Spotlight: Eric Chase, Pafford EMS

Eric Chase Paramedic & Field Training Officer Pafford EMS Bethany, Oklahoma Other Titles & Roles Member, American Ambulance Association Education Committee Tell us a little about yourself. I grew up in Warren, PA. I had three brothers and we were all very active in sports, theater and community activities. We had family vacations that allowed us to explore the history and splendor of the US. Growing up, I believe we learned the value of diversity and the importance of acceptance of those different than us. We had several students from abroad stay with us for over 6 months each as well as youth sports teams that would travel in town from various states. We also would travel and stay at the homes of people we did not know for high school events that lasted more than two days. I grew up surrounded by people that treated individuals well. We were taught to believe we were not better than others. Your history with EMS I have been involved in EMS since 2005 when I took my EMT course. I matriculated to Paramedic in 2008-2009. I have held positions as EMT, EMT-IV, Paramedic, Fire Paramedic, Flight Paramedic, Field Training, Training Officer and (more…)

Spotlight: Desiree Partain, Medstar Mobile Healthcare

Desiree Partain Mobile Integrated Healthcare Manager Medstar Mobile Healthcare Fort Worth, Texas Other Titles & Roles MIH Manager at Large, IBSC, NAEMT member Tell us a little about yourself. Born and raised in sunny San Diego, California. I have a military ( marine grandfather and navy grandfather, brother, and nephew) and first responder (law enforcement mother) family background. Days were spent in the water, whether it was our backyard pool or the beach. My parents instilled a strong work ethic in me at a young age that began as the neighborhood babysitter, to various positions at assisted living facilities and finally in EMS. I learned to take pride in the things I had and my work, whether it was completing a household chore, a writing assignment at school, or the vehicles I owned. Your history with EMS My mother was a police officer in the town I was raised in so the police and fire department was often my home away from home. I can remember being so fascinated with the ambulance and in admiration of the paramedics when I would go to visit. I told my parents when I was little that when I grew up, I would become (more…)

The Cost of a Bad Hire

Our industry has been struggling with a staffing crisis for several years. We are all looking for ways to attract and hire qualified individuals to staff our ambulances and work in our dispatch and billing offices. This shortage has often resulted in ambulance providers hiring many people who meet the basic qualifications for the position even if they might not be the best fit for the company. There is a strong focus on reducing overtime hours to keep cost in line with shrinking reimbursement dollars. However, when a new person is introduced to the company community and culture, there are impacts that are not always recognized. Our industry has also struggled with the concept of collecting and reporting cost data because there are many dynamics that drive cost for ambulance providers throughout the country. Difficulties with identifying and isolating recruitment and retention costs are no exception to this struggle. An article published by the HR Daily Advisor discusses a recently published survey that studied the financial impacts a bad hire has on an organization. Not only does the organization lose the money associated with onboarding the wrong candidate (interview time, screening costs, orientation costs, uniforms, third ride time, etc.) but (more…)

Spotlight: Kathy Lester

Kathy Lester, MPH, JD Washington, DC Healthcare Consultant to AAA Tell us a little about yourself, please. I am from Indianapolis, Indiana.  I graduated from Warren Central High School, best known for being the high school of Jane Pauley and Jeff George.  My undergraduate degree is from DePauw University.  I had a double major in biology and English literature, with a minor in violin performance.  I also loved philosophy and political science course and was the editor-in-chief of the college newspaper.  I received my JD from Georgetown University Law Center and my Master of Public Health (MPH) from The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene, now known as the Bloomberg School of Public Health. After law school, I clerked on for The Honorable Michael S. Kanne on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  I have also worked in all three branches of government.  In addition to the courts, I worked on the Hill for Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) and in the General Counsel’s Office at the Department of Health and Human Services. My husband and I met while both working for Senator Lugar.  He retired from the Senate after 20+ years.  We have two children (more…)

Katrina & Rita: Share Your Story

As we approach the ten year anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, AAA is working to gather the stories of the many members who rallied to assist in these crises. Do you have a memory, photo, or video you would like to share with the ambulance service community? If so, please complete the brief form below, and we will add your story to our retrospective. All content contributors will be entered into a raffle for a free registration to AAA’s 2016 Stars of Life.

Spotlight: Sean Kukauskas

Sean Kukauskas Boston, MA, USA Director of Ambulance Services, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Member, AAA Education & Membership Committee Tell us a little about yourself, please. I was born and raised in Massachusetts. I have three children, two boys and a daughter. My oldest son, Tyler (20 years old), is in the U.S. Army stationed at Ft. Bliss in Texas. My daughter, Kaylin (19 years old), is a college student, and my youngest son, Sean, is 14 and will be a high school freshman this fall. I am an avid long distance runner. I recently completed my first marathon earlier this year, the 2015 Boston Marathon. How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved? After high school I joined the U.S. Navy as a mechanical calibration technician for nuclear powered submarines. After getting out of the service, I eventually found myself looking for a solid career. I always had an interest in medicine, so a friend of mine who was an EMT helped me get into EMT school. I have been involved in EMS since then, eventually earning my certification as a Paramedic. I just celebrated my 23rd year in EMS. I spent the majority of my career (more…)

Spotlight: David Tetrault

David Tetrault Farmington, MO, USA Administrator/CEO, St. Francois County Ambulance District Director, AAA Board, Region 4 Tell us a little about yourself, please. I grew up in Jennings, Missouri, a small town in St. Louis County. I’m the baby of six kids—four brothers and a sister. I am very proud of my twin girls who just graduated from high school while simultaneously completing their associates degrees. They are now off to college to Rolla, Missouri, to finish their bachelors degrees. In addition to sharing time with my family and friends, I enjoy softball, camping, swimming, tennis, and walking. How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved? Years ago I was involved in part of the law enforcement arena called “Police Explorers”, primarily because my brother was a police officer. From there, I progressed through many different facets of law enforcement. The one thing that sticks out in my mind is that every time I was involved in an incident including a sick person or trauma, I really felt as if I would filling my calling. I could calm people and make them feel better, even when at that point I had only first responder training. I have been involved with EMS for more than 30 years now, (more…)

Spotlight: Matt Zavadsky

aaa conference

Matt Zavadsky Fort Worth, TX, USA Public Affairs Director, MedStar Mobile Healthcare Tell us a little about yourself, please. Originally from Connecticut and have lived in Lincoln, NE; Augusta, GA; Orlando & Daytona Beach, FL; Lacrosse, WI and now Fort Worth in the Republic of Texas since 2008. Married to my best friend, Tessa, and we each have grown children, and one grandchild (so far!). Aside from doing what I love at work, Tessa and I are avid Harley Davidson Riders (“it’s not a motorcycle, it’s a lifestyle”). We also do a lot of volunteer work with the North Texas Patriot Guard Riders and the Fort Worth Police Code Blue Citizen’s on Patrol program. I’m also a licensed amateur radio operator and certified storm spotter working with the Tarrant County (TX) Radio Amateur’s in Emergency Service (RACES) program. How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved? My dad died suddenly in 1979. The hometown Trumbull, Connecticut volunteer ambulance crew that came to help him so impressed me that I signed up to volunteer the week he died. I started as a “driver” at age 17 and was originally trained in a High-Top Cadillac ambulance (the (more…)