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Adopt-a-Family Program Helps Fallen Providers’ Loved Ones

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Safety Takes a Back seat
Apparently, several private ambulance companies in the Philadelphia area weren’t aware their ambulances were not licensed taxis. Four ambulance operators were indicted after a two-year investigation revealed extensive video footage showing patients sitting in the front seats of ambulances and strolling to and from the units on their own, without assistance from providers.

These agencies give EMS a bad name. We give them all a thumbs down for their unethical practices and a thumbs up to the feds and local media for bringing the operators to justice.

Honoring Families
The National EMS Memorial Service (NEMSMS) has developed a unique way for EMS agencies to give a gift from their pockets and their hearts: They can sponsor a family to attend the memorial service in Colorado Springs, Colo., on June 25.

The service recognizes the contribution and dedication of EMS providers who have died in the line of duty. Forty-three providers will be recognized this year, and many families do not have the financial resources to attend. A $1,000 sponsorship from EMS agencies, manufacturers or private individuals can help a family attend the service.

The funds will help organizers provide hotel accommodations, meals and miscellaneous expenses for the surviving spouses, children or parents of those being recognized. The NEMSMS will notify the family of the available resources and identity of the sponsor. In addition, if your agency chooses to send a representative or honor guard to recognize a particular honoree, specific responsibilities will be assigned to your delegate to assist that sponsored family on site.

To sponsor a family, contact NEMSMS President Kevin Dillard by mail at 1170 Inter­national Pkwy., Fredericksburg, Va., 22406-1126, via e-mail at kdillard@lifecare94.com or online at www.nemsms.org.

JEMS commends NEMSMS for developing this heartwarming sponsorship program and congratulates those who show their support.

Always on Duty
An off-duty EMT was honored by the American Red Cross (ARC) at its sixth annual Heroes Breakfast in Springfield, Ill., for saving the life of a 6-year-old boy. Brenda McAllister, an Atlanta EMT with Mount Hope-Funks Grove Fire Department, thinks she was just doing her job while off duty at her son’s baseball game.

During the game, Ethan Vose was hit in the chest by a baseball bat, causing his heart to stop. McAllister was the first to start resuscitative efforts.

She performed CPR for two minutes, resuscitating him before paramedics arrived and, ultimately, saved his life. She may not consider herself a hero because she’s trained to help people, but she was definitely the right person at the right place at the right time.

We give a thumbs up to McAllister for her efforts to save Ethan. We also applaud the ARC for celebrating everyday heroes in the public safety community, so their hard work and dedication don’t go unnoticed.

Misrepresented
A Fire Department of New York (FDNY) provider has threatened to sue an advertising agency over a doctored photo that makes it appear as if he responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11. The caption on the ad states in large, bold letters, “I was there.” The problem? He wasn’t.

Robert Keiley, who joined FDNY as a firefighter in 2004, also works part-time as a model. A year ago, he posed as a firefighter holding a helmet, for what he thought would be a fire-prevention ad. The final ad, however, which was made for Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern (a law firm specializing in 9/11 lawsuits), features Keiley holding a picture of the World Trade Center in ruins—not
the helmet.

The ad agency, Barker/DZP, wanted to make the heroes of 9/11 aware that the Zadroga Act received funding and was available for Ground Zero workers. Although the agency had legal rights to release the photo of Keiley in any way it chose, the company representatives should have considered how this image would hurt the real heroes who represented FDNY that fateful day.

Even a decade later, the emotions that surround the events of 9/11 should not be taken lightly. We give a thumbs down to Barker/DZP for its lack of sensitivity. JEMS

This article originally appeared in May 2011 JEMS as “Last Word: The Ups & Downs of EMS.”



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