Administration and Leadership, Industry News

Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller to Honor 14 EMS Professionals as Stars of Life

California Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) is scheduled to recognize fourteen emergency medical services professionals, employed by Hall Ambulance Service, Inc., for their exemplary life-saving performance, dedication and compassionate care delivered to the people of Kern County. The commendations will take place at the State Capitol on Monday, March 7, 2016 at 10:30 a.m., in the Senator’s office (State Capitol, Room 305).

Of significant merit are the life-saving, singular acts performed by the following Hall Ambulance Paramedics and EMTs:

  • Paramedic Chris Parks moved quickly to save an infant, in a hospital setting, when the mother alerted him that her baby was not breathing;
  • Paramedic Jason Achterberg and EMTs Adrianna Neal and Enrique Puente, who saved the life of a female who went into sudden cardiac arrest during her own retirement party;
  • Paramedic Mark Gonzcar and EMT Allen Swerdfeger, who came to the aid of a 75 year-old woman who lost consciousness and was turning blue due to choking on a piece of meat that had become lodged in her throat;
  • Paramedics William Jaeger, Eric Castro and EMT David Allard, who saved a local physician they found down on a street corner in cardiac arrest.

Additional honorees are employees recognized at Hall Ambulance Service’s 45th Anniversary Employee Recognition Awards in February, and include recipients of the President’s Award, Founder’s Award, Paramedic of the Year, EMT of the Year, and the Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year.

The recognition is part of the California Ambulance Association’s (CAA) Stars of Life event, which will recognize 50 paramedics, EMTs and emergency medical dispatchers from across the state on March 7, 2016. Their actions are as varied as their position, but demonstrate they have stood out amongst their peers as the best of the best working in California’s private-ambulance industry.

During their visit, the fourteen honorees from Hall Ambulance will start their day by attending a special legislative briefing, before being presented with their Star of Life medals by the CAA. They will commemorate the occasion by taking a group photo on the steps of the Capitol with the other thirty-six Star of Life recipients.

They will then make their way to Senator Fuller’s office, where they will be honored, share their inspiring stories of how EMS saves lives; and, emphasizing the value private-ambulance providers offer as a key component of an effective and efficient health care delivery system.

The day will conclude with a reception, followed by an awards dinner at the Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade, located at 100 Capitol Mall, where they will receive additional recognition for their achievements.

BIOS and Lifesaving Stories of the Hall Ambulance EMS Personnel Being Honored by Senator Jean Fuller:

Christopher Parks, Paramedic

On January 18, 2016, Paramedic Parks was at a local hospital offloading a patient. While obtaining patient information, he was approached by the mother of the patient in the next room. She told Chris her baby was not breathing. Parks quickly moved to the patient and found a pulseless, apneic, cyanotic baby. He immediately picked up the baby and started chest compressions while alerting hospital staff of the emergency. He delivered the patient to a resuscitation room where hospital staff assisted with CPR. The child regained pulses, was discharged a few days later and should make a full recovery.

Paramedic Christopher Parks started his second tenure with Hall Ambulance in September 2014. He is currently assigned to the Wasco station.

Parks was awarded the Hall Ambulance Star of Life and now a California Ambulance Association Star of Life for his quick reaction that saved a life.

Jason Achterberg, Paramedic Adrianna Neal, EMT Enrique Puente, EMT

On Saturday, January 16, San Juana Irma Boyar was at the Bakersfield Eagles Club celebrating her retirement from a large ag-company, with friends and family. She had complained of not feeling well earlier in the evening. Just before 8:00 p.m., she suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.

When Paramedic Jason Achterberg and his partners, EMT Adrianna Neal, and EMT trainee Enrique Puente arrived, they found Bakersfield firefighters on scene performing CPR. The AED had shocked twice with no change.

CPR continued while the crew deployed their equipment. Paramedic Achterberg defibrillated the patient, completed a successful intubation, started an IV, and administered medications.

During transport to the emergency department, an organized rhythm returned with pulses and the patient started to breathe on her own.

Paramedic Achterberg, EMT Neal, and EMT Puente were awarded the Hall Ambulance Star of Life and now a California Ambulance Association Star of Life for their efforts, which saved a life.

Paramedic Jason Achterberg started his career at Hall Ambulance in September 2010. He currently works night shifts in the Bakersfield 911 system. He also serves as a Field Training Officer.

EMT Adrianna Neal has worked for Hall Ambulance for just one year. She is currently assigned to the Bakersfield 911 system.

EMT Enrique Puente is new to EMS and Hall Ambulance. He was hired in December 2015 and currently staffs a basic life support ambulance in the Bakersfield 911 system.

Mark Gonzcar, Paramedic Allen Swerdfeger, EMT

On September 9, 2015 at 5:56 p.m., Paramedic Gonzcar, and EMT Swerdfeger were dispatched in Tehachapi for a choking. The crew arrived on scene at 5:59 p.m. The crew entered the home to find a 75-year-old female choking, cyanotic, with agonal respirations and a weak pulse.

The Heimlich maneuver was attempted without success. An attempt to visualize the obstruction was not successful. Cyanosis worsened and the patient lost pulses. CPR was initiated. Another attempt was made to visualize the obstruction. This time, Paramedic Gonzcar was able to clear the airway. CPR continued during transport to the hospital. During the transport, skin signs improved and the patient started to bite down on the oral airway. Shortly after arrival at the Emergency Department, the patient was sitting up in bed able to share her story with the crew.

Paramedic Gonzcar and EMT Swerdfeger were awarded the Hall Ambulance Start of Life and now the California Ambulance Association Star of Life for their quick response and actions, which led to a life being saved.

Paramedic Mark Gonzcar started his career at Hall Ambulance as an EMT in February 2008. His efforts as an EMT were rewarded with 100% sponsorship in the paramedic-training program, earning his license in 2013. He currently serves in the mountain community of Tehachapi.

EMT Allen Swerdfeger enrolled in the Hall Ambulance EMT Academy in 2008. After working in the Bakersfield 911 system for several years, he transferred to the Hall Critical Care Transport team. In 2015, he returned to Ambulance operations and currently serves in the mountain community of Tehachapi.

William Jaeger, Paramedic Eric Castro, Paramedic David Allard, EMT

On the morning of May 4, 2015, a Hall Ambulance Advanced Life Support Ambulance staffed by Paramedic William Jaeger, EMT Eric Castro and EMT David Allard cleared Bakersfield Memorial Hospital after dropping off a patient. They were assigned a post, or staging location, in another part of Bakersfield. As the crew approached the intersection of 34th Street and San Dimas Street, they saw a man lying on the ground.

The crew stopped to check on the man. Upon examination, they found the man to be unconscious, not breathing and pulseless.

The crew immediately started CPR then notified the Hall Ambulance Communications Center. A Bakersfield Fire Department Engine Company was started to the scene to assist with manpower.

The crew placed defibrillation pads on the chest, along with a See-Thru CPR compression sensor. Paramedic Jaeger found the patient’s heart in ventricular fibrillation and delivered three shocks. An airway was secured, an IV was established, and medications administered according to Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Kern County EMS protocols.

Transport was initiated to the Emergency Department at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. By the time the patient was delivered to the Emergency Department the patient was starting to breath on his own.

Bakersfield Memorial Hospital staff took over care and after several days of cardiac care at Memorial Hospital, the patient, Dr. Jeffrey Child, was released from care and was present when the Hall Ambulance Star of Life was presented to the crew. They are nominated for a California Ambulance Association Star of Life in recognition of their quick actions that saved the life of Dr. Child.

Paramedic William Jaeger was hired by Hall Ambulance in May 2014. He works in the Bakersfield 911 system.

Paramedic Eric Castro was hired in September 2014. He currently serves the mountain community of Frazier Park.

EMT David Allard started his career at Hall Ambulance in May 2015. He currently serves in the Bakersfield 911 system.

Terry Adams, Manager, Facilities Maintenance Division 2015 Hall Ambulance Founder’s Award for Excellence in Management

Terry Adams started his tenure at Hall Ambulance in November 2001. He oversees the Facilities Maintenance Division. His crew of eighteen employees is responsible for washing, waxing and detailing more than 100 vehicles. They complete janitorial duties at more than 23 buildings used to support ambulance response to more than 90% of Kern County.

His knowledge is equal to a general contractor with expertise in mechanical, electrical, air conditioning and plumbing allowing Hall Ambulance to complete most repairs without using outside contractors. Adams and his staff respond 24/7/365 to any building maintenance need. Whether a power outage from a storm or an air conditioner out during 110-degree days, Terry and his staff are there to mitigate the problem and keep EMTs, paramedics and support staff as comfortable as possible.

Terry Adams was the first to receive the newly created Founder’s Award for Excellence in Management, presented at the Company’s Employee Recognition Awards in February.

Charles Brown, Paramedic 2015 Hall Ambulance President’s Award for Customer Service

Paramedic Brown came to Hall Ambulance in June 2007. A seasoned paramedic, he previously worked for the City of Marysville and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as a firefighter. He serves as a Paramedic in the far eastern edge of Kern County at the Boron station.

Brown was nominated for a California Ambulance Association Star of Life as part of his recognition as the 2015 Hall Ambulance President’s Award for Customer Service recipient. The President’s Award recognizes the EMT, Paramedic or Registered Nurse that compiles the best customer satisfaction score. Hall Ambulance surveys all customers for satisfaction. The individual scores are compared against the total completed calls for a Customer satisfaction score. The employee with the highest score is honored with the President’s Award. This is the second time Paramedic Brown has been honored with the President’s Award.

Keith Kinsella, Paramedic 2015 Hall Ambulance Paramedic of the Year

Paramedic Kinsella is a four-year veteran at Hall Ambulance, where he serves as a paramedic in a very busy Bakersfield 911 system. In addition to his paramedic duties, he serves as a field training officer, helping new employees understand what it takes to be a successful member of the Hall Ambulance family.

In 2015, Paramedic Kinsella completed the first ever Hall Ambulance Field Supervisor Academy, followed by a 240-hour Paramedic Supervisor Internship.

Paramedic Kinsella was awarded the Paramedic of the Year Award for his dedication to Hall Ambulance and the communities served by the Company. Each Paramedic was evaluated based on patient satisfaction, response times, hospital off load times, total calls completed, attendance, quality assurance ratings, and willingness to grow.

Paramedic Kinsella ranked at or near the top in all statistical categories earning him the Paramedic of the Year for 2015 and a nomination as a California Ambulance Association Star of Life.

Sean Tinnish, EMT 2015 Hall Ambulance Emergency Medical Technician of the Year

EMT Tinnish is relatively new to Hall Ambulance, starting his career in September 2014. He currently serves on an advanced life support ambulance in the Bakersfield 911 system.

EMT Tinnish was awarded the 2015 Hall Ambulance EMT of the Year Award in recognition of his outstanding efforts to meet or exceed operational benchmarks. Each

EMT was evaluated based on patient satisfaction, response times, hospital off load times, total calls completed, attendance, quality assurance ratings, and willingness to grow.

EMT Tinnish distinguished himself by being at the top or near the top of all statistical categories. His EMT of the Year award includes a nomination as a California Ambulance Association Star of Life.

Lashika Britton, EMD 2015 Hall Ambulance Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year

In 2015, Hall Ambulance took on the responsibility for dispatching services to 100% of ambulances operating in Kern County. The ACE accredited communications center processed more than 100,000 requests for service in 2015. All staff assigned to the communications center are certified as emergency medical dispatchers by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.

Lashika Britton started her career at Hall Ambulance on December 2013. She has mastered her duties in rapid fashion. In 2015, she dispatched almost 8,000 ambulances to calls and handled receiving and processing more than 8,000 requests for service. More than 800 times, she provided pre-arrival instructions to callers. She received a Quality Assurance score of 100%.

In recognition of Britton’s commitment to excellence, she was named the Hall Ambulance Dispatcher of the Year and a California Ambulance Association Star of Life.