Author Archives: Katherine Aker

Armstrong Ambulance Hosts Stop the Bleed Training Program

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Armstrong Ambulance Service Inc. is pleased to announce that members of its team shared their insight into the field of emergency medicine with a group of students at a Stop the Bleed training event late last month.

Armstrong Ambulance hosted the free hemorrhage control and first aid training in recognition of National EMS week on Thursday, May 23 at the Armstrong Ambulance Service ambulance bay on Mystic Street. A group of 15 students from Medford Vocational Technical High School’s Health Assisting program attended the event.

Armstrong tactical paramedics assigned to the NEMLEC SWAT Team led the training, during which students took part in hands-on exercises. Students practiced stopping a bleed by wrapping tourniquets on rubber tubes that sprayed water until they were properly tied off, allowing students to witness first hand whether their technique was correct and effective. During the training, students also reviewed proper CPR, AED and choke save techniques on infant and adult mannequins, and were shown by a paramedic how to properly intubate a patient.

“The students that attended this training were attentive, eager to learn and excited about the field of emergency medical services,” said Armstrong Chief Business Officer Meredith Lambroff. “It was exciting for our team to teach them these lifesaving procedures and provide some insight into the careers available in the field of EMS.”

In addition to the training, students learned about EMS careers from paramedics during a meet and greet. The highlight of the day, however, was when students met Willie Blue, Armstrong’s new support puppy.

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Armstrong Ambulance to Host Drop In “Stop the Bleed” Training

Paramedics like Dan Cardona and Gwen Bibby, along with Willie, will be on scene for the Stop the Bleed event.

Paramedics like Dan Cardona and Gwen Bibby, along with Willie, will be on scene for the Stop the Bleed event.

As part of National EMS Week, Armstrong Ambulance Service will be conducting free hemorrhage control and first aid training for interested members of the public.

WHEN:
Thursday, May 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE:
Armstrong Ambulance Service in the ambulance bay (rear of the building), 87 Mystic St., Arlington

WHAT:
National EMS Week runs from May 19-25 and recognizes EMTs/paramedics who provide lifesaving services everyday. Armstrong tactical paramedics assigned to the NEMLEC SWAT Team will conduct the hands-on Stop the Bleed training, which takes about 10 minutes.

Through simple techniques, any adult or teenager can drop in and learn how to save a life in critical situations with bleeding patients. Refreshments will be provided along with a meet and greet with paramedics and Willie Blue, the Armstrong support puppy. Members of the public can sign up by emailing education@armstrongambulance.com or can just drop in anytime between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Armstrong Ambulance Paramedic Helps Girl Scouts Earn First Aid Badges

Armstrong Paramedic Stephanie Crayton (center) met with her neighbor’s Girl Scouts troop in order to help them earn their first aid badges.

Armstrong Paramedic Stephanie Crayton (center) met with her neighbor’s Girl Scouts troop in order to help them earn their first aid badges.

 

An Armstrong Ambulance paramedic recently shared her expertise in emergency medicine in order to help a group of Girl Scouts earn their first aid badge.

Paramedic Stephanie Crayton worked with her neighbor, Dor, and her fellow scouts to share knowledge about the types of injuries and ailments she and her colleagues at Armstrong encounter. In doing so, she helped the girls fulfill one of the core requirements to earn their first aid badges — talking face to face with a first responder.

The scouts are all fourth graders from Cambridge.

Crayton told the girls about her experiences as both a paramedic for Armstrong and as a firefighter with the Cambridge Fire Department, as well as how ambulances and fire departments collaborate to help people in need.

Crayton covered a variety of topics with the scouts, discussing some common types of emergencies and what to do when they arise. They addressed choking, nose bleeds, allergies and anaphylaxis (and the difference between the two), burns, bone fractures and the proper recovery position for someone who is breathing but unconscious.

The scouts also asked Crayton about a wide array of scenarios, including what to do if someone’s house is burning, they’re choking and have a nose bleed all at the same time.

“I was so glad they asked me to help,” Crayton said. “The girls were great listeners and had a lot of fantastic questions about the work we do as paramedics, and I’m proud of the work they put into earning their badges.”


Armstrong Ambulance Therapy Dog Visits Arlington Senior Center

Image-1Armstrong Ambulance took its new therapy dog on its first community outing last week.

On Thursday, April 18, Armstrong’s chocolate lab, Willie Blue Armstrong, paid a visit to the Arlington Senior Center. He was accompanied by Armstrong HR Director (and Willie’s trainer) Beth Keegan, Provider Relations and Marketing Representative Katherine Aker and Chief Business Officer Meredith Lambroff.

Following an invitation by senior center staff, the outing became Willie’s first official trip into the community since he joined Armstrong earlier this year. During his visit, members of the Armstrong team filled attendees in on Willie’s background and training.

They also shared some inside stories about Willie’s life at Armstrong’s Arlington base, including his devilish side where he once sneaked off with a colleague’s lunch. The group chuckled at the “Silly Willie” stories and had smiles from ear to ear.

“The group asked a lot of questions, shared stories about their own pets and took pictures with Willie,” Lambroff said. “We all left feeling happier. It was a great day, and we’re looking forward to going back to visit as well as having Willie brighten up many more lives.”

Willie’s visit was chronicled on his Instagram account, which features regular updates on his day-to-day life. To see Willie’s Instagram page, click https://www.instagram.com/williebluearmstrong/.

*Click https://vimeo.com/331462468 and  https://vimeo.com/331462478 for videos of Willie’s visit to the senior center*

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Armstrong Ambulance Celebrates Easter in Brighton

Armstrong EMT Jennifer Bowman handed out eggs at the Gerry McCarthy Community Egg Hunt.

Armstrong EMT Jennifer Bowman handed out eggs at the Gerry McCarthy Community Egg Hunt.

Armstrong Ambulance joined the community in an Easter celebration over the weekend in Brighton.

Armstrong opened the doors to one of its ambulances to the public on Saturday, April 20, at the 36th annual Gerry McCarthy Community Egg Hunt at the Sisters of St. Joseph in Boston.

At the event, hundreds of area kids aged 2-10 gathered to collect Easter eggs and explore an ambulance, as well as vehicles from the Boston Police and Fire Departments.

EMTs Remy Cortorreal and Jennifer Bowman handed out eggs and candy to children in attendance, and also welcomed them into the ambulance, where they used stethoscopes to listen to their hearts and lungs.

Armstrong EMT Remy Cortorreal checks a child's heart and lungs during the touch-a-truck portion of an Easter egg hunt in Brighton.

Armstrong EMT Remy Cortorreal checks a child’s heart and lungs during the touch-a-truck portion of an Easter egg hunt in Brighton.


Armstrong Ambulance Administers CPR Lessons at Recovery Centers of America

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Armstrong Ambulance is pleased to join Recovery Centers of America to provide hands-only CPR lessons to RCA patients. Beginning last month, Armstrong staff are visiting RCA’s Danvers location and working with patients suffering from addiction to teach them how to perform lifesaving CPR prior to being discharged from treatment.

The lessons, which were organized and are taught by Armstrong Educational Coordinator Larry LeDoux, provide RCA patients with a basic understanding of how to perform CPR, including the proper technique and rhythm to ensure the best chances at success. LeDoux teaches students the steps, including calling 911 first and foremost, and then administering chest compressions to the beat of a familiar song with an appropriate amount of beats per minute. Some examples include “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce.
“These lessons provide RCA’s patients with a valuable skill that they may some day need to help a loved one or friend in need,” LeDoux said. “This is something tangible and practical that patients can be proud of upon being discharged.”

According to the American Heart Association, approximately 90 percent of those who undergo sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die. If performed immediately, CPR can double or triple a victim’s chances of survival.

“During the drug and alcohol epidemic that exists today, so many of our patients are in situations where friends and others around them are overdosing and dying,” Danvers Recovery Centers of America CEO Laura Ames said. “Narcan is not always available and this CPR training by Armstrong Ambulance provides our patients with a valuable lifesaving skill to help others suffering from an addiction who are in need of help.”


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.

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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.