News

Building a Patient’s Wheelchair Ramp, Encouraging Flu Vaccinations and Recognizing 35 Years of Service

Issue 1 and Volume 41.

FIGHTING THE FLU

Flu season comes every year, yet not enough people get vaccinated with the widely available flu shot. This is a particular problem in the medical field.

“I think the biggest hurdle for EMS professionals is having an ˜invincible’ mindset,”says Director of Marketing Communications for ProTransport-1 Carly Clements. “In the simplest form, our crews take care of people for a living, so often they might forget that they themselves need protecting from illness.

ProTransport-1, a medical transport company serving the San Francisco, Sacramento and surrounding valley areas of central California, decided it would tackle this issue head-on in a campaign to encourage its employees to get their flu shots.

“We feel it’s especially important for EMS professionals to be vaccinated against the flu because our patients trust us to take care of them in what is likely one of the scariest times of their life-being in the back of the ambulance is a stressful situation,”Clements said.

“Ensuring we’ve done everything we can to protect them, even if it’s before they are ever in our care, is imperative to their health. We can’t anticipate the types of illnesses we will see tomorrow, next week or next month, so it’s important to take any step we can to do no harm.”

ProTransport-1 used posters, emails and word of mouth to spread this message. But most impressive was a video series that culminated in a comedic trailer for “Influenza,”a fake horror B movie warning about the dangers of the flu. The video has over 2,700 views on YouTube and is an engaging way to tackle an important topic.

We give a thumbs up to ProTransport-1 for spreading a crucial message about provider wellness in an innovative way. EMS professionals across the globe should strive to use technology to spread awareness that ultimately benefits patients.

COMMUNITY BUILDING

Washington paramedics proved true EMS work extends outside the ambulance by recently helping a community member settle back into her daily life while recovering from serious medical issues.

First responders from Central Skagit Medic One and members of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) donated their time to build a wheelchair ramp for a local resident after she returned home from the hospital with congestive heart failure and lung disease.

The building process took two days, and the materials for the ramp were partially paid for by the IAFF and partially donated by a nearby homebuilding supplies company. With hefty medical bills, this type of construction may have never happened if the woman had to fund it herself, but with the help of local EMS, she can now easily access her home and garden.

We give a thumbs up to Skagit county first responders for caring for a patient even when she wasn’t in the back of an ambulance.

SINGING & SAVING

Pat Hatch was given a Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, Davenport University's College of Health Professions

Photo courtesy Life EMS Ambulance

The best medics don’t do their jobs for the glory-they do it because they’re passionate about saving lives and caring for the members of their community.

One EMT from Life EMS Ambulance in Grand Rapids, Mich., is being recognized for doing just that. Pat Hatch was given a Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, Davenport University’s College of Health Professions, for “exemplifying the vision and values of Davenport University through their professional and community service.”

Hatch has served Life EMS for 31 years, and has been described by his superiors as one-of-a-kind and dedicated to the grueling frontlines of EMS. In fact, Hatch has turned down numerous opportunities for administrative positions in order to stay active in the field.

To blow off steam when he isn’t in an ambulance, Hatch tears up local stages as the lead singer and guitarist for the band Signal Point. The outfit’s name is fitting given all band members are first responders.

We give Hatch a thumbs up for his many years of service-especially his dedication to the rig, which has allowed him to give patients superior medical care. We also salute Hatch for finding a creative way to express himself and escape the daily stress and rigors of EMS while also encouraging fraternal connections among his colleagues.

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