EMS Strong -- Always in Service
HEMSI will join EMS providers across the country May 21-27 to celebrate the 43rd Annual National EMS Week. HEMSI will follow its tradition of honoring fellow first responders in Madison County and will also recognize employees reaching milestones of service.
President Gerald Ford first authorized EMS Week in 1974 to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation's communities. EMS is an established public function and a vital component of medical care. Practitioners help save lives every day by responding to medical emergencies such as heart attacks, accidents, strokes, acute illnesses, and many other situations at the scene of an emergency and en route to a hospital.
2017 continues a partnership between the National Association of EMTs (NAEMT) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) to promote “EMS Strong” and ensure recognition of the important contributions of EMS practitioners in safeguarding the health, safety, and well-being of their communities. Each weekday will have a special theme to highlight various aspects of emergency medical services – Education Monday, Safety Tuesday, EMS for Children Wednesday, Save-a-Life Thursday, and EMS Recognition Friday.
HEMSI will continue its tradition of feeding employees and their families on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Oakwood Station while also sending food or EMS Week gifts to fellow first responders in Madison County.
CEO Jon Howell said, “This week is special way to honor all emergency medical responders who join in service to our great community. HEMSI is pleased to join with the national organizations in celebrating those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's front line.”
Huntsville Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (HEMSI) employees donated toys at their annual Christmas party earlier this month as part of the HEMSI Cares program. Generosity is entrenched in HEMSI’s culture, and this project of several years for area children is a continual favorite among employees.
An ambulance and crew will deliver the toys to the YMCA Downtown Early Childhood Education Center with lights flashing. The EMTs will present each child with a personalized gift wrapped by volunteers through the United Way of Madison County.
This annual tradition promises to delight the children and result in countless smiles, as it does every year.
The HudsonAlpha Foundation recently annoucned a $100,000 gift from former Huntsville Mayor Loretta Spencer to support the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine. To recognize the donation, the clinic named the triage room in her honor.
Spencer explained that she chose the triage room because of her time as mayor riding with HEMSI crews where she learned the importance of triage.
HEMSI is grateful for her acknowledgement and congratulates the Smith Family Clinic.
Read the HudsonAlpha story here: http://hudsonalpha.org/hudsonalpha-foundation-receives-a-100000-gift-from-loretta-spencer.
Huntsville Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (HEMSI) announced its recent national award from the American Heart Association (AHA) – the 2016 Silver EMS Mission Lifeline Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. The Board of Directors and HEMSI CEO Jon Howell also recognized representatives from Huntsville and Crestwood Hospitals and cardiac specialists for their collaborative role in supporting EMS cardiac care efforts.
According to the AHA, more than 250,000 people each year experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by opening the blocked vessel mechanically or by providing clot-busting medication.
The Mission Lifeline program rewards EMS organizations that follow advanced protocols derived from American Heart Association/ American College of Cardiology guidelines. The cutting-edge tools, training, and practices allow EMS providers to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.
In a written statement from the AHA, Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group Chair James Jollis, M.D. said, “EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks. Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals. We applaud HEMSI for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”
HEMSI CEO Jon Howell said, “HEMSI is dedicated to making our service among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all acute coronary syndrome patients. We also thank Huntsville and Crestwood Hospitals and their cardiac care specialists for their partnership and support in providing excellent care for all cardiac patients.”
Employees celebrated the really cool award with popsicles on a very hot day.
Recognizing Dedicated Service
As part of the 2016 National EMS Week activities, HEMSI paused to recognize the anniversaries of several employees who have served HEMSI and the community and exemplify the national theme of "EMS Strong -- Called to Care."
Congratulations to each of them!
35 Years -- Brenda Bradford, Quality Analyst; Don Webster, COO; Lewis White, Paramedic
25 Years -- Keith Burrow, Paramedic; Derek Horst, Paramedic; Elaine White, CPR Instructor
20 Years -- William Hall, Paramedic
15 Years -- Jeff Payne, Paramedic
10 Years -- Dusty Gardner, EMT; Matthew Hill, Paramedic; Dana Senter, EMT; Shaun Sullivan, Paramedic; Anthony Thomas, Fleet Manager
35-Year Emloyees Lewis White, Brenda Bradford, Don Webster
HEMSI Medical Director Dr. Sherrie Squyres recently earned the highly specialized Emergency Medical Services (EMS) certification from the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM). The organization certifies only those emergency physicians who meet stringent educational, professional standing, and examination standards. Gaining the added sub-specialty in emergency medicine places Squyres in an elite category of recognized physicians nationwide.
In addition to her standing as a long-time qualified diplomat of the ABEM, Squyres also met rigorous qualifications for the sub-specialty EMS certification including medical oversight of the EMS team, EMS direct patient care in the field, supervisory functions for the response system, and daily direct medical decision-making and control of EMS-delivered patient care. Her added level of certification will allow her to deliver enhanced direction for initial patient stabilization, treatment, and transport of sick and injured patients.
Squyres earned her medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and completed residencies at the University of Alabama in Birmingham Hospitals and University Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. She has served as HEMSI’s Medical Director for more than 22 years. She brings critical expertise to the HEMSI team in overseeing all medical operations in addition to providing training and support for the Emergency Medical Technicians. Her involvement improves patient safety and enhances the quality of emergency medical care for patients in the pre-hospital environment.
HEMSI CEO Jon Howell said, “We congratulate Dr. Squyres on her tremendous achievement in gaining this additional certification. It’s a testament to her dedication to provide continual enhancements to emergency care for all of HEMSI’s patients.”
Thanks to these Randolph students for their recent visit to the HEMSI Operations Center where they delivered cookies to show appreciation to emergency workers as part of the school's community service program.
Redstone Arsenal Fire LT Dea Calce for his recent selection as the Atlantic Region EMS Provider of the Year. Each year, the Department of Defense recognizes outstanding accomplishments in emergency services through the Annual Fire & Emergency Services Awards. He will go on to represent the Atlantic Region in national competition at Headquarters of the Installation Management Command.
HEMSI is proud to have LT Calce work as a part-time paramedic and relief shift supervisor. Congratulations on this remarkable achievement!
Instead of in his customary sleigh, Santa arrived this week at the YMCA Downtown Early Childhood Education Center in a special ambulance
HEMSI employees donated the toys at their Christmas party in early December to continue the yearly tradition of this community service project. United Way provided support by wrapping and tagging the gifts for the local children.complete with flashing lights and crew. As part of the HEMSI Cares program, Santa helped the EMTs deliver a personalized gift to every single child.
Generosity is deep-rooted within the HEMSI culture and this annual project is a favorite among employees. As it does every year, this week’s special delivery met with squeals of excitement and smiling faces.
HEMSI received the official international Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) banner for the distinguished honor of becoming the 193rd Emergency Medical Dispatch Accredited Center in the world. Jerry Overton, Chairman of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) made the presentation for the Salt Lake City-based organization, having traveled to Huntsville to honor HEMSI.
The IAED is non-profit, standard-setting organization promoting safe and effective emergency dispatch services worldwide. An Accredited Center of Excellence is the highest distinction in 911 emergency communication services. HEMSI achieved accreditation for demonstrating rigorous compliance to the Medical Priority Dispatch System and associated international practice standards of excellence in system oversight, quality improvement programs, and individual certification of all emergency call takers.
The presentation took place at the Huntsville/Madison County 911 Center where HEMSI conducts its call center operations, with HEMSI CEO Jon Howell, HEMSI Medical Director Sherrie Squyres, and 911 Center CEO Ernie Blair offering congratulations to the HEMSI team for the outstanding achievement.
In his remarks, Overton said, “This is the most difficult accreditation to earn and maintain because of the rigorous criteria. Every dispatcher must be trained extensively and sustain the extremely high standards. But this is the kind of dedication to excellence that saves lives.”
Overton explained that in many cases, the emergency medical dispatcher can increase a patient’s favorable outcome. For instance, statistics show that talking a 911 caller through administering CPR to a heart attack victim raises neurological success rates by over 50%.
HEMSI CEO Jon Howell added, “This accreditation is demonstration of HEMSI’s commitment to providing the very highest standards of care for the citizens of Madison County and surrounding areas. We congratulate our emergency dispatcher team and recognize their extreme dedication. They are our front line and quite often mean the difference between life and death.”