Tag: Georgia

AJC | Georgia EMS crews near ‘breaking point’

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on January 8

On a recent day, a Dawsonville ambulance worker was trying to rush a patient with dangerously high blood pressure to the hospital.

But after a brief call, she learned its emergency department was on “diversion,” meaning her patient could wait more than an hour for a bed, tying up the ambulance from responding to other calls.

“I have been hung up … and told to go else where!” she posted on the social media page of a statewide group of emergency medical personnel.

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SouthStar EMS in 2020

SouthStar EMS
Augusta, Georgia
144 Staff | 0 Quarantined in 2020

SouthStar EMS traces its history to 1976. We serve the greater Metro Augusta Georgia area as the sole source ambulance & stretcher van provider for the VA Medical Center for 10+ years; also we are a long term partner with Aiken County EMS 911 in Aiken South Carolina for 11 years+. In our Georgia operations, we provide emergency & non-emergency medical transport for every Hospital & SNF + the State of Georgia Hospitals, State Prison Hospital, Federal Prison for ground & air transports and 70 other health agencies. We back up the county EMS 911 service when requested. SouthStar is the first provider in the USA to have 100% of our alternative services, Certified Transportation Specialist by NEMTAC. Our CEO is a charter member of NAEMT and a State of Georgia NAEMT Advocate, who started in EMS in 1969. Our training facility is an NREMT recognized training center. Our training officer is an NREMT-P, and we teach a wide variety of classes and certification programs for our company and the public and partner with Hospitals and other health care agencies. We are active in our communities supporting a plethora of events and stand-by for high school football, horse events, etc.

SouthStar early on took precautions with Covid-19, having gone thru a number of previous airborne infection situations.

We began an effort to use face masks as a routine part of our patient care approach. We began making our own kits of gowns, masks, gloves, and experimented with a variety of gown styles. We got involved with local health department efforts and partnered with all our health care agencies as they developed custom protocols at their facilities. We began daily temperature checks on all our patient care staff and charted individually. We were requested to help with COVID Testing in Georgia & South Carolina, partnering with the State of Georgia & State of South Carolina. We offered our mobile emergency room to help with rural testing and field evaluations. We are still active with protective measures in all our operations. We have had 9 positive tested employees, who were immediately quarantined up to 10+ days, or till asymptomatic. We strive diligently to protect our staff and patients with aggressive disinfection of each unit after a transport. Each of our units has disinfectants and mist sprayers for use.

AJC | Vaccine campaign dawns in Georgia; Kemp attends 2nd day of doses

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution on December 16

Vaccine campaign dawns in Georgia; Kemp attends 2nd day of doses

… Chatham EMS Chief Chuck Kearns got the call Tuesday. His paramedics are in line for vaccination appointments next week, and his staff immediately prepared a blast email to go out first thing Wednesday on how to sign up.

“We’ve had over 100 personnel who’ve gone into quarantine at one time or another since March,” Kearns said. “When they got the result of tests for quarantine, days were cut in half. We’ve had a few dozen of our employees test positive and some were hospitalized.” He added that this is the 10th epidemic he’s worked as a paramedic, starting with AIDS. To him, his staff’s vaccines are arriving fast enough.

“We’re very relieved,” Kearns said.

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AJC | New COVID-19 cases push hospitals to capacity

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,  featuring AAA Board leader Chuck Kearns.

On a recent day, several ambulances packed the hospital bays outside one hospital’s emergency room, as an unusual number of paramedics waited in the hallway with their patients in cots, ready to drop them off. But there were no beds to receive them, and crews can’t leave until patients are admitted. That can take hours, said  Chuck Kearns, chief of Chatham County EMS, the region’s 911 provider.

“One patient was held for seven hours; it’s unheard of,‘’ Kearns said.

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AJC | Ambulance companies hit hard by COVID costs

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Yamil Berard on  July 17, 2020

“We are gravely concerned that various factors related to this pandemic are pushing ambulance services to the breaking point,‘’ Georgia ambulance executive Pete Quinones wrote to a top official at the Georgia Department of Community Health.

One request by the Georgia Ambulance Providers Association has been to urge the Georgia Trauma Commission to release up to $29 million in block grants to support EMS staffing over the next six months.

“Without that, we don’t have the financial ability to keep a state of readiness,‘’ said Terence Ramotar, director of government affairs for the southeast region for American Medical Response, the exclusive 911 ambulance provider for DeKalb County.

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40 Under 40: Luke Culleny (Chatham EMS – Savannah, GA)

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.
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Luke Culleny
Paramedic / IT Coordinator
Chatham EMS
Savannah, GA

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LinkedIn
Nominated by: Phil Koster
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Biography:

Luke Culleny holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Television as well as many other technology based certifications. Luke was first exposed to EMS during his time as a Associate Producer in film and fell in love with public safety. Luke returned to school and is a four-year veteran of Chatham EMS as an EMT, then Paramedic. Luke frequently works ambulance shifts as his IT schedule allows. Luke’s hobbies include woodworking and filming (including drone use).
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Reason for Nomination:

Luke Culleny maintains a passion for EMS which combines with his love, experience, and knowledge of IT systems and multi media. This combination has resulted in multiple significant advancements at Chatham EMS. Luke has successfully overseen dispatch CAD and ePCR software launches along with projects to assure ECG transmissions to receiving ERs. Whereas this may be standard for some, Luke pushes IT abilities by developing better interfaces to report frequency of ECG transmissions to help drive improved clinical performance and education. Luke also works to develop CAD to CAD to ePCR interfaces to move information to crews faster and easier by eliminating steps and links. Much of Luke’s work is not seen by field crews, but has had a tremendous impact on service delivery.

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View all of the 2020 Mobile Healthcare 40 Under 40 Honorees

40 Under 40: William Pitt (Puckett EMS – Chattanooga, TN)

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.
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William Pitt
Vice President of Operations, Southeast Tennessee/Northwest Georgia
Puckett EMS (Member of the Priority Ambulance family of companies)
Chattanooga, TN

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LinkedIn
Nominated by: Amanda Jennings (Priority Ambulance – Knoxville, TN)
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Biography:

Will Pitt has more than 15 years of experience in the emergency medical service field. As Vice President of Operations, Pitt oversees a 250-person team serving 10 hospitals and five counties with 9-1-1 service in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia for Puckett EMS.

During Pitt’s time at Puckett EMS, the service has seen a 40 percent increase in service volume in his region. Pitt has also been instrumental in the design and launch of the Puckett EMS Training Academy, the largest initial education program in the region. The academy provides annual opportunities for EMT, EMT-Advanced, and Paramedic certification training to the region.

Prior to his work at Puckett, Pitt spent seven years at Walker County Fire and Emergency Services where he advanced from the field to senior management ultimately serving as the Chief of EMS. During his tenure, Pitt created a quality improvement and education division that included initial education programs from EMTs and paramedics.

Pitt has also been involved in local professional organizations. Pitt has served as the Chairman for the Georgia Region I EMS Council and Treasurer for the Southeast EMS Director’s Association. Additionally, Pitt has been a board member of the Northwest Georgia EMS Systems and the Southeast Tennessee Regional MedComm Committee.

Pitt has received numerous awards, including being named the Georgia Association of EMS Statewide Educator of the Year in 2015.

Pitt holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University.
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Reason for Nomination:

Throughout every step of his career, Will Pitt has advanced the EMS industry in the region by developing and structuring educational opportunities and recruiting new individuals to EMS.
Recognizing a need for EMS education and training in the region, Will launched a partnership between Puckett EMS and Faithful Guardian Training Center to create the Puckett EMS Training Academy. The Academy provides annual EMT and paramedic level certification courses multiple times a year and is the largest provider of initial certification training in the region.

In the Northwest Georgia and Southeast Tennessee, like many locations in the United States, the pipeline of new professionals entering the EMS industry has been trending downward. In response to this, Pitt launched an accelerated 8-week EMT-Basic class that is completely free to the students and provides a training wage so that students can be in training full-time. By removing some of the financial barriers to beginning a career in EMS, the response to the course has been overwhelming. The academy has already graduated its first class and is currently training its second class. Additionally, Pitt is in the process of developing a program in conjunction with local high schools to provide EMT training to seniors as part of a work-based learning program.

Pitt volunteers his time in regional industry leadership having served as Chairman for the Georgia Region I EMS Council and Treasurer for the Southeast EMS Director’s Association. Pitt is actively involved in fostering collaboration across EMS agencies to improve public health and service in the region.

In 2014, Pitt was part of the group of state officials and leaders that developed the state’s first Disaster Assistance Response Task Force, which provides an organized framework and standardized education for disaster response in North Georgia. This project provides a mechanism by which the EMS leadership in a county experiencing a disaster situation can immediately mobilize dozens of ambulances and hundreds of personnel to address large-scale emergencies.

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View all of the 2020 Mobile Healthcare 40 Under 40 Honorees

2018 AMBY Award Winners Announced

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 AMBY Awards. The AMBYs highlight excellence in EMS and the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that epitomize AAA members. The mission of the awards is to showcase creativity and innovation in the ambulance industry by fostering a culture of collaboration, cooperation and a passion for excellence in patient care. This year’s awards will be presented at the Annual Conference & Trade Show Awards Reception on September 7, 2018. Please join us in congratulating our 2018 winners!

Clinical Outcome Program

Medic Ambulance Service, Inc. | Vallejo, CA

Community Impact Program

NorthStar EMS, Inc. | Tuscaloosa, AL

Employee Programs

Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. | Bakersfield, CA

Innovation in EMS

Priority Ambulance | Knoxville, TN

Mercy Ambulance Service, Inc. | Savannah, GA

Public Relations Campaign

MEDIC EMS Agency | Charlotte, NC

Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. | Bakersfield, CA

Quality Improvement Program

Sunstar Paramedics | Largo, FL

Patient and Employee Safety Program

Priority Ambulance | Knoxville, TN

Once again, join us in celebrating the 2018 winners! Learn more about the AMBYs.

 

July Brings Legal Changes for Employers in Many States

Oregon Statewide Transit Tax Important notice to ambulance service employers based in the state of Oregon: there is a new statewide transit tax taking effect on July 1, 2018. Beginning July 1st, employers must start withholding a tax of 1/10th of 1% from the wages of Oregon residents or from non-residents who perform services in…

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Alabama Governor Signs REPLICA Compact

Governor Kay Ivey recently signed into law Alabama’s REPLICA legislation, HB250. Alabama joins ten other states—Colorado, Texas, Virginia, Idaho, Kansas, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, Mississippi, and Georgia—in this forward-thinking interstate compact.

REPLICA, the Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact,  recognizes the day-to-day movement of EMS personnel across state lines. It extends the privilege to practice under authorized circumstances to EMS personnel based on their home state license, as well as allows for the rapid exchange of licensure history between Compact member states..

Learn more about how REPLICA participation can help your state at http://www.emsreplica.org.

REPLICA Compact Enacted

REPLICA Meets Goal, Interstate Compact Becomes Official

May 8, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Sue Prentiss
603-381-9195
prentiss@emsreplica.org

May 8, 2017 (Falls Church, VA). With the 10th member state enactment, the Recognition of
Emergency Medical Services Licensure Interstate Compact (REPLICA) has become official.
Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia signed Senate Bill 109 on today activating the nation’s first EMS
licensure compact. States that have passed REPLICA to date include: Colorado, Texas, Kansas,
Virginia, Tennessee, Idaho, Utah, Mississippi, Wyoming and Georgia.

Released in 2014, REPLICA’s model legislation creates a formal pathway for the licensed individual
to provide pre-hospital care across state lines under authorized circumstances. According to Keith
Wages, president of the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO), “REPLICA
represents a collective, nationwide effort to address the problems faced by responders when needing
to cross state borders in the line of their duties.” Wages highlighted the compact’s abilities to
“increase access to healthcare, reduce regulatory barriers for EMS responders, and place an
umbrella of quality over cross border practice not previously seen in the EMS profession.” Wages
also noted that the partnership with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
(NREMT) has been essential during the advocacy and implementation phases. “We are grateful for
their continued support and contributions.”

Through funding provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), NASEMSO led 23 EMS,
fire, law enforcement organizations and associations as well as key federal partners in the design and
drafting of REPLICA. The National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) currently provides funding to finalize
the development of the Commission.

The compact calls for establishment of an Interstate Commission with each state that has passed
REPLICA holding a seat, as well as a national EMS personnel coordinated database. Member states
will be able to rapidly share personnel licensure information, develop policy focused only on cross
border EMS practice, and hold EMS personnel originating in other states accountable in an
unprecedented way. The National Registry of EMT’s (NREMT) has committed to the development
and hosting of the coordinated database.

Twelve national associations and organizations support REPLICA. Three states have REPLICA bills
under consideration in their legislative sessions. Learn more at www.emsreplica.org.

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2015 Medicare Data Shows Evident of Crackdown on Non-Emergency Transport

2015 Medicare Payment Data Offers Evidence of Nationwide Crackdown on Non-Emergency Ground Ambulance Transportation; Impact Varies Dramatically by Medicare Administrative Contractor Every year, CMS releases data on aggregate Medicare payments for the preceding year. This file is referred to as the Physician/Supplier Procedure Master File (PSP Master File). This past month, CMS released the 2016…

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Musings on 2014 Medicare Payment Data…Part 2

Brian S. Werfel, AAA Medicare Consultant Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) releases data on Medicare payments for the preceding year. The 2015 Physician/Supplier Procedure Master File (PSP Master File) was released in late November 2015. This report contains information on all Part B and DME claims processed through the Medicare…

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