 22 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Rockville section of Vernon: 50 Windsorville Road, Saturday and Sunday and Nov. 21 and 22 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Rocky Hill: 80 Town Line Road, Saturday and Sunday and Nov. 21 — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m..

• Vernon: 10 Pitkin Road, Saturday and Sunday and Nov. 21 and 22 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Windsor: 1095 Kennedy Road, Saturday and Sunday — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• South Windsor: 1739 Ellington Road, Nov. 21 and 22 — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• South Windsor: Geissler’s Supermarket, 965 Sullivan Ave., Nov. 21 and 22 — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Enfield collection dates, times and locations are to be announced.

“Every year we hope for good weather and holiday cheer to help us through,” Skoczulek said, “but no matter what, we always seem to bring in a big haul for those in need.”

Remembering Karri Isham

Read Karri’s obituary here…

Rest in Peace, Karri.

Posted under one of the attached photos:

I just wanted to tell you guys thank you for the remembrance for my sister Karri. I wish I could have been there to meet all of you. She talked about all of you a lot. You all meant a lot to her. She always told me you were her family in Connecticut.

Thank you again.


Meet the Newest Members of the Team: Aetna Hires Six, 2015

HARTFORD — On November 6, 2015, three EMTs and three Paramedics were added to the Aetna 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.

Amy Bastien:   FULL TIME, EMT. Hi, my name is Amy Bastien, I’m 27 years old, and I live in New Britain, CT. I graduated from UMass Amherst in 2010 with a B.S. in Business Management. After college, I spent a few years traveling and living abroad. In that time, I learned a lot about myself volunteering at clinics in underserved populations, and began to feel compelled to help those who cannot help themselves. It is my hope to gain as much experience as possible as an EMT with Aetna, in order to proceed to a physician assistant program. It is my life goal to continue on a path of providing comfort and care to those in need. In my spare time, I hang out with my dog, play co-ed soccer, and train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Team Link. I am greatly looking forward to working with Aetna and am very thankful for the opportunity to do so.

Melissa Bilgen:   FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Melissa and I am 26 years old. Born in Hartford, CT but holding dual citizenship in Turkey. I graduated from UCONN Storrs in 2012 with a B.A. in Biology and minor in Anthropology. I joined the Army National Guard in 2013. I am currently a 68W, Combat Medic, in the 102d Infantry. I am one of two females integrated into the Infantry Unit which is exciting. Ever since I became a Combat Medic I always knew I wanted a career in the medical field. The way the human body works and reacts to things is fascinating to me. I also want to keep my skills set up if I deploy. I strive to one day be a paramedic. In my free time I am very much into fitness. My favorite classes are Core, HIIT, and Yoga.

Michael Bouley:    FULL TIME, Paramedic. My name is Michael Bouley, I am 29 years old and I am originally from Manchester, CT, presently living in Tolland, CT. After high school I attended Central Connecticut State University, studying a broad number of subjects, primarily western philosophy and sociology. I took my EMT course through Hartford Hospital, and absolutely loved the unique experience, and the opportunity to help people that EMS affords. I have been a volunteer EMT with Windsor EMS for the last three years, and particularly enjoyed the responsibility of being a field training officer teaching new EMTs. I recently graduated from the Capital Community College Paramedic program, and I am very excited to begin my career as a part of the Aetna Ambulance team and to further my knowledge and experience in the field. In my spare time I like hiking with my two dogs, camping, painting miniatures, and playing video games, I am an avid reader, and love learning about history, philosophy, and science. I look forward to working for a company that has such a strong reputation, and hope to meet everyone soon!

Tessa Gilbert:  FULL TIME, Paramedic. My name is Tessa Gilbert, I am 25 years old and currently live in Ledyard, CT. When I was younger my dad was in the military so I have lived many places on the East Coast as well as in Alaska. I have been in commercial EMS for a company in Norwich for two years.  I started in EMS after graduating from UCONN with a Psychology degree and really enjoyed many aspects of the job. I decided after about five months in EMS that I enjoyed it so much that I enrolled and am about to complete the Paramedic Program at Goodwin College. When I am not working or in class I like to work out and stay active. This includes hiking, swimming, completing Tough Mudders, volleyball, soccer, traveling, and paddle boarding. I mostly try to stay in good shape since I also really enjoy eating and trying new restaurants/food. I also enjoy watching movies and Netflix binging.  I aspire to eventually become a flight medic and one day a CRNA. I am really excited to begin working and expanding my skills and experience with Aetna.

Ryan Sullivan:   FULL TIME, EMT. My name is Ryan Sullivan and I am 22 years old. I graduated from UCONN in May 2015, with a major in molecular and cell biology and a minor in math. As an undergraduate I thought I wanted to pursue research as a career. But after working in chemical engineering, allied health, and epigenetic labs, I realized that research was not for me. In my final semester I took an EMT training course that UCONN offered, just because I thought it would be fun. I really enjoyed the course and after graduating, I knew I wanted to stick with it. Now I am very interested in the medical field, and I hope to one day go to medical school. In my free time I like to play video games, hang out with friends, and scuba dive. I also want to pick up skydiving as a hobby. I am looking forward to working with everyone at Aetna Ambulance, and I hope my time here will be the start to a great career in medicine.

Karri Isham (1958-2015)

Karri Isham B

Karri Isham

Karri Dee Isham, age 57, died at Manchester Memorial Hospital in Manchester, Connecticut, on Monday, November 2, 2015. She fought a long, hard battle with the complications from Cowden Disease and multiple cancers.

She was born February 25, 1958, in Wyoming, graduated in 1976 from Central Kitsap High School in Silverdale, Washington, and received a degree in Special Education from Central Washington University. Karri taught for several years in Port Orchard, WA and in Wyoming. When she volunteered for the local hospital, she became interested in EMS and enrolled in classes. She then moved to Connecticut in September of 2000 to take an EMT job with the Ambulance Service of Manchester in Manchester, CT.

Karri was always involved in her community, volunteering for many charity events. She was also active with Manchester CERT. She was always there to help friends in any way that she could. Karri and her family are grateful to her friends and PCAs who took care of her during the final stages of her illness.

Karri Isham

Karri with Christian Haag and Stephanie Boutot at a rainy 2009 Emergency of Hunger Food Drive.

Karri’s remains will be received by her family on the West Coast.

In CT, an informal gathering to celebrate Karri’s life will be held between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm on Sunday, November 8, at the Ambulance Service of Manchester, 275 New State Rd, Manchester, CT.

Words That Describe Us: Volume 67

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:

  • Good crew.
  • The team was competent and caring while at home as well as at the hospital. (15-72950; S. Norton, S. Boutot with assistance from F. Tomboly).
  • Wonderful.
  • R. was wonderful. He put me at ease. Made me laugh. (15-72911; R. Gonska, J. Barletta).
  • Very professional. I will say [they] were outstanding.
  • I am [patient’s] wife who called 911. It was such trauma for me I really don’t remember much but knew my husband was in good hands. Thank you again. They made a great team! (15-73328; R. Gonska, J. Monahan).
  • Very professional, caring, serious.
  • Very knowledgeable + efficient.
  • Very pleasant in a tense situation. Very professional. (15-73029; K. Russell, S. DeBarge with Manchester Fire Rescue EMS).
  • Very professional + informative.
  • Very knowledgeable + compassionate. Friendly – he made me feel better! (15-71156; J. Platero, B. Deoliveira).
  • Professional + caring.
  • Excellent service and care.
  • Very good.
  • Arrived promptly. Well informed. (15-75491; R. McConville, M. Buerk).
  • Skillful, comforting, integrity. The quality of service was excellent. I felt very safe. (15-75677; R. Davenport, W. Valencia with Manchester Fire Rescue EMS).
  • From start to finish I am very pleased. J + A took my son to Children’s and calmed me down + took great care with my son. (15-75041; A. Wysocki, J. Bush with East Hartford Fire Department).
  • Professional and efficient.
  • The whole crew was professional + comforting.
  • Compassionate.
  • Excellent.
  • Professional.
  • Very caring.