California | Solano County’s Helen Pierson Named Woman of the Year

From California Senator Bill Dodd on March 5

VALLEJO – Helen Pierson, whose company, Medic Ambulance Service, has been on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, transporting some of the first people exposed to the virus on the Princess Cruise ship and later, organizing mobile testing and vaccine dissemination, has been named Woman of the Year for Solano County by Sen. Bill Dodd.

“Helen stepped up in a major way, helping to keep our community safe during one of the worst public health crises the world has ever seen,” Sen. Dodd said. “She leads a dedicated team that Solano County and the surrounding region has come to depend on. She also volunteers her time and energy for numerous community organizations. I couldn’t be more proud to recognize Helen for her important work.”

“We love our community, which has done so much to support us over the years,” Helen Pierson said. “It’s an honor to be recognized. My parents and big brother started this company four decades ago, and we have a great group of medical professionals who deserve so much of the credit for our success today.”

Medic Ambulance, founded by the Manfredi family in 1979, provides 911 emergency services for Solano County with its fleet of 70 ambulances and 350 employees. The company also serves parts of the greater Sacramento area and North Bay.

Helen Pierson started with the company in 1988 and was named CEO in 2019. Under her leadership, Medic Ambulance played a key role in pandemic response as well as serving communities impacted by severe wildfires. The company was among the first in the nation to treat and transport COVID-19 patients as they came into Travis AFB in early 2020. It later partnered with Solano County to provide mobile coronavirus testing to at-risk facilities and expanded this partnership to mobile vaccinations. Additionally, Medic Ambulance deployed ambulance strike teams to Kern, Santa Cruz, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Butte and Solano counties over the past year.

Helen is a past-president of the California Ambulance Association — only the second woman in the association’s 65-year history to hold this position. She also plays key roles in many community organizations including Vallejo Rotary, Leadership Vallejo and Saint Francis High School in Sacramento. She was recognized as the Kiwanian of the Year in 1993 and was Vallejo Rotary Club president for 2015-2016. Helen is a past board member of Christian Brothers High School.

She lives in Fairfield with her husband and has three adult children who work in her family business.

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Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.

 

Rural Policy Research Institute EMS Study

From RUPRI in January 2021

Characteristics and Challenges of Rural Ambulance Agencies – A Brief Review and Policy Considerations

Rural ambulance agencies, a fundamental component of the rural emergency medical services (EMS) system, are challenged by the following issues:

  • long distances and challenging terrain that prolong emergency response and transport times,
  • insufficient payment by insurers to cover standby and fixed costs,
  • a changing workforce that has historically relied on volunteers but increasingly must include paid personnel,
  • a lack of regional EMS plans to coordinate services, and
  • insufficient State and Federal policy coordination across oversight agencies.

Specific public policies to address rural ambulance agency challenges could include the following:

  • Increase ambulance payment to adequately cover reasonable standby and fixed costs.
  • Consider EMS an essential service, the same as firefighting and law enforcement.
  • Collect rural ambulance agency workforce data to better understand workforce needs.
  • Expand the scope and authority of the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS to address rural ambulance agency payment and workforce challenges.

Download PDF Report

PA | $20,000 Signing Bonus, $25/Hour—Zero Applicants

From JEMS 

Cumberland Goodwill EMS (PA) hang up a help wanted sign, but no one answered.

Assistant Chief Nathan Harig tells ABC 27 they’re seeing a shortage of paramedics and are trying to hire a paramedic for an open position. One problem: not one person applied despite the agency offering a $20,000 signing bonus and $25 per hour pay.

“We’re doing everything we can to try to motivate people to come on in but it’s just not working,” Harig told the station.

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NYC emergency medical workers prepare for layoffs

From NBC News

The head of New York City’s emergency medical services union said Wednesday that the city is preparing to lay off hundreds of its members as the budget crisis grows during the coronavirus pandemic.

Oren Barzilay, president of FDNY EMS Local 257, blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration for the expected fallout.

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MI | Opioid Treatment Ecosystems Save Lives

From Second Wave Michigan, “Leading the nation, Michigan’s Opioid Treatment Ecosystems save lives through holistic model,” feating AAA member Emergent  Health Partners

Often the first on the scene, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) working within the Opioid Treatment Ecosystem do more than administer naloxone, CPR, and ambulance transport. In Monroe County, Opioid Treatment Ecosystem initiative partner Emergent Health takes a team approach to overdose patients that includes law enforcement, medical providers, and mental health services.

“Unfortunately, opiate abuse is an addiction disease that’s a tough habit for people to overcome. We do see some people on a lot more frequent basis than we’d like,” says Karl Rock, vice president of south central operations for Emergent Health, which oversees Monroe Community Ambulance and Jackson Community Ambulance. “It is really [impacting] everybody, one of those diseases that spans all demographics, ages, race, economic status, everything.”

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JEMS | Armstrong Ambulance Tackles COVID-19 Together

From the Journal of Emergency Medical Services on July 8, 2020.

To cope with the unprecedented challenge that remains before them, Armstrong’s first responders have been finding the support they need in numerous ways, whether it be from a member of the team, those working in a similar industry, or members of the many communities they serve delivering food and messages of encouragement to local bases.

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Bloomberg | Hospitals Are Counting Beds Again With Virus Cases

From Bloomberg Law on June 24, 2020

With all states reopened to some degree, cases and hospitalizations are rising. Arizona, California and Texas all set records for new cases on Tuesday. The question now is whether hospitals will be able to handle it, and what will happen if they can’t. “Many of them still have a lot of available capacity, but who knows how long that’s going to last,” said Eric Toner, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “They should be getting themselves ready now.”

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WP | ‘Heroes, Right?’ Paramedic Perspective on COVID-19

From the Washington Post on June 21, 2020, as told to Eli Saslow.

Nobody wants to know about what I do. People might pay us lip service and say we’re heroes, but our stories aren’t the kind anyone actually wants to hear about. Kids in this country grow up with toy firetrucks, or maybe playing cops and robbers, but who dreams of becoming a paramedic? That’s ambulances. That’s death and vulnerability — the scary stuff. We’re taught in this culture to shun illness like it’s something shameful. We’d rather pretend everything’s fine. We look the other way.

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WP | A Long Road Home

New York EMS Captain Hugo Sosa survived the ICU. But for coronavirus patients like him, that’s just the start of recovery.

Hugo Sosa arrived here a hero, triumphant over the worst that covid-19 can inflict on the human body. Nearly 100 of his fellow first responders whooped and cheered as Sosa was wheeled out of a hospital last month. They chanted his name. He flashed them a thumbs-up from his gurney.

Twelve days later, frail and drawn in his room at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, Sosa puzzled over a pile of coins his speech pathologist had set before him.

“Forty-five cents from a dollar, what do you get back?” Kristen Lucke asked.

“Fifty-five cents,” Sosa responded quickly.

“Good, show me 55 cents.”

That was more difficult. Sosa would have to hold the number in his head while he searched for the right coins. Today that was too much to ask. Perhaps tomorrow.

Read Hugo’s story by Lenny Bernstein in the Washington Post►

NYT | Medics and Coronavirus Patients Make Hard Decisions

Visit the New York Times website to watch this excellent video featuring AAA member Seniorcare.

“Bye, Mommy, I Love You’: Medics and Coronavirus Patients Make Hard Decisions
By Yousur Al-Hlou, Leslye Davis and Will Miller on June 3, 2020

Our ride with New York City medics during the coronavirus peak revealed a new side to their job: guiding patients on whether to go to the hospital.

Thank You from NYC

Thank you to the dozens of AAA member ambulance services who answered the call to serve in New York City’s time of need. This Facebook video from fellow member FDNY shows the final deployed medics heading home.

Thank you to the many member organizations who answered the call to serve in the New York and New Jersey #COVID19 response. Your service will not be forgotten! #SupportEMS #AlwaysOpen #NotJustaRide

Posted by American Ambulance Association on Thursday, May 28, 2020

Great Idea | REMSA’s Thank You Notes Page

Reno, Nevada’s REMSA provides nationally recognized ground ambulance service within Washoe County, Nevada. Don’t miss their amazing new “Thank a Healthcare Provider” page, where members of their community are able to share digital thank you notes with REMSA’s Paramedics, EMTs, telecommunicators, pilots, and nurses as well as administrative and operations staff.

Check Out the REMSA Thank You Page

Wisconsin | Governor Evers Announces $100m in Relief

Wisconsin Governor Evers Announces $100 Million in Relief for Long-Term Care, Home and Community Based Services, and Emergency Medical Services

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced a grant program funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Totaling $100 million dollars, the funding will support providers most at-risk for financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The providers targeted for financial assistance include emergency medical services, home and community-based services, and long-term care providers such as skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.”

Read the full press release here

Massachusetts | Convoy of Champions

A parade of more than 50 ambulances, representing more than 20,000 paramedics, EMTs, and 911 dispatchers, traveled from UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts to the warning track inside Fenway Park on Wednesday, May 20. The Boston Red Sox, Mayor Marty Walsh, state officials, and healthcare professionals joined the Massachusetts Ambulance Association, the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, and municipal ambulance providers in celebrating these front line heroes during National EMS Week.

Once inside the park, the EMS professionals were greeted by video tributes from dignitaries and celebrities and a select number of live speakers following safe social distancing guidelines.

The event takes on even greater significance this year because of the unprecedented response to the COVID-19 crisis from EMS professionals and their colleagues across the state’s medical community.

The Commonwealth’s EMS professionals have been crucial in responding to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Massachusetts has been among the nation’s hardest-hit states, experiencing the third most deaths and fourth-most cases of the novel coronavirus.

During the current public health crisis, EMS professionals have helped manage testing and treatment for homebound patients and provided supplemental support for hospitals and neighborhood health centers, in addition to its duties in responding to daily emergencies.

Watch the Facebook Live Video

Thank you to everyone who participated in yesterday’s #ConvoyofChampions parade in celebration of #EMS! The event was a…

Posted by Massachusetts Ambulance Association on Thursday, May 21, 2020

NY | Like father, like daughter, unlike anything they’ve seen

From Lohud.com’s  COVID-19 frontlines: Like father, like daughter, unlike anything they’ve seen

…Through it all, Cullen — a registered nurse who started her career at Good Samaritan fresh out of school 15 years ago and returned to the hospital just seven months ago to head the emergency and critical care departments — has also seen a lot of text messages from her father, Ray Florida.

A daughter texting with her dad wouldn’t be noteworthy if it weren’t for the fact that Florida is executive director of Rockland Paramedic Services, a network of EMTs, paramedics and ambulance corps that are the very first of first responders in the pandemic…

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New Hampshire | Hazard Pay for EMS

Days after announcing plans for Stay at Home 2.0, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced the allocation of $40 million in aid for communities across the state dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic…

Also using the CARES Act funding, a stipend for hazard pay is being made available to police officers, firefighters, EMS personnel and correctional officers. Full-time workers will receive $300 a week, while part-time workers receive $150 a week.

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