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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.


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