FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: October 29, 2020
Contact: Maria Bianchi, AAA CEO
Arlington, VA—Aarron Reinert, President of the American Ambulance Association (AAA), is proud to award Debora Gault and Tom Tornstrom with the 2020 President’s Award.
Deb Gault, Global Medical Response (GMR) is receiving the award for leading the efforts with the AAA, to address the outstanding billing issues for ground ambulance services with the Veterans Affairs Administration. Deb has worked tirelessly over the last several years to get ambulance service claims paid promptly, a prudent layperson standard adopted, and for the VA to be considered the primary payor unless another payor is identified.
Tom Tornstrom, Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance, Inc. is receiving the award for leading the efforts of the AAA, to address issues critical to ground ambulance services in their response to the current Public Health Emergency. Tom has led a group of industry leaders in addressing PPE shortages, access applying for PPP and CARES Act Funding, and many operational and clinical issues.
The President’s Awards will be given at the AAA Virtual Annual Membership Meeting on November 4, 2020 at 11:15 am eastern time.
The American Ambulance Association safeguards the future of mobile healthcare through advocacy, thought leadership, and education. AAA advances sustainable EMS policy, empowering our members to serve their communities with high-quality on-demand healthcare. For more than 40 years, we have proudly represented those who care for people first. www.ambulance.org
Terence Ramotar, President of the Florida Ambulance Association and AAA Board member, discusses how the coronavirus crisis in Florida is impacting ambulance services on MSNBC’s Morning Joe!
This morning, AAA Alternate Director and Florida Ambulance Association President Terence Ramotar made a compelling case…
This morning, AAA Alt Director Terence Ramotar made a compelling case for enhanced Federal resources for #EMS on @morning_joe. Thanks to @morningmika for an enlightening interview about providing #mobilehealthcare during the #COVID19 pandemic. https://t.co/EV7zudR6dW @AMR_Social
— AmericanAmbulanceAsc (@amerambassoc) July 16, 2020
July 22, 2020 | 14:00 ET | Register Now for a Reminder!
Join AAA advocacy experts for a fast-paced informal dialogue on Facebook Live! Learn first-hand about EMS advocacy initiatives in the face of COVID-19.
Register to receive a reminder email one hour in advance of the live broadcast on the American Ambulance Association Facebook page!
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.
#AmericaStrong coverage from ABC shares the story of a medic returning home after 42 days of deployment to New York to respond to COVID-19.
AAA has teamed up with Mercury Public Affairs to run a robust public affairs campaign to complement our already established lobbying efforts. We are making sure our concerns as frontline EMS responders are heard, by targeting 27 key Senators and Representatives to Congress around the nation. We are asking them to be the champions we need in Congress and to make sure all of our emergency first responders have the resources they need.
The campaign has been a great success. Major media outlets have picked up our stories, our digital campaign is having higher than industry average conversion rates, and our patch through calls, which have had extremely high percentages of people willing to speak Congressional offices, have been able to provide a steady drumbeat for our issues where it matters.
These metrics, coupled with the positive feedback we have received from Congressional offices show that notonly do we have the right message, but also that our emergency first responders are being recognized for the work they do during this national health crisis.
It is also helping to build legislative momentum.
We will update you on the campaign as we move forward, but wanted to take some time to share some highlights.
AAA is running an earned media campaign around issues such as allowing for CMS reimbursement waivers. One of the highlights of this effort has been the following story published in the Wall Street Journal and subsequently featured in the Washington Post Healthcare 202 Newsletter:
AAA is running a digital advertising campaign targeted in Congressional districts and states. This campaign will continue with the addition of text messaging in the coming days. Thus far, we have accomplished the following:
AAA ran a 10-day patch through call campaign strategically targeted to Congressional district offices and Senate district offices that complemented the digital campaign:
Our hearts are broken for AMR Paramedic David Martin’s family, friends, and American Medical Response colleagues. Your service will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace, David. Your EMS brethren will take it from here.
Global Medical Response created this video to celebrate the paramedics, EMTs, nurses, pilots and support teams on front lines of COVID-19 as they continue the tireless work at home and on deployments.
Join Dr. Ed Racht, Chief Medical Officer, and Randy Strozyk, Executive Vice President Operations for Global Medical Response and Hanan Cohen, Director of MIH-CP and Jim O’Connor, Vice President for Empress Ambulance Service for a compelling webinar straight from the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The panelists will discuss workforce safety and wellness, treatment and transport changes, lessons learned, and the challenge of providing services in some of the hardest-hit areas of our country.
Ed Racht, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Global Medical Response
Dr. Ed Racht has been involved in Emergency Medical Services and healthcare systems for more than 30 years. He currently serves as Chair of the Texas EMS, Trauma and Acute Care Foundation, an organization that provides advocacy, strategic planning and healthcare system credentialing in the State of Texas.
Dr. Racht has been Chief Medical Officer for American Medical Response (AMR) since 2010. Prior to this role, he served as the Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs for Piedmont Newnan Hospital in metro Atlanta. Dr. Racht was the first full-time Medical Director for the Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services System, where he spent 13 years. The System was nationally recognized in the Institute of Medicine’s Report on the state of emergency care for its collaborative approach to challenging healthcare integration issues.
Dr. Racht received his undergraduate and medical degree from Emory University in Atlanta and completed his residency at the Medical College of Virginia.
Dr. Racht is the recipient of numerous awards including being named EMS Medical Director of the Year for the State of Texas, the American Heart Association’s Paul Ledbetter MD Physician Volunteer of the Year Award and was named a “Hero of Emergency Medicine” in 2008 by the American College of Emergency Physicians. In 2015, he was the first recipient of the Joseph P. Ornato Excellence in Clinical Leadership Award, and in 2011 received the Slovis Award for Educational Excellence by the U.S. Metropolitan Municipalities Medical Director Consortium. He is also the third Inductee in the Texas EMS, Trauma and Acute Care Foundation Hall of Fame.
Executive Vice President of Operations, Global Medical Response
Randy Strozyk has been a leader in emergency medical services for more than 40 years and is an integral part of the GMR/AMR executive team. As SVP of Executive Operations, he is engaged in our overall operations and specific areas such as internal and external integration and our event Medical Services. He has extensive experience in EMS operations and management. He is a long time member of the American Ambulance Association and is presently the AAA Secretary. Strozyk began his career as a paramedic. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from Washington State University and an MBA from California State University.
Vice President, Empress Ambulance Service
Jim O’Connor is the Vice President of Empress Ambulance of Yonkers, New York. Empress is part of the PatientCare EMS Solutions organization. He has been involved in the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) for over four decades and was one of the first paramedics in Westchester County, New York.
Empress is the contracted provider of 911 emergency medical services (EMS) for the cities of New Rochelle, Yonkers, White Plains and Mount Vernon. Empress has a staff of over 500 employees and has been operating in Westchester County since 1985. They also provide all levels of inter-facility ambulance transportation services for some of the most prestigious hospital systems in the New York metropolitan area.
Jim has been active with many EMS organizations and has held Board positions locally, regionally and on a national level. He was a founding member and first Chairman of the Westchester County Regional EMS Council and has served on the Hudson Valley Regional EMS Council, the New York State EMS Council and the American Ambulance Association in Washington, D.C.
Director of MIH-CP, Empress Ambulance Service
Hanan Cohen is the Director of Corporate Development and Community Paramedicine at Empress EMS a large progressive regional ambulance service and EMS provider. He is a Paramedic and Community Paramedic with 30 years’ experience in EMS and Hospital Administration. His focus has been on new program design and application. He has been the administrator for multiple hospital clinical departments as well as a Level 1 Trauma Center. His EMS career has included, rural, suburban and urban EMS systems.
He has spent the past several years researching, developing and implementing MIH-CP programs at Empress EMS providing collaborative community health programs with multiple hospitals in Westchester County and New York City. He is a Certified Ambulance Compliance Officer and member of the American Ambulance Association Payment Reform Committee.
The New England Journal of Medicine has rapidly published a peer-reviewed paper on the Snohomish County WA ‘Patient 1’. This was the first reported case of COVID 19 in the US. This seminal document, which given the magnitude of the case and its initial findings is released in full here
The work by Michelle L. Holshue, M.P.H., Chas DeBolt, M.P.H., Scott Lindquist, M.D., Kathy H. Lofy, et al for the Washington State 2019-nCoV Case Investigation Team was turned round in just over 5 weeks and below is an ‘Executive summary’ ( as extracted from the paper) but the full paper and range of results should be read in full.
On January 19, 2020, a 35-year-old man presented to an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, Washington, with a 4-day history of cough and subjective fever. On checking into the clinic, the patient put on a mask in the waiting room. After waiting approximately 20 minutes, he was taken into an examination room and underwent evaluation by a provider. He disclosed that he had returned to Washington State on January 15 after traveling to visit family in Wuhan, China. The patient stated that he had seen a health alert from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the novel coronavirus outbreak in China and, because of his symptoms and recent travel, decided to see a health care provider.
On admission, the patient reported persistent dry cough and a 2-day history of nausea and vomiting; he reported that he had no shortness of breath or chest pain. Vital signs were within normal ranges. On physical examination, the patient was found to have dry mucous membranes. The remainder of the examination was generally unremarkable. After admission, the patient received supportive care, including 2 liters of normal saline and ondansetron for nausea.
Both upper respiratory specimens obtained on illness day 7 remained positive for 2019-nCoV, including persistent high levels in a nasopharyngeal swab specimen (Ct values, 23 to 24).
Stool obtained on illness day 7 was also positive for 2019-nCoV (Ct values, 36 to 38).
Nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens obtained on illness days 11 and 12 showed a trend toward decreasing levels of virus
On hospital day 8 (illness day 12), the patient’s clinical condition improved. Supplemental oxygen was discontinued, and his oxygen saturation values improved to 94 to 96% while he was breathing ambient air. The previous bilateral lower-lobe rales were no longer present. His appetite improved, and he was asymptomatic aside from intermittent dry cough and rhinorrhea. As of January 30, 2020, the patient remains hospitalized. He is afebrile, and all symptoms have resolved with the exception of his cough, which is decreasing in severity.
This case report highlights the importance of clinicians eliciting a recent history of travel or exposure to sick contacts in any patient presenting for medical care with acute illness symptoms, in order to ensure appropriate identification and prompt isolation of patients who may be at risk for 2019-nCoV infection and to help reduce further transmission. Finally, this report highlights the need to determine the full spectrum and natural history of clinical disease, pathogenesis, and duration of viral shedding associated with 2019-nCoV infection to inform clinical management and public health decision making.
There is little doubt that this paper is about to become a globally sited document as we continue to deal with COVID 19. As far as EMS and our first response to it goes, the paper reinforces the key actions currently being taken
Congratulations to the AAA members who received Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) accreditation or reaccreditation in November and December!
Contact: Jessica Marvin
AMERICAN AMBULANCE ASSOCIATION HONORS FRED DELLA VALLE WITH THE 2017 ROBERT L. FORBUSS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Washington, DC– McLean, VA — The American Ambulance Association (AAA) is proud to award Fred Della Valle with the 2017 Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the first Executive Director of the American Ambulance Association. The award recognizes a volunteer leader who has made a lifetime body of work that has enhanced the programs and services of the AAA and its members. Fred has achieved this through his decades of service, commitment, and dedication to the AAA and its members.
AAA President Mark Postma noted, “Throughout his years of service to the AAA, Fred has worked tirelessly to advance our mission and serve our members. We are proud to celebrate his contributions and achievements to the AAA and our industry by presenting him with the Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017.”
Mr. Della Valle will be presented with the Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award at the AAA Annual Conference and Tradeshow Awards Reception on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. This event is the premier event for leaders in the ambulance industry, featuring world-class education, networking, and cutting-edge technology.
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About the American Ambulance Association
Founded in 1979, the AAA represents hundreds of ambulance services across the United States that participate in emergency and nonemergency care and medical transportation. The Association serves as a voice and clearinghouse for ambulance services, and views prehospital care not only as a public service, but also as an essential part of the total public health care system.
AAA Mission Statement
The mission of the American Ambulance Association is to promote health care policies that ensure excellence in the ambulance services industry and provide research, education, and communications programs to enable its members to effectively address the needs of the communities they serve.
We are seeing unprecedented, catastrophic flooding in Texas and it looks as though disaster response efforts could potentially continue for the foreseeable future.
American Medical Response (AMR), has been a member of the AAA since 1992. The AMR Office of Emergency Management (OEM), within its national ambulance contract as the Federal EMS provider has responded to the state of Texas in its role as the FEMA prime contractor. The company has engaged a number of EMS companies who have responded to the Hurricane Harvey deployment. Many AAA member companies are disaster subcontractors for AMR and have proudly responded to federally-declared disasters since 2007.
Because of the potential protracted length of this storm and recovery efforts, AMR is now processing new applications to augment its existing operations. To help with those efforts, AAA wants to extend information about becoming a network provider for AMR. If your organization is interested in applying, please use this PDF application.
When officially deployed by AMR as a subcontractor, EMS providers are compensated portal-to-portal. During deployments, lodging, subsistence, and fuel may be provided. If not provided, EMS subcontractors will be reimbursed for approved expenses.
We recognize that many EMS providers are regulated by local or state agencies and may have restrictions when it comes to responding to out-of-area disasters. The EMS needs of local communities are primary and participation in the AMR Emergency Response Network is not intended to undermine those obligations. States may have Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) agreements with ambulance services; therefore, AMR will not utilize assets that are committed under EMAC.
We are all hoping the waters will recede and first responders will be able to return to their homes soon, but we could be looking at prolonged recovery, and we know our AAA members are always called to serve.
For additional information, you can contact:
AAA is deeply proud to represent dozens of member organizations who deploy at a moment’s notice to serve in large-scale disasters like Hurricane Harvey as part of AMR’s federal emergency contract. Thank you for your service to our nation.
Alert Ambulance Service Inc (NJ)
Alliance Mobile Health (MI)
Amcare Ambulance (VT)
America Ambulance Service Inc.
American Trans Med(SC)
Anniston EMS (AL)
Baca/Crestone Ambulance Service (CO)
Beauport Ambulance Service Inc (MA)
Bell Ambulance Inc. (WI)
Bennington Rescue Squad(VT)
Cape County Ambulance(MO)
Central Emergency Medical Service Inc. (GA)
Citywide Mobile Response Corp (NY)
Community (Mid Georgia) (GA)
Community Ambulance Genesis (OH)
Community Care Ambulance Network (OH)
Community EMS (MI)
Community EMS Dayton (OH)
Elgin Medi Transport(IL)
Elizabeth Township EMS (PA) (12167)
Empress Ambulance Service Inc (NY)
F-M Ambulance Service Inc (ND)
Fraser Medical Services(IA)
Guardian Angel Ambulance Service Inc (PA)
Humboldt General Hospital (NV)
Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc(AL)
Huron Valley/Jackson Community Ambulance(MI)
Lakes Region EMS Inc (WI)
Life EMS (OK)
Lifecare of Virginia(VA)
Lifeguard Ambulance (TN)
Lifeguard Columbia County (FL)
Lifeguard Knoxville (TN)
Lifeguard Mobile (AL)
Lifeguard Morgan County (AL)
Lifeguard Nashville (TN)
Lifeguard Santa Rosa (FL)
Lifeline Ambulance (IL)
Medfleet Systems Inc (FL)
Medshore Ambulance Service (SC)
Medstar Ambulance (MI)
Memorial Hospital of Converse County (WY)
Metro Medical Services Inc (IL)
Mobile Medical Response Inc.(MI)
Mohawk Ambulance (NY) Parkland
Newport Ambulance Service Inc.(VT)
Newton County Ambulance(MO)
North Shore University Hospital (NY) Northwell Health
Pafford Medical Services (AR)
Port Jefferson Volunteer Ambulance Corp Inc.
Professional Ambulance and Oxygen(MA)
Professional Med Team Inc.(MI)
Regional Ambulance (VT)
Riverside Ambulance (AR)
Rockland Mobile Care(NY)
Rockland Paramedic Service(NY)
Spirit Medical Transport (OH)
Star EMS/Miles Grubb Assoc.(MI)
Stat EMS (MI)
Summit County Ambulance(CO)
Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service Inc (IL)
Taney County (MO)
TLC Emergency Medical Services Inc.(NY)
Trace Ambulance Service(IL)
Tri Hospital EMS(MI)
Tri-Township Ambulance Service(MI)
Valley Ambulance Authority (PA)
The American Ambulance Association was deeply saddened to learn that Lahiri Garcia (51) and Paul Besaw (36) were killed on June 1 in the line of duty. Both were longstanding and respected team members at AMR Palm Beach/Broward County in Florida.
In an interview with WPTV, AMR Regional Director Bill Hall said, “The AMR family has lost two amazing people. They were dedicated husbands, fathers, friends and teammates. Our thoughts are with both families during this difficult time. Lahiri and Paul will be greatly missed. Garcia and Besaw were committed to caring for others, and together they had nearly 40 years of service for AMR and the community.”
“Thank you all for your kind thoughts and sentiments during the past few days. This week, we celebrate the lives of our fallen colleagues, Paul Besaw and Lahiri Garcia, who tragically lost their lives in an unfortunate ambulance accident last Thursday morning,” said Terance Ramotar, regional director of AMR. “These two gentleman have dedicated their lives to the EMS profession and we are preparing a tribute on Thursday to honor their service.”
A processional, followed by funeral services, is scheduled for Thursday, June 8, 2017, at Courtyard Gardens of Jupiter, FL, located at 1790 Indian Creek Drive West, Jupiter, FL. The staging will be on Indian Creek Drive West, and the processional will begin at approximately 9 a.m. The processional ends at Christ Fellowship Church (5343 Northlake Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL), where formal funeral services for Besaw and Garcia are to be held.
The AAA extends its deepest condolences to the Garcia and Besaw families, as well as their friends and colleagues.
The VREASA (Veterans Reimbursement for Emergency Ambulance Services Act) would provide veterans with reimbursement for emergency ambulance services when a Prudent Layperson would have a reasonable expectation that a delay in seeking immediate medical attention will jeopardize the life or health of the veteran.
Currently, prior to reimbursement, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requires all medical records be provided, including the records of treatment after the emergency service has taken place. Should those records show that it was not a life threatening emergency or a false alarm, the claim for reimbursement is denied. The veteran is stuck with the bill.
Medicare, Medicaid, and other major payers adhere to the “prudent layperson” standard for the reimbursement of emergency ambulance services. The VA is the only major payer to not follow this standard. It is time we ensure our veterans are not stuck with the bill for their emergency ambulance service.
AAA Member, American Medical Response and their VP Federal Reimbursement & Regulatory Affairs, Deb Gault, have been working with Rep. Coffman’s office to get this bill reintroduced.
This week, AAA members were once again on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress. AAA Government Affairs Committee Chair, Jamie Pafford-Gresham of Pafford EMS, met with entire Congressional Arkansas delegation. While on the Hill, Jamie also met with members from Oklahoma and Mississippi. AAA Board Member, Kim Godden (Superior Air-Ground Ambulance), Payment Reform Committee Chair, Asbel Montes (Acadian Ambulance Service), and AMR VP Federal Reimbursement & Regulatory Affairs, Deb Gault were also on the Hill for meetings this week. Collectively the group met with over twenty Congressional offices this week. Thank you to all of our members for their hard work fighting for permanent Medicare relief. We appreciate you taking the time to visit Washington and meet with your representatives.
Pafford EMS CEO, Jamie Pafford-Gresham, and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas
Have you met recently with a Member of Congress? Are you interested in getting involved with the AAA’s advocacy efforts? If so, email Aidan Camas at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The American Ambulance Association was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Joseph “Joe” Paolella, Sr.
Joe, along with his brother Phil Paolella, was the co-owner of New Haven Ambulance Service, one of the four companies that founded American Medical Response (AMR).
Joe was an innovator and pioneer in the field of pre-hospital care, and he will be deeply missed by the American Ambulance Association and it’s members throughout the United States. Joe devoted much of his career to advocating for legislation and regulations that paved the way in ensuring that the highest levels of patient care are delivered by ambulance providers in Connecticut and across our nation. Joe also selflessly mentored many ambulance leaders throughout their careers, giving many hours of his time to developing the talents of others.
Joe’s wife, Lorraine Paolella, and their entire family are in our thoughts.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Iovanne Funeral Home, Inc.
11 Wooster Place
New Haven, CT US 06511
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday morning at 11:30 in St. George Church, Guilford. Please go directly to Church Thursday morning. Burial will follow in All Saints Cemetery, North Haven.
In lieu of flowers contributions in Joe’s memory may be made to The MSA Coalition 9935-D Rea Road, #212 Charlotte, NC 28277 or Masonicare Home Health & Hospice 22 Masonic Ave. Wallingford, CT 06492.