Author Archives: Katherine Aker

Armstrong Ambulance Takes Part in Department of Children and Families College Fair

Armstrong Ambulance representatives attended a college fair held by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Wednesday.

Armstrong Ambulance representatives attended a college fair held by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Wednesday.

 

Armstrong Ambulance representatives attended a college fair held by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Wednesday.

The Wednesday, April 17 fair was held at the Doubletree Hotel in Westborough. Students and foster parents attended the fair to meet with schools and organizations and learn about academic and career opportunities for young people following high school.

Last year, almost every public college in the state was represented at the fair, among other post-secondary groups and private colleges.

Armstrong Ambulance Basic Life Support Training Coordinator Larry LeDoux and HR Generalist Michael McCusker attended the fair, where they informed teens about the available paths to pursue a career in emergency services. They spoke with students about the opportunities and education available to become chair car driver, EMT, or paramedic.

“Working in emergency services is incredibly rewarding, and crucial for the vitality and safety of every community,” McCusker said. “It was a great opportunity for us to share that with students, and inform them about the opportunities and programs available to them to pursue a career in this field, helping people and making a difference every day.”


STEMI Boot Camp

 

From left: Armstrong Ambulance CEO Rich Raymond (holding Willie), St. Elizabeth's EMS Manager Jeff Scafidi, Dr. Sush Prusty and Armstrong Director of Clinical Integration Ben Podsiadlo.

From left: Armstrong Ambulance CEO Rich Raymond (holding Willie), St. Elizabeth’s EMS Manager Jeff Scafidi, Dr. Sush Prusty and Armstrong Director of Clinical Integration Ben Podsiadlo.

Several members of the Armstrong Ambulance team attended a recent heart health event in Boston, where one member presented to fellow attendees and another was presented with an award.

The ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Boot Camp, held Saturday, March 23, at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston featured an in-depth look at the issues surrounding STEMI, which is one of the most severe forms of heart attack.

The Boot Camp was led by Dr. Sush Prusty, and included a presentation by Armstrong Director of Clinical Integration Ben Podsiadlo. During his talk, Podsiadlo discussed the three core concepts of the Boot Camp, including the checklist mindset, EKG, and clinical pattern recognition and team debriefing when managing patients with STEMI.

The event emphasized the key pillars of addressing these forms of heart attacks, and included representatives from the EMS, nursing and allied health professions.

“This bootcamp addressed a critical health issue that our first responders, as well as emergency medical practitioners need to be prepared to collaborate on in order to save patient lives,” Armstrong CEO Rich Raymond said. “Ben has helped Armstrong to emerge as a leader on this issue, and I was glad to see him engage with so many of our peers to both learn from them and share his knowledge.”

Podsiadlo and Raymond were joined at the Boot Camp by Armstrong’s resident therapy dog, Willie Blue Armstrong, who was honored by the event organizers as the Mascot of the Year.


Our Armstrong Family Has Expanded By 4 Paws!

Willie has made himself at home at Armstrong Ambulance's Arlington base.

Willie has made himself at home at Armstrong Ambulance’s Arlington base.

Armstrong Ambulance Service is pleased to announce that its new therapy dog arrived at headquarters last week.

Willie Blue Armstrong is a 12-week-old chocolate lab who is currently working on completing his training so that he can fulfill his important role as the ambulance provider’s resident therapy dog. Willie was named for company founder Bill Armstrong, and his middle name is a nod both to Armstrong’s favorite color and the company’s ubiquitous blue blankets, which are part of his legacy and used to keep patients warm and comfortable.

So far, Willie has completed two weeks of behavioral training, and will undergo more rigorous training at Fox Hill Farm and K-9 in order to ensure he’s prepared for his future responsibilities. Willie will live at Armstrong’s Arlington base, where he is already receiving 24/7 care and attention from the staff, who have welcomed him with open arms.

Once his training is complete, Willie will be charged with cheering up patients who are sick or injured, and will also make regular visits to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the area.

To see videos of Willie at Armstrong’s Arlington base click https://vimeo.com/321809569 and https://vimeo.com/321809550.

Willie has already completed his first assignment by sending a letter of encouragement to a 7-year-old Wisconsin girl, Emma Mertens, who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. Mertens requested–and has received–letters from more than 50,000 dogs nationwide, including Willie.

“We’re so excited to have Willie here on our team and watching him spread cheer and smiles to everyone he encounters is pretty amazing,” Armstrong CEO Rich Raymond said.

Willie sits with EMT/Emergency Medical Dispatcher Paul Gallagher at Armstrong Ambulance's Arlington base.

Willie sits with EMT/Emergency Medical Dispatcher Paul Gallagher at Armstrong Ambulance’s Arlington base.

Willie gets aquainted with his new colleagues, Paramedics Dan Cardona and Gwen Bibby.

Willie gets aquainted with his new colleagues, Paramedics Dan Cardona and Gwen Bibby.

EMT Rene Duarte holds Willie.

EMT Rene Duarte holds Willie.

2-11-19

3-5-19 (9)


A Bloody Good Cause

(Left-to-right) Armstrong Human Resource Director Beth Keegan, Field Operations Manager Sean Mangan, EMT/EMD Kari Smith, EMT Elysia Heilig, Director of Operations Mike Kass and EMT Jean Witty.

(Left-to-right) Armstrong Human Resource Director Beth Keegan, Field Operations Manager Sean Mangan, EMT/EMD Kari Smith, EMT Elysia Heilig, Director of Operations Mike Kass and EMT Jean Witty.

On behalf of Armstrong Ambulance, we would like to extend a sincere thank you to all the donors who rolled up their sleeves and supported our blood drive on February 14th. As we know, February 14th is a day all about love but it’s also a day about giving and thanks to our generous community members, amazing employees and other First Responders, we were able to donate 35 units to The American Red Cross.

We also extend a huge thank you to Ed Kelly, Bob Gardner and our very own Armstrong EMT and American Red Cross Volunteer Blood Ambassador, Elysia Heilig who combined efforts to make this important event possible. We really appreciate everyone taking time out of their Valentine’s Day plans to share a life-saving gift straight from the heart. Most of all your donation will give life and hope to blood recipients and their loved ones.

Once again, we thank you all for your time and compassion and showing how important it is to care for real hearts on Valentine’s Day/National Donor Day!

Our partners at Arlington Police Department showing their support and donating at the drive.

Our partners at Arlington Police Department showing their support and donating at the drive.

American Red Cross Ambassador and Armstrong EMT Elysia Heilig and Armstrong EMT/EMD Kari Smith with their Armstrong staright from the heart pulse cookies.

American Red Cross Blood Ambassador and Armstrong EMT, Elysia Heilig and Armstrong EMT/EMD Kari Smith with their Armstrong straight from the heart pulse cookies.

Armstrong EMT Rob Augart's Power Red donation.

Armstrong EMT Rob Augart’s Power Red donation.

Armstrong Paramedic and Field Training Officer, Nick Henderson donating.

Armstrong Paramedic and Field Training Officer, Nick Henderson donating.


How to host an international EMS agency exchange

EMS1 Host International EMS Agency 2-5-19

Congratulations to Armstrong’s Director of Clinical Integration, Ben Podsiadlo for being published on EMS1’s website. Ben wrote an article explaining how to reach out, prepare, welcome and host an international EMS agency exchange after Armstrong hosted members of the New Tapai Fire Department this past December. The article aims to encourage and give assistance to other EMS leaders on how to develop exchange relationships with emergency professionals from around the world, benefiting both agencies and offering new alternatives to face EMS system challenges.

Below is the link to the full article on EMS1.

https://www.ems1.com/paramedic-chief/articles/393363048-How-to-host-an-international-EMS-agency-exchange/?fbclid=IwAR23xKWHAswZbRxyN7C-VnvmKfdVm71UCSyETx-qEfVgGIwJfTxmU7pq-xg


Armstrong Ambulance Service Safely Transports Newborn Baby to Hospital After Delivery in Back of Minivan in Saugus

Saugus Wicked Local 1-22-19

Armstrong Ambulance Service reports that Armstrong EMS personnel safely treated and transported a newborn baby boy and his mother to the hospital after the baby was delivered by his father in the back of the family’s minivan early Monday morning.

At approximately 1:35 a.m., Saugus Police dispatchers received a 911 call from a frantic man who told them that he was driving to the hospital and his wife was giving birth in their minivan.

The baby had to be delivered in the van and was unresponsive and not breathing because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. A Saugus Police dispatcher stayed on the phone with the father and had him remove the umbilical cord from around the baby’s neck and told him how to administer CPR.

The baby began breathing and started crying.
A short time later, crews from Armstrong Ambulance arrived and provided emergency medical treatment and transported the mother and the baby aboard the ambulance, while a Saugus firefighter drove.

The two were treated by the Armstrong Ambulance EMS team and safely transported to the hospital where they were healthy and doing fine. This is an example of excellent teamwork by Saugus 9-1-1 Dispatch, Police, Fire and Armstrong Ambulance personnel.

“Usually we like to transport expecting mothers to the hospital before the baby is born, but we are very happy that the baby and mom are both healthy,” said Richard Raymond, Armstrong Ambulance CEO.

Armstrong EMT Melissa Pierce and Paramedic Wayne Gilbert speak about their actions after responding, treating and transporting newborn baby delivered in the back of a minivan in Saugus. Also pictured is Saugus Police Dispatcher Ryan Bancroft who assisted family during delivery.

Armstrong EMT Melissa Pierce and Paramedic Wayne Gilbert speak about their actions after responding, treating and transporting a newborn baby delivered in the back of a minivan in Saugus. Also pictured is Interim Chief Ronald Giorgetti of the Saugus Police Department.

Here is a link from WCVB recapping the story: https://www.wcvb.com/article/saugus-dispatcher-credited-with-saving-newborn/25992532


Don’t Let Winter Water Safety Slip Through The Cracks

Medford firefighter uses an ice rescue sled to make his way towards the "victim".

A Medford firefighter uses an ice rescue sled to make his way towards the “victim”.

On Thursday, January 17th, Armstrong joined forces with our partners at Medford Fire to conduct a live ice rescue drill to prepare for unforeseen accidents. During the drill, Medford firefighters simulated an emergency ice rescue using their Rescue Alive Sled to extract a “victim” (one of Medford’s firefighters), immersed in the cold waters of Brooks Pond in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Medford. Once the “victim” was safely pulled to shore, Armstrong’s EMT Wendy Wolleager and Paramedic Mike Gilbert jumped in to assess the “victim”. Wendy and Mike immediately showed how care would be provided to prevent further heat loss by wrapping a blanket around the “victim” to start the rewarming process and minimize hypothermia.

Brooks Pond was chosen as the location after a father and daughter fell through a thinning spot on the pond while they were ice skating on  Sunday, January 13th, 2019.

A tremendous job was done by all involved!

Armstrong EMT Wendy Wolleage and Paramedic Mike Gilbert assess patient and start the warming process by wrapping the "victim" with a blanket.

Armstrong EMT Wendy Wolleager and Paramedic Mike Gilbert assess patient and start the warming process by wrapping the “victim” with a blanket.

For more pictures of the ice rescue drill see the link from Wicked Local: http://medford.wickedlocal.com/photogallery/WL/20190117/NEWS/117009988/PH/1


A New Year Brings Warm Wishes

Bay Cove 1-2-19 (2)

(Left-to-right) Armstrong Support Services Ed Kelly, Armstrong Provider Relations and Marketing Representative Katherine Aker, Armstrong EMT Nina Feinberg, Armstrong Chief Business Officer Meredith Lambroff and Bay Cove Human Services Communications Manager Joshua Wardrop meet and unload a special delivery to Bay Cove of donated winter clothing items out of Armstrong’s ambulance.

On behalf of Armstrong Ambulance Service, we wanted to extend a sincere thank you to our employees and community members who so generously donated winter clothing items and supported our third annual Winter Warmth Drive. Thanks to everyone’s giving spirit and combined efforts we were able to donate over 900 winter clothing items to Bay Cove Human Services and give the gift of comfort and warmth in the New Year. This year’s donations includes 224 pairs of socks, 134 coats, 52 sweaters, 84 pairs of pants, 90 sweatshirts, 47 shirts, 5 vests, 75 hats, 7 headbands, 52 scarves, 78 pairs of gloves, 12 pairs of shoes, 10 pairs of boots, 16 undergarments and 6 blankets.

A remarkable cause such as this called for a grand delivery! On Wednesday, January 2nd Armstrong organized a special ambulance transport and delivery to Bay Cove Human Services with all the donations collected over the past month. Bay Cove was so appreciative of all the donations and is looking forward to our continued partnership in the years to come.

We also extend a big thank you to Ed Kelly and Nina Feinberg for all their coordination and help in making this great cause possible again this year.

Bay Cove Human Services Vice President of Development Dave Hirschberg and Bay Cove Human Services Communications Manager Joshua Wardrop assist Armstrong staff members with donation drop off.

Bay Cove Human Services Vice President of Development Dave Hirschberg and Bay Cove Human Services Communications Manager Joshua Wardrop assist Armstrong staff members with donation drop off.

 

Armstrong Support Services Ed Kelly delivering boxes of winter boots and socks upstairs to Bay Cove Human Services dressing room.

Armstrong Support Services Ed Kelly delivering boxes of winter boots and socks upstairs to Bay Cove Human Services dressing room.


Armstrong Ambulance Invites Community to Valentine’s Day Blood Drive

Armstrong Ambulance is asking members of the community to participate in its upcoming Valentine’s Day blood drive.

WHEN:
Thursday, Feb. 14, from 2-7 p.m.

WHERE:
Armstrong Ambulance Service, 87 Mystic St., Arlington

Armstrong Ambulance will open its doors to members of the community who would like to make a life-saving blood donation.
According to the American Red Cross, which has partnered with Armstrong for this drive, donated blood means the difference between life and death for patients in emergency situations, as well as those undergoing surgeries and cancer treatments.

Donors must sign up in advance and may do so by clicking here. Donors should plan to spend up to an hour donating, but they can save time on the day of the drive by using the Red Cross Rapid Pass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questions.

“Armstrong saves lives every day, and this is an opportunity for both our team and the communities we serve to come together to help even more people in need,” Armstrong CEO Rich Raymond said. “I want to invite everyone to take part in this blood drive and give the gift of life this Valentine’s Day.”

Blood Drive Flyer '19

Anyone with questions about the blood drive is encouraged to reach out to Katherine Aker at 781-859-1314, or by email at kaker@armstrongambulance.com.


Armstrong Ambulance Staffers Participate in Hands-On K-9 First Aid Training

K9 Training 12-12-18 (4)

Veterinarian Beth Eisenberg works with Comet, a black lab that came along for Armstrong’s training on K-9 first aid.

ARLINGTON — Armstrong Ambulance personnel participated in a specialized training last month that would help them render aid to an injured dog in an emergency.

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, Armstrong welcomed veterinarian Beth Eisenberg from the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn for an in-depth training session that would enable them to help an injured dog, such as a police K-9 hurt in the line of duty.

Armstrong EMTs and Paramedics worked with a black lab to learn more about its anatomy and develop an understanding of how properly listen to its heart and lungs and locate its pulse.

Staff members were also trained on basic handling of an injured K-9 — including providing safe transport using a backboard — and all of the critical skills they’d need to respond to various types of trauma, much as they do with human patients. They also had the opportunity to practice CPR on a K-9 mannequin.

“We work closely with police departments and other Law Enforcement agencies which includes their K-9 members, so we want to be prepared to provide critical lifesaving aid to anyone at a scene who may need it,” Armstrong CEO Richard Raymond said. “Our team members did an excellent job building an understanding of how they can provide immediate help to injured dogs just like they would with an injured person.”
While all Armstrong EMTs and Paramedics have undergone extensive and specialized training to provide aid to human beings, the course on K-9 first aid allowed them to have a baseline understanding of the needs of injured animals and how their first aid needs differ from those of humans.
The course is part of Armstrong’s ongoing training program, and provides participating EMTs and Paramedics with continuing education that they must fulfill in order to maintain their certifications. 28 Paramedics and EMTs participated in the training.

Armstrong Paramedic Nick Henderson practiced performing CPR on a K-9 mannequin.

Armstrong Paramedic Nick Henderson practiced performing CPR on a K-9 mannequin.

Armstrong EMT Wendy Wolleger practiced performing CPR on a K-9 mannequin.

Armstrong EMT Wendy Wolleger practiced performing CPR on a K-9 mannequin.