Digital Supplement, Special Topics

April 2013 Supplement, EMS 10: Innovators of EMS 2012


Saving Lives with an App

Richard Price had an idea that grew into a smartphone application, and then a foundation, that may very well change the way EMS responds to cardiac arrest calls. The idea will certainly save lives, and it all started at a deli over a pastrami and rye.

Program Brings Diversity to EMS

David Page, MS, EMT-P, may look like an EMS instructor and paramedic, but he sees himself as a “human gardener,” trying to create beauty and diversity in a homogenous EMS environment. As a “gardener,” in 2012 Page assisted in the creation of the Saint Paul Emergency Medical Services Academy, also known as Freedom House-St. Paul, which is aimed directly at getting minority and diverse at-risk youth trained and qualified as EMTs and paramedics.

Resuscitation Success Improved with Cooling

Joseph Ornato, MD, FACP, FACC, FACEP, launched a paramedic program in 2008 to help treat cardiac arrest patients and increase their survival rates. The day that led Ornato to make a change in his prehospital paramedic program began with a simple kiss on the cheek.

Increasing Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), every year around 160,000 Americans experience ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), and around 360,000 have out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). What’s more, many of these patients fail to receive the appropriate treatment needed within the recommended timeframe to save their life.

Navigating Patients through Healthcare

Many EMS agencies strive to improve the service they provide every year. MedStar Mobile Healthcare (formerly MedStar EMS) in Fort Worth, Texas, has taken that model and jump-started it into the 21st century by transitioning itself into a state-of-the-art mobile healthcare agency.

Small but Mighty EMS

They say that good things come in small packages, and no one knows this better than David Grovdahl, EMT-P, executive director of Leflore County (Okla.) EMS. Grovdahl oversees a predominately rural county made up of 12 different communities in Oklahoma, one that is surrounded by 1.1 million acres of  national forest. The largest town has a population of only 9,000 people, and the entire county population totals 50,000.

Reducing the Impact to EMS

According to the National Emergency Number Association, an estimated 240 million calls are made to 9-1-1 in the U.S. each year, and the medics in San Diego know these numbers all too well. Under the leadership of James Dunford, MD, FACEP, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and Rural/Metro Ambulance decided it was time to address the issue of “frequent flyers.”

Helping EMS Services Stretched Too Thin

Most typical college students spend their time studying, completing schoolwork, worrying about majors, and maybe trying to squeeze in a social life between exams. But 19-year-old Jessica DeMarzo, EMT-B, is anything but typical, and those things only satisfied part of her; she found herself wanting to do more.So in the fall of 2011, the first semester of her college career, the Purchase College, State University of New York undergraduate decided to start a collegiate EMS program on campus.

Sending Stroke Victims to the Right Destination

The day John Curry, Jr.’s mother had a stroke changed his life forever. The 29-year EMS veteran called on all the colleagues he knew to help get his mother the immediate treatment she needed to address her ischemic stroke. She made it to the hospital with just five minutes to spare—five minutes that ultimately saved her life and returned her to normal function.

Altering the Handling of CPR

You could say that Dale Becker, EMT-P, thinks a lot about light bulbs. The reason for this makes sense, when the captain of the Howard County (Md.) Department of Fire and Rescue Services puts it into context.

Innovation & Progress

This is the fifth year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS. The program has a simple mission but a powerful objective: Identify some of the best innovators in the EMS industry and alert the EMS community to their achievements to help providers and patients in the future.