40 Under 40 nominees were selected based on their contributions to the American Ambulance Association, their employer, state ambulance association, other professional associations, and/or the EMS profession.
Huron Valley Ambulance
Ann Arbor, MI
Nominated by: Paul Hood (Huron Valley Ambulance – Ann Arbor, MI)
Brian Walls has worked at Huron Valley Ambulance (HVA) for 15 years working his way up from Wheelchair Van Driver to Paramedic Supervisor. Brian currently serves as a Senior Critical Care Paramedic, part-time Paramedic Supervisor, and holds the roles of Medical Officer and Coordinator for the Washtenaw County Hazmat, Special Pathogens, and Technical Rescue teams at HVA. Through Brian’s responsibilities, he has had both a local and national impact on new protocols and standards for hazmat and special pathogens. Specifically, Brian assists with public health preparedness and acts as an EMS liaison to regional healthcare partners as well as regional and state health departments.
Brian has written hazmat policy, procedures, and the Special Pathogens Response Guidebook for HVA’s special response team that has been adopted by the State of Michigan. Additionally, Brian’s leadership on the Technical Rescue Team has created an invaluable resource to surrounding communities for all aspects of technical rescue response by updating and creating state treatment protocols and medical operations.
A lifelong resident of southern Michigan, Brian graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety in 2013. Brian is a volunteer firefighter in Milan, Michigan. Brian and his wife recently welcomed their first child, Riley Ann.
Reason for Nomination:
Brian is an outgoing and personable individual who is well liked and respected by all. Brian wears many hats at HVA which includes functioning as a Senior Critical Care Paramedic, part-time Road Supervisor, and Medical Officer and Coordinator for the Technical Rescue Team and the Hazmat teams. Brian actively works in his various roles to raise the bar in EMS. Brian puts 110% into everything he does and always maintains a positive demeanor and professional attitude. Despite being so busy, Brian is always very caring, compassionate, and thorough while performing all his duties.
Recently, Brian was tasked to prepare and establish a Special Pathogens Response Team, specifically for Ebola patient transfers. Brian researched, attended multiple trainings out of state at the National Ebola Training Education Center (NETEC) and the Center for Domestic Preparedness for Highly Infectious Diseases, and visited fire departments who transported confirmed Ebola patients in 2014.
Brian continued researching for over two years, training with his team several times a month, while obtaining feedback to develop procedures and guidelines for Washtenaw County. This resulted in Brian writing a copyrighted guidebook called, The Special Pathogens Response Guidebook that guides EMS agencies through an entire patient transfer from start to finish. This includes pre-incident planning, donning and doffing, patient transfer, communications, hand off, waste disposal, disinfection, and emergency procedures. In addition to writing the response guidebook for EMS, Brian worked with his team and the local treatment center to create a custom designed Highly Infectious Disease Unit (ambulance) that improves the safety of his crew while in Hazmat suits. This custom-built ambulance improves ventilation and temperature control, thus increasing the time crew members can be in Hazmat suits. The specially designed ambulance also minimizes the amount of hazardous material waste that needs to be collected by our local treatment center and reduces the amount of time it takes to disinfect and place the ambulance back in service.
Finally, Brian reached out to the NETEC to schedule a site assessment for EMS, which it had never done before. NETEC used HVA’s Special Pathogens Response Team and Guidebook as a pilot to establish their own site assessment algorithm to help EMS programs with a special pathogens transport around the nation.
Through his hard work and dedication, Brian has expanded HVA’s response area from only transporting in a couple counties of Michigan, to becoming the backup agency to assist all EMS agencies for the entire state of Michigan. Brian continues to work with Michigan state and local health departments in special pathogens response and preparedness.
Brian’s attention to detail and dedication to positively impact policy change are what makes him stand out in EMS.
View all of the 2020 Mobile Healthcare 40 Under 40 Honorees