Born Rolling Down I-84

Reunited two months after Kyra Deschene's birth on I-84, (l-r) Jamie and Andy Deschene, ASM paramedic supervisor Beth Sheils, holding Kyra, and ASM emergency medical technician Julie Bissell. (Jesse Leavenworth/The Hartford Courant)

Reunited two months after Kyra Deschene’s birth on I-84, (l-r) Jamie and Andy Deschene, ASM paramedic supervisor Beth Sheils, holding Kyra, and ASM emergency medical technician Julie Bissell. (Jesse Leavenworth/The Hartford Courant)

By Jesse Leavenworth


MANCHESTER — Andy and Jamie Deschene had to make a quick decision on the night of Sept. 5.

Pregnant with her second child, but not due to deliver until Nov. 9, Jamie Deschene, 30, was having labor contractions when she called Andy at work and told him to hurry home. A doctor at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford told the couple that if they could make it to the hospital from their Bolton home in 20 minutes, they could drive. If not, the physician advised, call an ambulance.

Jamie’s water had not broken, and the Deschenes decided to drive. Her water broke on I-384 near the Spencer Street exit.

Soon after, the infant’s feet emerged, and the couple were faced with a potentially dangerous breach birth in their car. Andy pulled off on Exit 56 of I-84 and called 911. The off-ramp was soon bustling with state troopers, East Hartford firefighters and medics from Ambulance Service of Manchester.

Pregnant herself, ASM emergency medical technician Julie Bissell had answered four or five maternity calls within the past month. Each patient’s due date was closer than the one before, Bissell said. On the last call before the Deschenes’ emergency, the woman’s water broke on the ambulance stretcher.

Andy Deschene made his 911 call at 7:42 p.m. Within minutes, East Hartford firefighter/paramedic Tamarah Collins and firefighter Judith Geier joined Bissell and ASM paramedic supervisor Beth Sheils at the scene. They secured Jamie Deschene for transport and headed to Hartford. Read the rest of the story here…

ASM Responds: LifeStar Called To Serious Crash On I-84 In Tolland; Highway Shut Down

Photo credit: @TollandAlert

Photo credit: @TollandAlert


The Hartford Courant

10:34 a.m. EDT, July 10, 2014

TOLLAND — LifeStar helicopters and several emergency crews were called to the scene of a serious crash on the eastbound side on I-84 Thursday morning, according to officials.

State police said the single-vehicle accident happened near exit 68. The eastbound side of I-84 remains closed as police investigate the crash, but the westbound lanes have been partially reopened.

The crash was reported about 8:40 a.m., Assistant Fire Chief Douglas Racicot said. The car was down an embankment, in the woods, and there were four victims, three of whom were reported to have been ejected from the vehicle, he said.

As of about 10:15 a.m., two patients were in critical condition, one was in serious condition and a fourth was being evaluated for less serious injuries at an area hospital.

The car was about 50 feet into the woods and plunged down a 40 foot drop, Racicot said.

Numerous police and fire officials responded to the scene as well as about seven ambulances. Both of the medical helicopters available in Connecticut were initially called to the scene and emergency crews requested a third out of Massachusetts.

Three paramedic ambulances were dispatched to the scene by the Ambulance Service of Manchester, a spokesman said.

Read the full Courant article here…

Manchester Man Charged With Hit And Run After School Bus Accident

MANCHESTER — After ramming his car into the rear of a school bus Tuesday evening, a local man drove away and then tried to lie about the accident, police said.

No one was seriously hurt.

Allan Perry, 27, of Oak Street, was charged with various motor vehicle violations, including evading responsibility. Perry, who was not hurt, was being held Tuesday night at the police station, Lt. David Ellsworth said.

The accident happened at about 4:55 p.m. at Main and Center streets. The driver of a 2010 Chevrolet Impala hit the rear end of a school bus carrying eight children, ages 10-14, Ellsworth said. The children complained of bumped heads and headaches, but none required hospitalization, he said.

Read the full article here…

Injured Manchester EMT Focus Of Fundraising

Carolyn Edwards 2

Carolyn Edwards in a photo taken last fall. She is holding Britton, a family friend’s daughter. (Doug Edwards / May 22, 2014)


by Jesse Leavenworth

MANCHESTER — Friends, coworkers and teammates are rallying in support of Carolyn Edwards, a beloved emergency medical technician who was badly hurt in a recent motorcycle accident.

“The reason everybody descended on this is that she’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet,” Ambulance Service of Manchester spokesman Dave Skoczulek said Thursday. “I’ve never heard her say a negative thing. She’s one of those people who’s always laughing, positive, upbeat. When this happened, it made a mess out of everybody and they came together as fast as they could.”

Read the original Courant article here…

Edwards, 36, of Manchester, was driving her motorcycle on East Center Street on the morning of May 6 when she collided with a car at the Vernon Street intersection, police have said. She was treated for head and arm injuries in the intensive care unit at Hartford Hospital, but was recently transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

Along with ASM, other organizations raising money to support Edwards’ family and help pay her medical bills include sports teams she belongs to, including the Hartford Wild Roses Women’s Rugby Team. The team is selling t-shirts with “#Carolynstrong” printed on the back. To purchase a t-shirt or a #carolynstrong bracelet, visit

ASM employees also have been raising money through “cold water challenges,” which involve immersion in swimming pools and other chilly bodies of water. The company’s president and CEO, Wayne Wright, recently took part in one such challenge (see the video at

Edwards, who was born in New York City, moved with her family to Manchester as a young girl and graduated from Manchester High School, ASM paramedic Kenya Russell said. Edwards, who is single and has no children, has been working for ASM for about five years. Russell said the two were frequent partners.

“She is consistently kind all the time, no matter what the scenario is,” Russell said. “We have stressful scenarios, but she’s always smiling.”

“She was like that as a little kid,” Edwards’ uncle, Doug Edwards, said.

Little by little, Edwards said, his niece’s condition is improving. Her great physical shape before the accident and the many friends she has made are helping, he said..

“Between her physical stamina and her relationships with people, I think that’s really the thing that makes her recovery go well,” Edwards said.

When Carolyn Edwards regains her health, friends plan to convert the fundraising organization they started after the accident into a standing foundation to benefit all emergency medical service workers in the state who face similar crises, Russell said.

Four Hurt In School Bus Crash In Rocky Hill

hc-rocky-hill-school-bus-crash-0501-20140430-001By DAVID OWENS, The Hartford Courant

Read the full story here…

12:09 p.m. EDT, April 30, 2014

ROCKY HILL — Four people with minor injuries were taken by ambulance to area hospitals after an accident involving a school bus on northbound I-91 in Rocky Hill Wednesday morning.

Three children aboard the bus complained of pain.

Several ambulances were dispatched to the crash, near exit 23.

Ambulance Service of Manchester and Aetna Ambulance Service crews transported three children to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and one adult to Hartford Hospital.

The bus was carrying sixth graders from East Haven‘s Joseph Melillo Middle School to the Connecticut Science Center, school officials said.

State police were investigating. The crash was reported at 9:51 a.m.

ASM’s Alpha Five: Volume 6: Johnson Memorial Hospital Renovates EMS Work Area

Note the ASM ambulance outside. From left to right: Patrick Mahon, chairman, JMMC Board of Directors; Neil Moynihan, M.D., president, JMH Medical Staff; Paul Wentworth, EMS coordinator; Beth Van Alstyne, senior director, Nursing; Patricia Jagoe, assistant vice president, Patient Care Services; Jennifer Moskal, Emergency Department manager; David Herr, M.D., chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine; and Stuart E. Rosenberg, president & CEO, JMMC. (Gregory Palmer / February 27, 2014)

Note the ASM ambulance outside. From left to right: Patrick Mahon, chairman, JMMC Board of Directors; Neil Moynihan, M.D., president, JMH Medical Staff; Paul Wentworth, EMS coordinator; Beth Van Alstyne, senior director, Nursing; Patricia Jagoe, assistant vice president, Patient Care Services; Jennifer Moskal, Emergency Department manager; David Herr, M.D., chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine; and Stuart E. Rosenberg, president & CEO, JMMC. (Gregory Palmer / February 27, 2014)

by Gregory Palmer Read the full Hartford Courant article here…

STAFFORD — In 2007 Alan and Terry Silver made a generous donation to Johnson Memorial Hospital (JMH) for the renovation of the EMS work area and lounge. Seven years later the room has been updated to better meet the needs of the EMS community. Hospital staff and EMS professionals recently gathered at JMH to celebrate the event and ribbon cutting. Johnson Memorial Medical Center, parent organization of JMH, is grateful for the dedication and support the EMS members provide throughout our service area and our surrounding communities.
About Johnson Memorial Medical CenterJohnson Memorial Medical Center (JMMC) is the parent organization of Johnson Memorial Hospital (JMH), Evergreen Health Care Center (EHCC) and Home & Community Health Services (H&CHS). JMMC provides a full spectrum of health care to those living and working in North Central Connecticut and Southern Massachusetts. For more information please visit:

Regional Food Drive In Manchester Considered A Success


The Hartford Courant

4:57 p.m. EST, November 25, 2013

MANCHESTER — A regional food drive in its fifth year tallied “phenomenal” results, an organizer announced Monday.

The Emergency of Hunger drive, run by emergency response agencies and Rotary Club members, gathered 38,309 food items, $24,143 in cash, checks and gift cards and 596 turkeys, event organizer Dave Skoczulek said.

Donations were gathered at supermarkets in Manchester, South Windsor, Vernon, Windsor and Enfield, the latest community to join the effort. The donations go to food pantries and shelters in each town.

“Because we keep adding towns and changing hours and tinkering with the format, it’s hard to say if it was the biggest year,” Skoczulek said. “But I would say it was the best year. We had the most fun, brought in a huge amount, had the best interactions with the public and saw the biggest desire to give.”

Over the past five years, the drive has tallied 147,000 food items, $96,186 in donations and 4,170 turkeys.

Read the Courant article by clicking here…

Emergency Of Hunger Food Drive Starts In Four Towns


The Hartford Courant

3:37 p.m. EST, November 15, 2013

Read the Courant version here…

Food Drive 2013

MANCHESTER — Emergency responders and Rotary Club members launched a regional drive Friday to collect food and other donations for needy people.

This is the fifth year of the Emergency of Hunger Food Drive. Representatives of police, fire and ambulance agencies, Rotary Club members and pantry managers from Manchester, South Windsor and Vernon gathered Friday at Manchester Area Conference of Churches Charities to kick off the drive.

Volunteers in those towns, Enfield and Windsor collect food and monetary donations at area supermarkets. In the past five years, the drive has gathered about 108,000 food and personal care items, 4,100 turkeys and more than $75,000 in cash, checks and gift cards, organizers said.

All collections are to be held at Stop & Shop supermarkets, except one at Geissler’s Supermarket in South Windsor. Dates and times for the collections are:

Manchester — Saturday and Sunday and Nov. 23 and 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 286 Broad St.

Enfield — Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 54 Hazard Ave.

Rockville — Nov. 23 and 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 50 Windsorville Road

Vernon — Nov. 23 and 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 10 Pitkin Road

South Windsor — Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 the Stop & Shop at 1739 Ellington Road and on the same days and times at Geissler’s Supermarket, 965 Sullivan Ave.

Windsor held its collection earlier this month, organizers said.

All food and donations go to food banks in the towns where they are donated, organizers said.

“In other words, everything stays local so that neighbors are helping neighbors,” organizer David Skoczulek of Ambulance Service of Manchester wrote in a news release.

ASM to Appear in Manchester Fire Department Parade Sunday

The Hartford Courant 6:00 p.m. EDT, October 8, 2013

Credit – Hartford Courant

MANCHESTER — In a show of pride and a celebration of history, the Eighth Utilities District Manchester Fire Department will hold a parade Sunday.

The 125th anniversary parade is scheduled to step off at 1 p.m. with lights flashing, sirens wailing, bagpipes and drums sounding and firefighters from throughout the region marching in full dress uniform.

Among the 40 contingents slated to march, most represent fire departments, parade Chairman and Eight District firefighter Ryan Bilodeau said. Marchers will include first responders from the Manchester Police Department and Ambulance Service of Manchester, along with the Manchester Regional Police & Fire Pipe Band and the Patriot Guard Riders.

Read the whole article here…

ASM Responds: School Bus Accident on I-84 In East Hartford

The Hartford Courant

hc-east-hartford-school-bus-0907-20130906-0017:56 a.m. EDT, September 6, 2013

EAST HARTFORD — Three ambulances have responded to a school bus accident on I-84, according to an ambulance company spokesman.

The accident happened about 7:30 a.m., on I-84 west, near the Connecticut Boulevard ramp. Ambulance Service of Manchester, LLC responded, said David Skoczulek of Aetna Ambulance Service, Inc.

The injuries are minor, he stated in an emailed press release. A small school bus is involved, he said. Damage to the bus is reported to be minor.

It wasn’t clear if the injured occupants are students. Read the Courant article here.

EMT Course at MCC Prepares Students for Certification

Ambulance Service of Manchester, LLC.Mike Jordan-Reilly, Manchester Community College

7:10 p.m. EDT, August 15, 2013 (Originally posted in the Hartford Courant)

Manchester Community College‘s Continuing Education Division offers an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course that fully prepares students to take the certification exam.

The MCC Credit-Free course is offered in partnership with the Ambulance Service of Manchester (ASM) LLC, whose staff teaches the MCC course on site at the ambulance building located at 275 New State Road in Manchester.

“This course will prepare students to sit for the State of Connecticut and National Registry Board EMT Basic examination,” said Steve Conley, Director of Operations for Ambulance Service of Manchester, LLC. “This test is a primary qualification for EMT certification.”

An EMT is a first responder in the event of accident or illness and must assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, extricate trapped individuals and transport sick or injured people to medical facilities.

ASM, a 2012 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Career EMS Services, provides Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to Manchester, East Hartford, Bolton and supplemental paramedic service and transport to the Town of Windsor. ASM also provides paramedic intercept services to GlastonburySouth Windsor,Stafford Springs and Somers and responds to Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support(ALS) 9-1-1 requests to many surrounding communities in Hartford, Tolland and Windham Counties.

Training Room 2The ASM staff will begin the Fall 2013 offering of the MCC course on Monday, September 9. It runs for 13 successive Mondays and 12 successive Wednesdays, through December 16, from 6 -9:30 p.m. It also includes 12 clinical sessions held on successive Saturdays, from Sept. 21 through Dec. 16, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The course fee is $750 (refer to CRN 31723).

Ann Bonney, MCC’s director of Credit-Free Programs added, “Taking this course through the MCC partnership with ASM means students have access to hands-on experts in the field for instruction and clinical work, and it provides students with the added benefit of official college transcript that serves as a record of their education.”

For more information, call the Credit Free Information line at 860-512-2800, or to register, contact the Registrar’s Office at 860-512-3232, or 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

ASM Responds: Winter Storm Charlotte

The Hartford Courant


MANCHESTER — Read the whole article here…Private ambulance providers had similar difficulties. Prevented from close access to many homes, medics had to carry patients, in some cases for 100 yards or more, through thigh-deep snow, Dave Skoczulek, spokesman for Ambulance Service of Manchester and Aetna Ambulance Service, said Monday.

Ambulances mired on roadsides and stuck in deep snow banks had to be pulled out with a four-wheel drive paramedic intercept vehicle. Total calls were less than normal, Skoczulek said, “but each call was typically more severe and took much, much more effort and much longer to complete.”

Ambulance Service of Manchester Mercedes Sprinter AmbulanceAt the height of the storm, a patient with chest pains had to be taken from Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. A physician arranged for a plow to escort the ambulance, and there were many other stories of plows paving the way for emergency medical personnel, Skoczulek said.

Another crew in a heavy ambulance equipped with tire chains could not make it over impassable roads with a critical care patient aboard, Skoczulek said. The crew got help from Manchester police and residents, who came over with shovels and snowblowers, he said. Eventually, a backhoe from Ansaldi Construction winched the ambulance back onto a cleared road surface, Skoczulek said.

‘Emergency Of Hunger’ Food Drive Restocks Pantries At Critical Time

Emergency of Hunger Food Drive - Ambulance Service of ManchesterBy MICHAEL WALSH, Special to The Hartford Courant

The fourth annual Emergency of Hunger Food Drive, a community staple in the Manchester area since its 2009 debut, serves much more than helping the town prepare for the holiday season.

While more than 1,000 Thanksgiving turkeys are donated each year to the food drive, which is organized locally by the Ambulance Service of Manchester, those who see hunger first-hand say the food drive allows food pantries to remain stocked in the slower winter months. Continue reading

Heavy Lifting For Ambulance Crews

Obesity Epidemic Is Changing Emergency Medical Transport

By JESSE LEAVENWORTH, The Hartford Courant

October 20, 2012

Brian Langan Ambulance Service of Manchester

Emergency medical technicians have long shared a Murphy’s Law kind of reckoning about obese patients: for every additional floor in a building, the patient will weigh 100 more pounds.

It’s dark humor among men and women with an often grim, strenuous job, but obesity rates are rising throughout the state and nation, and a recently released report says the ranks of the morbidly obese will continue to balloon.

The task of transporting patients who weigh at least 100 pounds more than they should is now a daily reality in Connecticut and throughout the nation. The job strains ambulance crews, causing widespread back injuries, and piles financial burdens on both volunteer companies and professional providers.

“We’ve always had to deal with big people,” said Glenn Luedtke,safety committee chairman of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, “but nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see someone who’s 300 pounds into the 400-pound range.” Continue reading