Hartford Firefighters, Paramedics Save Choking 2-Year-Old

Aetna's responding Paramedic was Samuel Dybdahl

Aetna’s responding Paramedic was Samuel Dybdahl

From NBC Connecticut. Read the whole story here…

[continued…] The fire department posted a letter from Aetna Ambulance on its Facebook page, thanking responding firefighters for their quick thinking.

According to the letter, EMTs and firefighters were called to the city’s South End around noon Thursday. They found the toddler unresponsive with a “complete airway obstruction.” Firefighters performed chest compressions and the Heimlich maneuver.

Medical personnel worked with firefighters to remove the food from the child’s airway and give the toddler oxygen.

Aetna Ambulance director of operations Mark Hannegan said the emergency responders’ teamwork kept the child alive.

Hartford Fire Department - Aetna Ambulance Service, Inc.“There is no doubt that without quick, calm and professional actions by all on scene, the child would have died,” Hannegan said in a letter to the fire chief thanking the firefighters of Engine 10. “The attending physician called and said that prehospital care ‘legitimately saved this kid’s life.’ He said that the child is doing well.”

Cleared for Independent Dispatch: Aetna’s Samuel Dybdahl Completes Precepting Phase

HARTFORD –  As of March 18, 2015, Aetna’s Samuel Dybdahl has been cleared by Hartford Hospital medical control for independent dispatch as a paramedic to the towns that Aetna serves.

Sam’s preceptor was Paramedic Matt Campbell. 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 Aetna, Sam’s final approval came from Hartford Hospital after shadowing him and his preceptor in the field as they responded to emergency calls.

Sam has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, is a nationally registered Paramedic and received training as an Army Critical Care Flight Paramedic from University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX. He  is a combat medic and healthcare specialist in the military since 2008 with one deployment to Afghanistan. Sam says he enjoys helping others and furthering his knowledge within the medical field. In his spare time he often competes in Duathlon/Triathlons, road races and weight lifting.

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

Meet the Newest Members of the Aetna Team: Aetna Hires Four

HARTFORD — On December 12, 2013, three EMTs and one Paramedic 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.




Samuel Dybdahl:   PART TIME, EMT.  My name is Samuel Dybdahl and I’m 26 years old. I am just completing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and seek to further my career in Emergency Medicine.  I have been a combat medic and healthcare specialist in the military since 2008 with one deployment to Afghanistan. I enjoy helping others and furthering my knowledge within the medical field; I would like to pursue a paramedic program in the near future. In my spare time I often compete in physical activities including Duathlon/Triathlons, road races and weight lifting.

Ryan Gonska:  FULL TIME, Paramedic. My name is Ryan Gonska and I am 23 years old from Torrington, CT.  I am a volunteer with Harwinton West Side Fire Dept. and Harwinton Ambulance. I started at Harwinton Ambulance as an explorer when I was 15.  I received my EMT in 2008. Shortly after, I got hired as an ER Tech at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital while I was attending classes for the AEMT. Four years later I made the decision to get my Paramedic.  I graduated from Capitol Community College in 2012 and I have been working as a paramedic for the past year. In the near future I hope to get my EMSI and start teaching. I am considering going back to school in the to pursue a degree in respiratory therapy or nursing.  In my free time, I enjoy cooking, golfing, fishing, and hiking. I am very excited to join the Aetna family.

Steve Spaderna:   PART TIME, EMT. My name is Steve Spaderna and I am a new EMT! Prior to attaining my EMT certification I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biology from CCSU.  I worked for about five years in genomic research as part of a team that was looking at human gene expression for potential drug targets. Then deciding I didn’t want to be stuck in a lab all the time, I spent about seven years working as a drug rep for large pharmaceutical companies. During my time as a drug rep I became increasingly interested in patient healthcare. I just didn’t feel fulfilled in my last occupation, so I made the decision to go back to school with the goal of eventually becoming a physician assistant. Over the last couple years I have been getting pre-requisite credits done while interning at a doctor’s office for required clinical hours. Physician Assistant programs are extremely competitive and difficult to get into, but I am hoping to eventually get accepted. Personally, I am kind of a science nerd and enjoy learning about anything and everything. I watch Discovery and The Learning Channel a lot (Untold Stories of the ER!) and I have a passion for science fiction. For an interesting combination, I also happen to be really into weightlifting. I am super excited to be part of the Aetna team and I am looking forward to the opportunity to be a patient advocate!

Kat Stewart:  FULL TIME, EMT. I’m a new EMT I finished the Hartford Hospital EMT program in July. This is something I have wanted to do since high school but I never had the chance. So after I graduated college and worked a few different jobs I finally made my chance happen and absolutely fell in love. I aspire to one day go to paramedic school. At the age of almost 26 I can finally say I’m on the right career path. I’m very excited to be part of the Aetna team and look forward to seeing you on the road.