BOSTON (CBS) — Fifty ambulances traveled from Worcester’s UMass Medical Center to Boston’s Fenway Park Wednesday in a show of appreciation for paramedics, EMTs and 911 dispatchers. It’s all part of a local celebration of National EMS Week.
BOSTON (CBS) — Fifty ambulances traveled from Worcester’s UMass Medical Center to Boston’s Fenway Park Wednesday in a show of appreciation for paramedics, EMTs and 911 dispatchers. It’s all part of a local celebration of National EMS Week.
May 22 at 2:20 PM | EMS1 | By AAA Communications Chair Rob Lawrence
In my last EMS One-stop column, I commented on the legislative to-do list to ensure that EMS receives the federal support it deserves right now as we staff the front lines and perhaps brace ourselves for COVID-19 round two as the nation craves a return to the normality and liberty enjoyed before the lockdown.
On May 15, 2020, the much talked about HEROES Act narrowly passed from the U.S. House of Representatives by a 208 to 199 vote to the Republican-controlled Senate. The HEROES Act proposed $3 trillion in tax cuts and spending to address the negative health and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This included benefits for the public safety community, extensions to enhanced unemployment benefits, debt collection relief, direct cash payments to households and possibly even hazard pay.
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.
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.
“You are making a tremendous difference for our country,” Secretary Chao says in video message
In recognition of National Emergency Medical Services Week, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao recorded a video message honoring the people of EMS and their families for their sacrifice and dedication to their communities, especially during this unprecedented pandemic. As the nation marks the 46th National EMS Week, we also recognize the 50th anniversary of the creation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has supported the advancement of EMS systems since its inception.
Founded in 1967, Pafford Medical Services continues to provide over 80 communities with the latest, most sophisticated level of pre-hospital care. As a family-owned and operated company, Pafford serves communities across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. With over 1200 members of Team Pafford, over 180 ambulances, 3 medical fixed-wing aircraft, 3 rotor-wing aircraft, 2 communications centers, and our corporate billing office, Pafford is staffed 24/7.
It is Pafford’s mission to provide its communities, healthcare partners, and facilities they serve with the highest standards of mobile healthcare. While providing communities with proper 911 ambulance coverage, the company has become known nationwide for its Special Response Taskforce which assists during national disasters. As the company evolves to cater to the citizens it serves, Pafford took notice of the needs of industries and businesses during the global pandemic and now operates OnSite Healthcare Services in order to safeguard workforces as the world resumes operation amidst COVID-19. Another pillar of the company’s mission is its promise as a contributive community partner by providing educational resources, medical equipment, and scholarships along with medical standby for special events.
Pafford is fully equipped to provide the following services:
It was evident that with the novel coronavirus, crew members would need to be properly trained to combat the transmission of the virus. Along with obtaining PPE for their medics, Pafford Medical Services provided additional, in-depth training and education to crew members all while increasing health surveillance, screening, and tracking of employees. Due to Pafford spanning across 5 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the company activated its Emergency Operations Center to provide support to its primary 911 PSAPS.
In these unprecedented times, Pafford Medical Services remained a leader in community discussions and decisions related to COVID-19. To better serve its communities, Pafford dedicated ambulances in their regions to coordinate the transport of COVID cases or suspected COVID cases. All of Pafford’s systems were able to remain fully operational thanks to the diligent work and daily communications with their leadership teams to keep all team members up to date on the latest information for their communities.
“We will never be able to fully express our gratitude to not only our management teams but to our boots on the ground who have been in the trenches remaining strong and vigilant over the past 10 weeks,” says CEO, Jamie Pafford-Gresham. “These men and women have gone above and beyond the call of duty, serving others, their communities, and their country during this global health crisis.”
“As a rural EMS provider, our challenges on a day-to-day basis require our medics to be prepared to care for our communities, many of which do not have hospitals and with clinics working limited hours, our medics are always there 24/7/365. We are the Healthcare Safety Net and our team does a wonderful, compassionate job. They don’t back down and provide a vital service to our citizens. During this outbreak, I am proud of not only our EMS team members but the entire EMS system across America for stepping up in such a critical time in our Country.”—Jamie Pafford-Gresham, CEO, Pafford Medical Services
“It takes a servant’s heart and a strong mind. But I count it as pure joy to help those in need.”-Alvin Short, Pafford EMS, Paramedic, Canadian County, OK
EMS is important because even when things get rough, the world keeps getting scarier and sickness continues to rise…we never quit.”—Meghann Jones EMT Pafford EMS, Canadian County, Oklahoma
“EMS is important because it provides immediate medical care to people who need it– bringing the ER to the patient in a timely manner.” Jarlicia Scott FTO/ Paramedic
“EMS is an extremely important part of community safety, doctors don’t make house calls anymore so EMS practitioners stand readily available to provide that extension of care while treating and managing acute illnesses and trauma.”—Randy Murry, EMS Operations Manager, Coahoma County, Mississippi, Star of Life 2020
Most people that know the Pafford Family, know that celebration is normally in the form of passing the plate, sharing in a meal, and most importantly, fellowship. Pafford Medical Services makes it a point to take a step back and bring families together, to recognize and honor the sacrifices made from all members of the families that have a loved one on the front-lines. This year, team gifts will be given out, but most importantly, Pafford realizes that the ultimate gifts are its people.
Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. was founded by Harvey L. Hall on February 10, 1971. Today, the Company serves as the 9-1-1 paramedic provider for 88% of Kern County, California’s population, or roughly 780,000 people.
Hall Ambulance provides advanced life support, basic life support, and regional ground and air interfacility transport solutions through Hall Critical Care Transport.
Weeks before the first confirmed patient was detected in our community, Hall Ambulance began implementing extensive measures in preparation for the coronavirus pandemic reaching Bakersfield and Kern County. An internal task force was formed to determine how best to confront this new disease. As of May 17, 204 Hall Ambulance employees have cared for and transported 221 confirmed COVID-19 patients; however, we are fortunate that zero employees have been infected with the virus.
One of the first places the Company focused its attention was by having its dispatchers use the Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance (EIDS) tool enabling emergency medical dispatchers to advise crews responding to a suspected COVID-19 patient of the need to donn PPE prior to making patient contact.
Before the first transport of a suspected COVID-19 patient occurred, Hall Ambulance looked at best practices and then developed its own protocol for decontaminating ambulances involved in the transport of a coronavirus patient. This stringent process involves nearly four staffing-hours to complete, using hospital-grade germicidal wipes and spray approved by the CDC, and is performed by two technicians (in PPE), and a manager, who works from a safe zone to observe and document the process. As of May 18, 238 ambulances have been decontaminated so that they are properly sanitized and ready to respond to the next request for medical aid.
Hall Ambulance implemented a screening process for all employees prior to starting their shift to ensure they are not exhibiting symptoms. The screening includes a temperature check, and questions about sore throat, new or change in cough, and whether they are experiencing shortness of breath.
For those employees who came in contact with COVID-19 patients, the human resources department places daily phone calls to check on their well-being.
The Company has also worked to assist employees with locating daycare providers and provided financial assistance to cover the cost so those employees could provide care with the peace of mind knowing their little ones were safe and secure.
With the pandemic taking a toll on everyone, a licensed therapist was contracted to work with any employee who felt they needed additional support for their mental health.
To help minimize exposure for non-clinical staff, Hall Ambulance implemented staggered schedules and remote working.
“Hall Ambulance employees have raised the bar in their response to the coronavirus pandemic. The extra amount of care and compassion they are demonstrating to their patients, coworkers, and communities is inspiring and indicative of what emergency medical services is all about.”
Lavonne C. Hall, President & CEO
“I believe EMS is extremely important to be the immediate help that our patients often need. We are able to begin care and help gather information from our patients during our transport in the ambulance that will quicken treatment once at the hospital.”
Paramedic Jennifer Phillips
A few weeks ago, President and CEO Lavonne C. Hall introduced a “Heroes Work Here” campaign consisting of banners being placed at all ambulance post locations throughout the Company’s response area. For EMS Week, Hall Ambulance is presenting custom backpacks emblazoned with the “Heroes Work Here” logo to its employees in appreciation of everything they do. In addition, a social media campaign highlighting several of the paramedics, EMTs, RNs, and dispatchers will be posted throughout the week.
Metro West Ambulance Services, Inc. has a history rich in meeting the needs and caring for those we serve from very small rural communities to large urban areas. We’ve had great successes, marked many firsts in our industry, have been a part of the evolution of prehospital care over the decades. Founded in 1953, we have grown from a small base operation in Forest Grove, Oregon to the largest and oldest continuously owner-operated ambulance service in the Pacific Northwest. Today our Family of Companies has over 900 employees and includes seven licensed ALS ambulance services in Oregon, one licensed ALS ambulance service in northern California, and one brokerage in Oregon serving the Pacific Northwest. Under the guidance of J.D. Fuiten, our founder’s son and our company’s owner and President, Metro West Ambulance has expanded into a Family of Companies serving Oregon, Washington and northern California. Our companies include Metro West Ambulance, Pacific West Ambulance, Medix Ambulance, Bay Cities Ambulance, Umpqua Valley Ambulance, Mid-Valley Ambulance, Del Norte Ambulance and Woodburn Ambulance.
Metro West Ambulance , serving Washington County and the Portland Metro region provides 911 response and a variety of interfacility mobile healthcare services including Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) providing ICU RN level Critical Care transport; Secure Transport for behavioral health patients; EMT staffed wheelchair services plus a large event services division serving the largest venues and biggest events in our state. We also are one of the largest providers of Mobile Integrated Health services with 18 Paramedics working with Oregon’s health systems.
In Oregon, our Governor declared a state of emergency and stay at home orders early on including school and business shut down. This allowed us to flatten the curve earlier as a state. We saw PPE, decon, patient treatment changes became a daily occurrence; treatment changes; innovation regarding patient care; a deeper closeness with other agencies, sending and receiving hospitals because we were “in it together” and we knew this virus had no mercy and no one was immune. With the quarantine and school shut down came many tough concerns such as childcare coverage. Crews worry about exposing their family and inadvertently bringing this awfulness home. Staff was impacted by worries about their patients who show signs of the virus, wondering if the patient survived and grieving for those who died. Instituting strict guidelines in and out of the ambulances and physical distancing to protect us all. As we took on new challenges-we had staff expand their skill set in new roles in mobile integrated health partnering both regionally and across our country creating a virtual hospital to treat hospital patients in their own homes; our EMT’s learned how to do COVID19 testing; others in our industrial medicine division took the lead on temp checks for large employers; we created partnerships in our community that didn’t exist before. Our Paramedics and EMTs in our 911 system took on new challenges of effectively treating and transporting these patients working with other responding agencies. Together we have learned to track how this virus spreads; to talk about how it is affecting everyone in all departments and most of all, together we continue to make plans knowing that the virus isn’t done with us.
” What sets us apart is that we keep those we serve first and foremost believing that all communities no matter how small or how large deserve the best regarding mobile healthcare that includes emergency medical services, interfacility mobile healthcare and mobile integrated healthcare/community paramedicine models. Our people strive everyday to give their communities their best.”
J.D. Fuiten, Metro West Ambulance Services, Inc. , Owner/President
“EMS is important because we are there to help people in need. It could be an emergency situation or a non-emergent trip the to the doctor. We care about people and the community and are here to serve.”—Rachael Koran, Operations Supervisor, EMT
“We in EMS are the best chance of survival many patients have when it comes to sudden catastrophic injuries or illnesses. We’re not hesitant to step forward and do what needs to be done to care for those that need us.”—Jan Lee, Public Information Officer, Hospital Liaison, Paramedic
“When you have people who can no longer help themselves, we’re (EMS) the ones who are there to help them.”—Benjamin Maduell, Communications Center Floor Supervisor, EMT, EMD
In this new era of social distancing, the celebrating is still on-just different. We want our crews to know how important their work is; what it means to the communities we serve to know that they are there for them; and that most of all we value them knowing how hard this pandemic has been on them and their families.
We will be bringing a food cart to our main office with amazing Greek food instead of our traditional outdoor family party & BBQ. We’ll have our crews text in their orders or pre-order them for pickup allowing them to enjoy before or during or after shift- at their convenience. This was our most popular food truck from the past.
Our cities will be doing EMS proclamations for us during their city council meetings that we can either Zoom into and they will also videotape it for us to play for our crews on screens in our crew room. This will allow them to know that their communities support them.
We especially want to recognize them for the heroes they are….we’ll be setting out huge banners at our work sites with the messaging of “Heroes Work Here” . We’ll be doing social media blasting recognizing them all for what they do. We’ll be doing video messaging to them from our management and executive team thanking them for their service.
We want them all to know just how valued they are, how proud we are of them and how much they mean to all those around them.
On May 18, 2020, American Ambulance Association President Aarron Reinert shared a special message with EMS providers from across the nation.
Today, American Ambulance Association President Aarron Reinert shared a special message with #EMS providers from across…
Happy EMS Week, and thank you for providing your communities with 24/7 on-demand mobile healthcare!
From NHTSA’s Office of EMS:
EMS professionals have long served at the frontlines of our healthcare system, ready for any emergency. For nearly half a century, we have celebrated the dedication of our nation’s emergency medical services professionals during National EMS Week.
This year we mark this occasion during a most extraordinary time. Instead of hosting awards ceremonies and recognition events, EMS organizations in communities across the United States and around the globe are busy tackling a pandemic like nothing we’ve ever seen–one that tests us as individuals, and as a profession.
This year’s National EMS Week 2020 theme is “Ready today. Preparing for tomorrow.” This theme is so appropriate! As the continually evolving threat of COVID-19 has shown us, we don’t always know what tomorrow will bring. Yet you and your colleagues throughout the first responder and healthcare communities have lived by these words, ready for whatever comes your way, and always preparing for what might come next–even when it’s the unexpected.
I want to thank every EMS clinician and everyone who works hard to support them, including the administrative and logistics staffs and the family members whose own sacrifice makes it possible for you to perform your duty. As director of the NHTSA Office of EMS and leader of the EMS/Prehospital Team within the FEMA Health Systems Resiliency Task Force, I can assure you that your commitment and professionalism have not gone unnoticed. The entire Office of EMS staff is inspired by you to help you be even more ready the next time the tones sound, to support the advancement of local and State EMS systems, and to prepare for future challenges.
Jon R. Krohmer, MD, FACEP, FAEMS
Director, Office of EMS
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Harris County Emergency Corps
Committed to preserving lives through clinical excellence, progressive medicine, and professional service, Harris County Emergency Corps (HCEC) is a premier EMS agency and the only Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services accredited agency with headquarters in Houston.
HCEC was the first EMS agency formed in the state of Texas (1933). Serving approximately 400,000 citizens in 76 square miles in north Harris County, HCEC provides 911 services for Harris County Emergency Services District No. 1. HCEC also provides event medical coverage across Texas, trains clinicians with highly specialized classes, communicates with 11 other agencies through our innovative dispatch center, and leads Houston’s first Community Health Paramedic Program.
With the pandemic of COVID-19, HCEC has seen a remarkable team pull together to tackle new challenges in our community and our organization. Utilizing the power of social media, website content, and informational flyers for our community, we have attempted to keep the public informed of best practices and resources available to them for assistance. Responding to emergencies with an emphasis on patient and crew safety has been a top priority.
Harris County and the Houston area has seen some of the highest number of cases in the State of Texas. As a result, our Dispatch center incorporated new tools and protocols to screen for COVID-19 symptoms. With our special events division not staffing large gatherings, part-time event medics are helping in the Communications center with screenings, and also by staffing dedicated PPE units. To ensure additional protection, the Clinical department implemented aggressive PPE usage guidance and modified medical guidelines early on in the pandemic to keep our team healthy and safe.
Communication is crucial, not only with the community, but also with the staff. As such, the HCEC Management team holds daily conference calls and connects weekly with employees through virtual Town Hall meetings. In addition, our Infection control officer communicates regularly with Hospital partners to determine if our patients are positive for COVID-19.
“Our team is truly remarkable. Everyone is working together with a “whatever it takes” mentality to support each other and our community to the best of our ability during the Covid-19 pandemic. As an example, HCEC volunteered with Gallery Furniture and Kroger to help distribute over 2,000 meal kits to seniors in and around our service area.”—Jeremy Hyde, CEO
“We get a chance to see people at their worst and make their day a little better. It’s about making a difference every day, whether it’s using ALS interventions, or just holding a patient’s hand to comfort them.” – Jodie Gutierrez, 911 Paramedic
“EMS is important because it gives us a chance to help those that need us most. It provides a comfort to know that we will always be there.” – Amanda Crystal, 911 Paramedic
“EMS is important because it helps to circle and close the loop within communities and population health.”– Steven Nelson, 911 Paramedic
Taking care of employees to the best of our abilities is always a top priority for HCEC. Executive Director Jeremy Hyde has brought in a mobile barber for the staff to get free haircuts on two different occasions during COVID. Ed Kolczynksi, Receptionist for HCEC had this to say about the experience, “This was just amazing! HCEC cares more about their employees than any other company I’ve ever worked for, and I’ve been working for a really long time! Not to mention, I got a great haircut, and it only cost me a $5.00 tip.”
Will Barrett, HR Coordinator for HCEC offers a positive effect from COVID; “COVID has brought people together. Neighbors wave more and say hello when we see each other; some have even offered us supplies, like masks and cleaners. We have more conversations from across our lawns with one another due to limited contact with other people, whereas before, we barely communicated.”
“For EMS support staff working remote, COVID-19 has changed the way we manage our ‘new normal’. Dining room tables have become our desks, and the refrigerator has become our enemy!”—Toya Thompkins, Payroll Coordinator
“EMS is extremely important, whether in a pandemic or a “normal” day in Houston. We respond to a variety of calls each day, and for many, it is one of the worst days of their life. I see my co-workers make a difference in people’s lives every single day.” – Anonymous 911 medic
EMS Week at HCEC will be different this year in a variety of ways. Typically we have a large banquet where we celebrate milestones and provide recognition awards. This year, however, we are scheduling a company-wide picnic later in the year when it is safe to celebrate in person with our staff and their families.
EMS week is also normally filled with daily social events at HCEC. Even though COVID19 will keep us from celebrating in a group setting, we will provide drop off service at each station for meals and snack baskets and conduct contests throughout the week for each shift. In addition, our annual Commemorative T-shirt Design contest is already underway. Employees who submit artwork utilizing the National EMS week slogan are entered into the contest. The winning design artist is recognized in our newsletter and social media and awarded a $100 gift card, while all employees receive a free commemorative T-shirt celebrating EMS week.
HCEC will also be surprising the staff during EMS Week with an early distribution of our annual longevity bonus.
Great Falls Emergency Services (GFES) has been providing primary ALS ambulance response to the City of Great Falls and communities in rural Cascade County since 1997. In addition to 911 response, GFES provides BLS, ALS, and Critical Care inter-facility transports, event standbys, and Mobile Integrated Healthcare services. GFES employees 54 Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians. The GFES fleet is comprised of six Type III ALS ambulances, a type I ALS unit, and two response vehicles.
The COVID-19 situation necessitated some significant initiatives at GFES including:
The GFES staff, once in possession of accurate and timely information, and once equipped properly, were fantastic. Our EMS Providers arrive early to work for screening procedures, responded aggressively to all calls for medical need, maintained an excellent ‘can-do’ attitude, and didn’t flinch in their mission to provide front-line response and medical care to their communities.
My admiration for the men and women at GFES and their families knows no bounds; they approach difficult situations with professionalism, technical competence, enthusiasm, and especially compassion.
—GFES President David Kuhn
“We are the first-line responders when someone is having a bad day due to sudden illness or injury. It means a lot to be able to be of service to our friends and neighbors when they are in need.” Kathy Wajer, Paramedic Supervisor and Critical Care Paramedic
“EMS handles the situations that no-one else can: the semi-responsive heavily intoxicated patient found on the street, the child with a broken arm at their Little League game, the elderly person at home having a stroke or cardiac issue–I like being able to contribute to a successful resolution of these events and to help the patient get through their difficult time” – Amber Malave, Paramedic Training Coordinator
The centerpiece to our EMS Week celebration is a daily barbeque that Management puts on for that day’s crews (we put on our aprons and fire up a smoker to cook tri-tip, pork loin, and sirloins).
We also do daily bingo competitions with prizes and have general door prize drawings throughout the week. The community usually steps up and we receive a lot of deliveries of snacks and nice gifts.
We are also making vehicle decals that will be given out to staff. We typically offer a free community CPR class and offer child car seat installations.
Located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies and encompassing the world-class ski resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek, Eagle County Paramedic Services (ECPS) has a rich history in the valley. In 1967, the first ambulance service consisted of a station wagon driven by a doctor. Since then, Eagle County Paramedic Services has transitioned from Eagle County Ambulance District (1982) and Western Eagle County Ambulance District (1988) to the merging of Eagle County Health Service District and Western Eagle County Health Service District to form Eagle County Paramedic Services in 2013. ECPS is one of only six ambulance transport agencies, out of 200 in Colorado, to be nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS).
ECPS operates out of five ambulance stations in Vail, Avon, Edwards, Eagle and Gypsum, Colorado and covers approximately 1,692 square miles. 80 employees work for the district in various roles with the largest division being operations to respond to emergency calls. Other services include community paramedicine, telehealth, youth programs, senior health and wellness and support for special events including major events like the GoPro Mountain Games, FIS World Cup Ski Races, Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships, Colorado Classic bicycle race and others.
Eagle County, Colorado was one of the first “hot spots” in Colorado and in the nation. Due to the excellent foresight and preparation by ECPS administration and cooperation between the health care entities and first responders, Eagle County was able to “get in front” of the virus and help flatten the curve.
ECPS crews not only responded to 911 calls but also transported patients to Denver-area facilities–transfers that could take eight-12 hours. The escalation of the virus took place in March, when the Rocky Mountains are still in full-on winter mode, adding inclement weather (snow, ice, etc.) to the stress of these transfers.
In addition to creatively sourcing PPE for crews (including utilizing Helly Hansen rain suits that are durable and reusable rather than disposable gowns), ECPS thought outside of the box on a number of issues. These solutions included hiring members of the Vail and Beaver Creek Ski Patrol, many of whom have extensive first responder experience and some who are former EMTs, as surge crew in case full-time crews became sick or overstretched.
As Eagle County has moved into the first phase of opening up businesses and supporting the residents, ECPS is pleased to report that none of our employees have tested positive for COVID-19, a remarkable feat considering the testing, transports and community support achieved during this unprecedented time. We will continue to provide skilled, professional and compassionate healthcare to our community no matter what the future might bring.
“Our entire organization has risen above and beyond the call of duty during our response to COVID, responding with innovation and agility throughout this response. These professionals are the finest group of people I have ever worked with.”—Christopher Montera, Chief Executive Officer, Eagle County Paramedic Services
“Why do I think EMS is important? Imagine if no one came to your aid when you had your heart attack, your stroke, your car wreck, your fall. EMS has a direct effect on your quality of life: every patient, every call, every day.” —Peter Brandes, Chief Operating Officer (35 years in EMS)
“A typical EMS service is important because it allows immediate 911 medical care for those who need it. EMS in Eagle County, though, not only provides that immediate 911 care, but also provides search and rescue, SWAT, community paramedic outreach, and some of the most advanced critical care services in the state.” —Scott Harmsen, Paramedic Shift Supervisor
“An Important and early step in our healthcare system, EMS saves lives, buys time and triages our citizens’ and community’s needs.” —Hank Bevington, Paramedic Shift Supervisor
“Why do I find emergency response and paramedicine so important? The truest honor is I am part of something bigger than myself, meeting people where they are. When the chips are down, whether they are incapacitated or simply have lost control of their immediate situation, I have agency to render aid and connect resources that promote general welfare and personal health accross the spectrum of the human condition.”—Ryan Bush, paramedic
Eagle County Paramedic Services is celebrating in several ways. In lieu of physical, branded gifts this year, we’re distributing gift cards to local restaurants for our crews. In addition to supporting our local dining establishments (which are unable to operate as “business as usual” during the Coronavirus pandemic) and grocery stores, this focuses on an experience rather than “stuff” and allows them to share the support with their friends and family–in a socially distant, responsible way.
We’re also running a full-page “thank you” ad in our local newspaper and through local partner e-blasts and celebrating through social media channels like Facebook and Instagram.
Time Magazine | May 15, 2020 | by Olivia B. Waxman
Sunday marks the beginning of EMS Week, an annual time to recognize the life-saving efforts of emergency medical services personnel. While celebratory events won’t take place in person this year, EMS personnel are getting more recognition than usual: even before EMS week, virtually and during daily cheers for healthcare workers, they are widely hailed as heroes on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During Emergency Medical Services Week, we honor all of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers who play such a critical role in our Nation’s health and safety. These incredible professionals respond to daily calls for urgent assistance and work tirelessly to serve their communities. Most recently, they have made significant contributions and immeasurable sacrifices during our Nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, one of the most daunting and demanding challenges the country has ever faced. This week, we recognize these heroic men and women for their efforts to deliver life‑saving care and compassion to their fellow Americans, and we acknowledge that our country is a safer and healthier place because of their work.
EMS providers — many of whom are volunteers — make up a coordinated and comprehensive network of highly trained workers. They are prepared to respond immediately to any crisis with pre‑hospital assessment, trauma care, and medical transport, and they also share valuable data with their public health partners. They do all of this under incredible pressure that can take an emotional and physical toll on even the most seasoned professionals. At a moment’s notice, these dedicated men and women rush to employ their specialized knowledge, experience, and leadership to reduce the severity of injuries and save lives, often in very high-risk situations. Every day, EMS personnel stand ready to help those in peril, responding faithfully to the needs of their fellow citizens when lives are on the line and every second matters.
The far-reaching and devastating scope of the coronavirus pandemic has increased the demands on our Nation’s EMS professionals, including those from our military service branches. These heroes have courageously risen to the challenge. They remain undeterred in their efforts to deliver critical assistance to their fellow Americans. EMS personnel are often the first point of contact with patients who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms. Acting quickly and decisively, they evaluate and triage patients, transport them to hospitals or treatment facilities, and clearly and compassionately communicate with family members who are anxious about their loved ones. During this unprecedented time in our Nation’s history, we are ceaselessly inspired by the sense of duty, selfless service, and sacrifice that epitomize EMS personnel.
This week, we honor all who provide emergency medical services across our country for their tenacity and life‑saving skills. Thanks to their incredible efforts, our communities and our Nation are stronger, safer, and more resilient. Especially in these trying times, we are immensely proud of these brave Americans.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 17 through May 23, 2020, as Emergency Medical Services Week. I encourage all Americans to observe this occasion by showing their support for local EMS professionals through appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.
DONALD J. TRUMP
Cataldo Ambulance Service was founded in 1977, and serves Eastern Massachusetts, providing 911 emergency response and EMD services, non-emergency ALS, BLS, and chair car transportation, and EMS education and training. In 2019 Cataldo was awarded the first license in Massachusetts for mobile integrated healthcare (MIH), and in 2020, was selected as a Massachusetts provider for the innovative new ET3 initiative. Cataldo is proud to have 800 staff and a fleet of 99 ambulances and 6 SmartCare Mobile Integrated Healthcare vehicles.
It was early on during the Massachusetts State of Emergency that the local healthcare community realized the value of having mobile integrated healthcare resources available to support assessing and testing patients, as well as managing mildly symptomatic COVID+ patients at home. Our SmartCare MIH team was suddenly in high demand and actively supporting efforts for many major hospitals and healthcare organizations throughout the Greater Boston area.
“I have never been more proud of our staff. Our front line responders continue to step up and support our communities with the highest level of professionalism and clinical excellence imaginable. Our Communications Center and support staff are equally impressive in their dedication and commitment.”
Diana Cataldo, Founder
“When that 911 call comes in, it’s pretty important that it gets handled the right way and the right level of support is deployed. Those critical seconds spent fielding a call can make all the difference in the outcome for a patient.”
Tim Gorman, Emergency Medical Dispatcher
“I started out as an EMT. Now I’m a Paramedic, sharing what I’ve learned in the field with others. I absolutely believe that what we do every day makes a difference to the people we serve.”
Ryan Kelley, Paramedic
Our organization will acknowledge EMS Week in May, but our formal celebration will be when we can be together in August. This coincides with our 43rd anniversary, gives us something to look forward to and will allow us to share our appreciation with more of our team, and hopefully, in a less stressful environment.
Bell Ambulance was founded in 1977. We proudly serve the community in southeast Wisconsin with 8 stations, 67 ambulances and almost 400 employees. We provide care on both 911 emergencies and interfacility transports and we have providers licensed from EMT to Critical Care Paramedic. We also provide EMS support for some of the largest festivals and sporting events in the State of Wisconsin. Our EMS staff are supported by an EMD Communication Center which has been honored as an Accredited Center of Excellence by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.
The COVID 19 Pandemic only confirmed what we have always known, we have a fantastic team of EMTs and Paramedics! Our crews continue to provide the same excellent patient care while protecting themselves and their patients. While we have not seen as large an outbreak as some other areas, we have treated many patients for COVID 19. What we did not fully anticipate was the large number of patients with COVID 19 who would be unable to get to their essential appointments, such as dialysis, by their usual means. In response to the pandemic, we have activated our Advanced Infectious Disease Team and they have been supporting our community by providing transportation for these individuals while they are in quarantine as well as responding to other calls for COVID 19.
“Milwaukee is a very diverse community, and has many of the challenges faced by larger cities. Our staff care for the people of Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin with professionalism, dignity, and confidence. We are proud of them every day.”
Chris Anderson, Director of Operations
“EMS is important because it’s bigger than us… not everyone can do it, and it’s one of the most selfless professions that a person can do. I take pride in being able to provide emergency care for others and their family as if they were my own.”
Stephanie Walmsley, CCEMTP/QA Officer
“Being first point of contact makes us educators of the community.”
Westin Knigge, EMT Crew Chief
This year we will be celebrating while doing our best to maintain social distancing. Our community has been very supportive of front-line healthcare workers and we, in turn, want to support local businesses in our community during this difficult time. So we are working with local restaurants to coordinate curbside meals for our crews during EMS Week.
Acadian Ambulance Service began operations in September 1971 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Over the past 49 years, our company has expanded to include health, safety, security and transportation services. Acadian Companies, which comprises Acadian Ambulance, Acadian Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, Acadian Total Security, National EMS Academy and Safety Management Systems, has grown to employ nearly 5,000 employees across the United States.
Acadian Ambulance currently operates in more than 70 parishes and counties spanning Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, providing service to more than 21 million residents and covering almost 60,000 square miles. Our medical fleet includes more than 600 ground ambulances, vans, ambulance buses, helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes. We provide emergency and non-emergency, helicopter and fixed-wing medical transport, mobile healthcare, community event support and contracted event standbys at venues including the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Minute Maid Park in Houston and FedEx Forum in Memphis.
When COVID-19 cases began rising in Louisiana, Acadian Ambulance was immediately on the front lines, transporting suspected patients and working to protect employees from exposure. We have worked hand-in-hand with other EMS agencies and first responders throughout our service area, particularly in hard-hit New Orleans.
Under contracts with the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and Louisiana Ambulance Alliance, we staffed surge units from our other Louisiana regions that were sent to New Orleans. Most have since been deactivated.
We have also sent strike teams with medics from our Texas operations to assist in New Orleans.
We have assisted with operations at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans since it opened in early April as a temporary hospital for less severe COVID-19 patients.
In addition to these specialized efforts, our medics continue to run calls 24/7, whether related to COVID-19 or not. They continue to follow protocols on proper PPE and patient interaction in order to limit exposure.
Our safety director and operations management worked hard to procure half-face respirators for our front line medics so that they could feel a stronger sense of security against exposure.
Our medical directors, Dr. Chuck Burnell and Dr. Emily Kidd, along with our safety director, Neil Davis, have recorded near-daily update videos that are shared with our employees. The topics range from PPE protocol, operations updates, safety directives and latest statistics to messages of encouragement and support.
Our Chairman & CEO, Richard Zuschlag, has also recorded video messages for employees and the public to share his gratitude and support.
We have been utilizing our social media channels to share important messages for the community in staying protected, along with spotlighting our front line medics and thanking the numerous businesses and individuals who have graciously donated PPE and food to our company and displayed their support in other ways.
“Our entire team has been doing outstanding work since this pandemic started. Our medics are facing daunting challenges on the front line, our support teams have stepped up so that our medics can fulfill their mission and our Safety Management Systems teams have shifted their skill sets to provide essential screening and disinfection verification services to a variety of industries. Everyone at Acadian is playing a part in what will be another cornerstone in our history. This time has truly shown how we embody One Team, One Mission.”
Richard Zuschlag, Acadian Ambulance Chairman & CEO
“EMS is a lifesaving link between people who need medical care, but are unable to get to a hospital, and the physicians and hospitals themselves. EMS allows highly trained paramedics and EMTs to bring ER- and ICU-level care to people wherever they may be, and continue that high-quality care en route to the hospital, which greatly increases chances for survival and improves patient outcomes.”
Adam Olivier, Acadian Ambulance Operations Coordinator
“My definition of success is to constantly advance and to never stop learning about what I’m invested in. That mindset carries over to EMS and its importance in community awareness. When emergency providers are able to educate and care for members of their community, those small moments can help individuals improve their personal health. Continue to progress as an EMS provider, improving the lives of those around you, and that definition of success will grow in your community, one patient at a time.”
Liz Hill, Acadian Ambulance EMT
“Our medics are constantly involved in the hardest moments of life. In those moments, they have the opportunity to bring relief and comfort to painful situations, and every day, that’s exactly what they do. ”
Lauren Anzalone Ramos, Acadian Ambulance High School Outreach Coordinator
We will be spotlighting our medics on social media and honoring EMS professionals across the nation.
The Louisiana Bureau of EMS has launched a White Ribbon Campaign to coincide with EMS Week. We will help promote the campaign and encourage all Acadian employees to participate. The campaign calls for people to place a white ribbon on their mailbox, front door, vehicle window or anywhere visible to show support of EMS professionals.
The Bureau of EMS has also developed yard signs featuring a “Healthcare Hero Lives Here” that we will be distributing among our medic staff.
The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride (NEMSMBR), the National EMS Memorial Foundation (NEMSMF), and the National EMS Memorial Service (NEMSMS) announce the 2020 National EMS Moment of Silence and ask for broad participation.
The National EMS Moment of Silence will be observed on Saturday, May 16, 2020. It will begin at 1800 (6:00 PM) Eastern Daylight Time with a live-streamed reading of the names of the 24 Honorees originally planned for the 2020 Service, followed by an acknowledgement of those continuing to serve today and will culminate in a national moment of silence in a salute to all.