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.
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 gets aquainted with his new colleagues, Paramedics Dan Cardona and Gwen Bibby.
EMT Rene Duarte holds Willie.