Splash Medics Promote Water Safety, EMS Children’s Book and High School EMT Course

Issue 7 and Volume 40.


  Paramedic Lisa La Russo was particularly shaken when responding to a call last year involving a 9-year-old who nearly drowned in a pool. When she realized there weren’t any water safety education programs in place in her local community in Riverside, Calif., La Russo was inspired to do something about it. She reached out to her agency, and 15 of her coworkers joined her in forming Splash Medics.

The goal of Splash Medics is to spread useful information about water safety to prevent drowning deaths and injuries. Their latest education outreach efforts include readings of Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim to young children at school. The book focuses on water safety tips for children ages 2–6, and has won the National Water Safety Youth Education Award from the National Water Safety Congress.

Right now, the Splash Medics are working toward becoming water safety instructors certified by the American Red Cross. They hope to eventually be able to provide free training classes to both children and adults regarding bathtub, ocean, pool and lake safety.

We give a thumbs up to the Splash Medics for going above and beyond in bettering their community and making it safer. Their education efforts are truly lifesaving, and parents can rest easy knowing their children are water smart.

 Frederick the Paramedic

Interacting with a first responder can be intimidating to a child, especially during an actual emergency situation. This dilemma inspired married couple Chris and Nicole Blongiewicz from Andover, Mass., to pen an informational book that teaches children about EMS.

Published in March, Frederick the Paramedic aims to show children that emergency situations aren’t scary, and that ambulances and EMTs exist to help them. The book takes the reader through a day in the life of a paramedic, including a call to address an injury at a skate park.

According to the authors, plenty of children’s books have been written about police and fire fighters, but they noticed a lack in literature discussing EMS–specifically the steps a child should take in an emergency, starting with calling 9-1-1.

Now the couple is focused on bringing Frederick the Paramedic to as many children as possible. They host readings where they also bring real medical equipment, sometimes even an ambulance, to further educate the kids.

Looking to the future, Frederick the Paramedic may get turned into a series. The authors say the next books could focus on specific illnesses or how to detect and react to medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest and stroke.

We give the Blongiewiczes a thumbs up for teaching children about emergency medicine in a way that’s not only informative, but also creative and accessible.

 High School EMT Elective

At the end of the graduation season, many high school students are stuck trying to figure out what their professional career will look like. It’s a tough choice at 18 years of age, which is why Livonia High School in Louisiana joined with Acadian Ambulance to implement an EMS education program for its students.

Starting fall 2015, seniors at Livonia High can choose an elective class that will prepare them to take the National Registry of EMTs exam by the end of the year. The course aims to employ students as quickly as possible after graduation–not too many people can say they already have an obtainable career right out of high school.

The program is mutually beneficial to both parties: High school students get to graduate with extensive job training and local EMS companies get to see a rise in the number of medical personnel, which is in short supply.

While nearly 120 students are eligible to take the course, the current class size only accommodates 20 seniors. With interest already brewing, Acadian hopes to bring the program to other high schools in its service areas in the South.

We give a thumbs up to Acadian for providing such powerful knowledge to those who will be the future of EMS, and to Livonia High School for giving its students the opportunity to graduate with much more than a degree.