HEMS Care Helps One of Their Own

Shovel It Forward

The chore a Greenfield, Wis., man started before being transported to a local hospital could have easily gone unfinished, until local first responders decided to step in.

The patient was shoveling his driveway when he suffered a severe cardiac emergency. Paramedics arrived and transported the man to a local medical center, though the family had to be transported by local police because their car was still trapped by snow in the driveway. On the trip back to the fire station, paramedics decided to pick up shovels from the station and return to the man’s home to finish the driveway for him. Half an hour later the driveway was cleared and a photo of the crew had already gone viral on the department’s Facebook page.

“Anybody else in our department and at any other fire department across the country probably has done something like this or is doing something like that right now or will,” paramedic Tom Konieczka said. He, along with his colleagues Tia Rondeau, Chad Weber, Patrick Chenery, John Cram and Dan Weber, was recognized later for his efforts.

Thumbs up to these responders for going out of their way to uphold every EMS system’s mission of delivering quality patient care. Public safety departments across the country often perform good deeds like this, and it’s important to see these stories resonate with the public.

Paramedics finish shoveling the driveway of a patient after suffering a severe cardiac emergency. Photo courtesy Greenfield Fire Department


Dispatcher Under Fire

A Washington D.C. emergency dispatcher has left their job after coming under fire for an insensitive 9-1-1 call.

On Feb. 1, 38-year-old Rick Warrick was killed after being struck by a vehicle while changing a flat tire on the side of the Baltimore- Washington Parkway. Warrick’s fiancée and son were injured as well. Warrick’s daughter was able to call 9-1-1 to report the incident, but wasn’t given the calming attitude expected from an emergency dispatcher.

In the midst of Warrick’s daughter frantically calling for help, the dispatcher is recorded saying, “Let’s stop whining, OK? Let’s stop whining. It’s hard to understand you.” They continued, “Ma’am! Ma’am! Please stop yelling. Stop yelling please.”

Clearly the dispatcher is trying to decipher some type of information to send help to the location, however, the manner in which they try to calm Warrick’s daughter wasn’t the correct way. The word “whining” should be reserved for a child having a tantrum, not for someone enduring a traumatic event.

We give a thumbs down to this dispatcher. When words and comforting individuals is the nature of your job as a dispatcher, there’s little excuse to use this tone with any individual seeking immediate emergency help.

Familiar Faces

A former Bell Helicopter intern found himself as a patient of the same helicopter EMS service he once worked for.

On Jan. 15, 2015, Mark Holland was involved in a single-car crash on his way to a backpacking trip in Texas. Among the injuries Holland suffered was an epidural hematoma and a severe skull fracture, which required immediate medical attention. However, the remote location of the emergency prevented ground crews from arriving in a timely fashion. A Bell 407 helicopter, operated by MedTrans, was deployed and quickly delivered Holland to a medical center.

“The one thing I loved about working for Bell Helicopter over any other company an engineer could work for was the purpose,” Holland said. “There’s a direct connection between the work that everyone does at Bell Helicopter and the lifesaving missions occurring in Iran, the Swiss Alps and West Texas. If I hadn’t arrived to the hospital as quickly as I did, I’d have severe mental trauma because of the pressure building up in my head.”

Thumbs up to MedTrans and Bell Helicopter for their speedy care. Thanks to their quick and efficient work, Holland will soon be graduating from the University of Texas after enduring a severe brain injury.

Photo courtesy Bell Helicopter


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