Administration and Leadership, News, Training

Dr. Pepper to Donate toward EMT’s medical school fund

Issue 3 and Volume 36.

Not-so-Speedy Delivery
Everyone knows ambulances aren’t delivery vehicles. But apparently one man in Battle Creek, Mich., wasn’t aware of this fact. When an ambulance was parked in front of his home on a call, the 72-year-old man decided to use the opportunity to take the rig for a little 70-mph jaunt to a pizza restaurant. Luckily, a police officer found him there, and the ambulance was returned to its crew. We give a thumbs down to the thief for using the vehicle for his convenience. The least he could have done was bring some pizza back for the providers.

Saving Lives with a Click
Did you know that one organ donor could potentially help as many as 50 patients? And did you know that less than 1% of people are eligible to donate?

Saving lives is the business of EMS. However, 400 California EMTs, paramedics and firefighters reported they had no formal training for on-scene care of organ donors, according to a press release from Donate Life California.

Thankfully, the organization is doing something about this. Its half-hour training video (found at educates providers on the donation process and also offers an hour of continuing education credit after completion of the online test.

In the video, a spokesman for California Transplant Donor Network says she’s never had a family tell her they’re sorry they authorized a donation—but some have expressed regret or anger over not knowing how to give that gift.

We give a thumbs up to Donate Life California for making this information accessible to EMS providers and for all the lives this education could potentially save.

Hefty Theft
The American Hose Ambulance Co., of Mt. Carmel, Pa., has had its share of troubles over the past three years. In 2008, a hospital sued the company over “financial matters.” In October 2009, the ambulance committee chair, Thea Tafner, was removed because “she wasn’t always available.” When the last ALS provider pulled out of its contract with the ambulance company in March 2010, American Hose Ambulance Co. closed its doors.

But the story doesn’t end there. Let’s get back to Tafner. She was indicted in December 2010 for embezzling between $1 million and $2.5 million from 2000 to March 2010. She pleaded guilty on Jan. 7 and faces up to 10 years in jail when she’s sentenced in March.

The painful lesson here is to not allow one person access to agency funds without oversight. We give a thumbs down to Tafner and the fact that the agency didn’t have a system of checks and balances in place. Hopefully, this sad example will prevent this from happening to other agencies.

Dr Pepper Steps Up
Thanks to Stuart Feltman, vice president of sales at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Santa Fe, N.M., an EMT need never go thirsty again. Feltman has promised 19-year-old Vanessa Carrillo free Dr Pepper as long as he’s around. The company is also setting up a scholarship fund for Carrillo, who was injured in a motor vehicle collision on Dec. 14, to attend medical school.

Carrillo was driving a Rocky Mountain EMS transport ambulance back to work when she saw headlights headed toward her on Interstate 25. A wrong-way vehicle traveling at speeds police estimate to be greater than 100 mph, struck Carrillo head on, killing the driver. Carrillo suffered multiple injuries, including 15 fractures in her facial bones and at least 20 breaks in her legs.

When she woke from sedation the next day, the first thing she asked for was a Dr Pepper. Feltman heard about this unique request and decided to see that she got as much as she wanted—and more.

We give the family-owned bottling company a thumbs up for helping this young provider achieve her goal via the scholarship fund. JEMS