14 Honored as CAA Stars of Life

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Photo Courtesy of Larry Venus, California State Senate Republican Caucus

California Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) recognized 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 Countyon March 7, 2016.

The recognition was part of the California Ambulance Association’s (CAA) Stars of Life event, which recognized 50 paramedics, EMTs and emergency medical dispatchers from across the state.  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.

“These first responders jump into action when we need help and protection. I’m proud to commend and honor these men and women with a Senate resolution for their bravery and commitment to making our community safe. They are some of the best of the best working in our Golden State,” said Senator Fuller.

“The experience for our fourteen Stars of Life to be honored today at the state Capitol and the Senate Resolution commendations presented by Senator Fuller will certainly serve as a milestone in each of their EMS careers,” said Harvey L. Hall, Founder and President of Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. “As first responders, they seldom have the opportunity to reflect on the difference they make each time they respond to someone faced with sudden illness or a traumatic injury.”

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 were employees recognized at Hall Ambulance Service’s 45th Anniversary Employee Recognition Awards in February, and include Paramedic Charles Brown, President’s Award Recipient; Terry Adams, manager of facilities maintenance, and the recipient of the Founder’s Award; Paramedic of the Year Recipient Keith Kinsella:  EMT of the Year Recipient Sean Tinnish; and Lashika Britton, Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year.

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

Assemblyman Rudy Salas and Hall StarsThey then made their way to Senator Fuller’s office, where they received commendations, shared their inspiring stories of how EMS saves lives; and, emphasized the value private-ambulance providers offer as a key component of an effective and efficient health care delivery system.

That afternoon, Assembly member Rudy Salas took the time to meet and thank the Stars of Life for their commitment, and took a picture with them on the Assembly floor.

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

45th Anniversary Publication

45th Anniversary TBC Insert Cover_1400pxTo celebrate its 45th Anniversary, Hall Ambulance Service produced a 24-page commemorative publication that was inserted into the Sunday, February 7, 2016 edition of The Bakersfield Californian.

The tabloid-size publication was produced by Mark Corum, director of media services, and featured photographs of each employee from every division, a timeline of Company milestones, congratulatory quotes from mayors of each of the incorporated cities serviced by Hall Ambulance, and articles about the Company’s community service and involvement.

A pdf copy of the publication can be viewed here: 02-07-16-Hall45thPub-TBC

Public Notice: CAMTS Accreditation Site Visit of Hall CCT

PUBLIC NOTICE

 

The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems will conduct an accreditation site visit of:

Hall Critical Care Transport

On February 29th and March 1st of 2016.

The purpose of the site visit will be to evaluate the program’s compliance with nationally established medical transport standards. The site visit results will be used to determine whether, and the conditions under which accreditation should be awarded to the program.

CAMTS accreditation standards deal with issues of patient care and safety of the transport environment. Anyone believing that he or she has pertinent or valid information about such matters may request a public information interview with the CAMTS site surveyors at the time of the site visit. Information presented at the interview will be carefully evaluated for relevance to the accreditation process. Requests for public information interviews must be made in writing and sent to CAMTS no later than 5 business days before the site survey begins. The request should also indicate the nature of the information to be provided during the interview. Such request should be addressed to:

Office of the Executive Director

Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems

PO Box 130

Sandy Springs, SC 29677

The Commission will acknowledge such written requests in writing or by telephone and will inform the program of the request for an interview. The Commission will, in turn, notify the interviewee of the date, time and place of the meeting.

This notice is posted in accordance with CAMTS requirements and shall not be removed until

the site visit is completed.

 

Date Posted: January 29th, 2016

EMT Academy Class 30 Graduation

DSC_2152The Hall Ambulance Community Center was filled to capacity as family members and Company leadership gathered for a commencement ceremony honoring 19 graduates of the Hall EMT Academy.

Over 1,800 people applied for a spot in Class 30 of the Hall EMT Academy, which was promoted through social media and job recruitment websites.  Those accepted in to the program come from diverse work histories including food servers, a fitness advisor, data entry clerk and four having served in the military.  One goal of the program is to provide an achievable career track that puts them on the path to self sufficiency.

The Hall EMT Academy is not a school, but a pathway to starting a career at Hall Ambulance.  Recruits are full-time employees who learn everything they need to get started working as an emergency medical technician in the Hall Ambulance 9-1-1 system.

DSC_2495During eight weeks of intensive classroom training, the recruits were introduced to the entire spectrum of EMS care including airway, respiration and ventilation; cardiology & resuscitation; trauma; obstetrics; and EMS operations.

Upon completion of the coursework, they prepared for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam.  All nineteen Hall EMT Academy recruits successfully passed the exam on their first attempt.

With their new EMT certification, the recruits have started approximately five weeks of field training on advanced life support ambulances.  Once they have successfully fulfilled all objectives, they will then be eligible to begin working in the Hall Ambulance system, assigned to either a Basic Life Support or Advanced Life Support ambulance.

Opportunity for the graduates does not stop there.  Hall Ambulance Service has developed a proven career-path in which a motivated employee can fast track their EMS career, starting with the Hall EMT Academy; followed by Company-sponsored paramedic school and the opportunity to promote to a paramedic field supervisor, and even a position in administration or leadership.

Since its inception in 2001, 325 recruits have gone through the Hall EMT Academy, with 88 still employed by the Company.  Twenty-four have become paramedics, with four working as paramedic field supervisors, nine working as paramedics, one working as a scheduler and another having worked their way up to the position of assistant manager of the ambulance division.

The rate of pay for a Hall EMT is $29,500 – $60,000 (EMT Academy recruits work at a reduced wage during training); the base rate for a paramedic is $40,000 – $80,000; and a paramedic field supervisor starts at $65,000.

 

 

 

 

Lights & Sirens Invitational

1DSC_1834Paramedics, firefighters and law enforcement personnel swapped out their defibrillators, turnouts and badges, respectively, for golf clubs and karts, to benefit local burn survivors—at the seventh Annual Harvey L. Hall Lights & Sirens Invitational.
The tournament is a collaborative effort of the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation, Kern County Firefighters Burn Survivor Trust, and Hall Ambulance Service.
The goal of the tournament is to raise funds to assist burn survivors with special needs that help them transfer from surviving to thriving. Proper care of the burn survivor requires a long-term commitment as they move through the many different stages of life, each with its own unique challenges.
The proceeds raised during this year’s Lights Sirens Invitational allow survivors and their families to attend the Phoenix Society World Burn Congress, and participate in recreational activities like Champ Camp, sleepovers at Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Morro Bay Beach Weekend.
DSC_1896This year, the committee chose to move the tournament to the Bakersfield Country Club, which proved to be a popular decision. The venue offered challenging play to golfers of all level.
Prior to the shotgun start, one hundred forty golfers enjoyed a delicious lunch by Outback Steakhouse, sponsored by Three-Way Automotive Group.
Throughout the afternoon, golfers made their way around the course, enjoying each other’s camaraderie and a little friendly competition.
At the end of the day, the golfers were able to unwind with a taco bar buffet, followed by an awards presentation, and the chance for one lucky golfer to win $2,500, by sinking a putt, courtesy of Cindy Elbert Insurance Services.
DSC_1999Major sponsors included: Hall Ambulance (Platinum); Bakersfield Breakfast Lions, and Leader Emergency Vehicles (Gold); Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation, Kern County Firefighters Burn Survivor Trust, Kern County Firefighters IAFF Local 1301, Law Offices of Borton Petrini LLP, Air Methods, Zoll, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP, and Liberty Ambulance (Silver); Kern Refuse Disposal, Inc., San Joaquin Community Hospital, and BoundTree Medical.

AED Donation to Dye Natatorium

DSC_1591On August 27, Hall Ambulance Service donated an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District, for use at the Dye Natatorium Pool.   Hall Ambulance Founder & President Harvey L. Hall traveled to Tehachapi, to make the presentation to City Manager Greg Garrett and Corey Torres, aquatics manager.

The donation is part of Hall Ambulance’s community outreach program, which has previously donated AEDs to senior centers in the Company’s East Kern Response Areas, which include Boron, California City, Rosamond, Mojave, and Tehachapi.

According to Corey Torres, aquatics manager of the Dye Natatorium, the pool can attract as many as 100 people a day during the busy summer time.  The facility offers a variety of programs for all ages, ranging from mommy and me to water aerobics and Aqua Zumba!

The availability and placement of an AED in a public place such as the Dye Natatorium, can make a tremendous difference for someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)—an electrical malfunction of the heart which disrupts its normal rhythm.  An SCA victim requires defibrillation, which can be administered by a lifeguard, using an AED, to stop ventricular fibrillation.  In such cases, time is of the essence for survivability.

AED Donation - 2For every minute that passes without a shock to the heart, an SCA victim’s chance of survival decreases by 7-10%.  After 10 minutes, very few victims survive.

One of the leading causes of death in the United States, SCA strikes more than 300,000 victims each year.   The best chance for a positive outcome is when the Chain of Survival is followed within the first few minutes of SCA onset.

The Chain of Survival consists of four steps:

  • Early Access to Emergency Care must be provided by calling 911.
  • Early CPR should be started and maintained until emergency medical services (EMS) arrive.
  • Early Defibrillation is the only thing that can re-start the heart function of a person with ventricular fibrillation (VF).  If an automated external defibrillator is available, a trained operator should administer defibrillation as quickly as possible until ambulance paramedics arrive.
  • Early Advanced Care, the final link, includes advanced life support care administered by ambulance paramedics and the expedient transport of the patient in a state-of-the-art ALS ambulance to the closest ER.  Ambulance paramedics monitor the patient closely on the way to the hospital, where more definitive diagnostic evaluation and treatment can occur.

In certain environments, where the chain is strong and when defibrillation occurs within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, survival rates can approach 80% to 100%.

Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. was established in 1971, by Harvey L. Hall, founder and president.  The Company provides 9-1-1 paramedic service for 87% of Kern County, California as well as critical care and air ambulance services.  Hall Ambulance Service has provided paramedic ambulance service to Tehachapi, Golden Hills, Bear Valley Springs and Stallion Springs, since October 1, 1979.

 

Head Injuries in Student Athletes

1DSC_1502Over 130 coaches, trainers, and athletic directors from the Kern High School District attended the 10th Annual Head Injuries in Student Athletes Symposium, presented by Hall Ambulance Service, Inc., on Wednesday, August 26 at the District’s office.

Hall Ambulance’s Medical Director Dr. Ron Ostrom, led the discussion providing the latest information in the prevention, detection and education of mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in our local student-athletes.  The objective of the training is to provide the coaches and their staff with the ability to manage athletes with a concussion, including proper return to play procedures.

A concussion is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts normal brain function.  Two common causes of head injuries to student athletes include helmet to object, and body to object, which may not appear as severe, but produces significant forces transmitted to the head.

Not too long ago, hard helmet-to-helmet hits were the norm.  Little thought was given to a player who had had their bell-rung.  The result was needless injuries that could affect the player for the rest of their life.

2DSC_1485Through programs such as the Head Injuries in Student Athletes Symposium, there has been a paradigm shift through education and awareness.  This backed with legislation that sets the minimum amount of time a player must wait before returning to play, has made for a safer sport.

Awareness and the impact of football-related head injuries have drawn a lot of attention locally—and that is a good thing.  Within the Kern High School District, the number of cases (across all sports) initially increased as a result of awareness and training.  Through education and teaching the football players safer tackling techniques, the number of reported concussions decreased from 153 during the 2013-2014 school year to 129 for the 2014-2015 school year.

Hall Ambulance presents the Head Injuries in Student Athletes Symposium at no cost to the Kern High School District.

Meadows Field Emergency Exercise

DSC_1334Hall Ambulance Service participated in the 2015 Meadows Field Emergency Exercise organized by the FAA and the County of Kern Department of Airports.

1-DSC_1234The MCI scenario provided Hall Paramedics, EMTs, and Paramedic Field Supervisors with the opportunity to test readiness, START Triage, communications and working with multiple agencies.

Hall Ambulance also deployed the Disaster Medical Supply Unit (DMSU) assigned to the Company by the California Emergency Medical Services Authority for response to large-scale multi-casualty incidents.
51 patients were triaged and ‘transported’ in about an hour.

Additional agencies participating included Kern County Fire, Bakersfield Fire Department, Kern County EMS, Civil Air Patrol, Airport Police, Red Cross, and representatives from Fresno County Fire and LAPD.

For additional photos of the MCI-drill, click here.

Hall Ambulance Medical Scholarships Awarded

HallGradCap LogoSixteen high school seniors from within Hall Ambulance Service’s response area, were recipients of the Harvey L. Hall/Hall Ambulance Medical Scholarship.

The Scholarship is open to graduates interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.

Since it’s inception in 1999, 236 students have benefitted from $59,000 in scholarship funds.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients:

  • Austin Gamboa, Frontier High School
  • Deanna Marin, Bakersfield High School
  • Abbigale McDonel, Centennial High School
  • Rose Melara, South High School
  • Gloria Okafor, Taft High School
  • Monica Gonzalez, Mojave High School
  • Hope Green, North High School
  • Hannah Rogers, Frontier High School
  • Cristal Vieyra, Stockdale High School
  • Meishan Chen, Independence High School
  • Jennifer Aguilera, Ridgeview High School
  • Shelby Denike, West High School
  • Alexandrea Villegas, East High School
  • Adriana Graybeal, Tehachapi High School
  • Giselle Lopez, Shafter High School
  • Zulema Uribe, Golden Valley High School

A New Approach to CPR

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Hall Ambulance Service is putting into practice a new approach to CPR, infusing technology with real-time performance feedback—resulting in more lives saved!

To present the new procedures to the community, Hall Ambulance hosted a media presentation on April 21, 2015, at its Community Center, located in downtown Bakersfield.

As the 9-1-1 paramedic provider for 87% of Kern County, Hall Ambulance Paramedics and EMTs performed CPR as a part of their treatment on approximately 600 requests for medical aid in 2014—the potential impact is significant.

The Science of High Quality CPR

See-thruCPR-4-21-14_DSC_9688Known as high-quality CPR, paramedics and EMTs will focus their attention on four critical components that can greatly improve patient outcome by minimizing interruptions in chest compressions, providing compressions of adequate rate and depth and by not leaning on the patient between compressions. The guidelines were identified in the 2013 CPR Quality Consensus Statement from the American Heart Association.

Once on-scene of a medical aid call for someone in cardiac arrest, Hall Paramedics will combine Zoll’s See-Thru CPR Technology with a cardiac monitor to track the patient’s heart rhythm, rate and depth of CPR compressions. See-Thru CPR filters out compression artifact on the ECG monitor so that paramedics can see the underlying heart rhythm during CPR, thereby reducing the duration of pauses in compression.

SSee-thruCPR-4-21-15_DSC_9673ophisticated software on the cardiac monitor provides audio and visual cues to confirm the EMS professional is pressing onto the sternum at least two inches deep; delivering compressions at a rate of at least 100/per minute; minimizing interruptions in CPR to no more than 10 seconds; and, completely releasing on the upstroke to allow the heart to fill with blood for the next compression.

What does all of this mean? For the first time, monitoring of CPR quality has become a reality, which supports the adage, “if you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” After the call, Hall Ambulance’s Quality Assurance Division can download data for post-event review, analysis and debriefing. As a result, the paramedic and EMT’s performance is measurable, ensuring proficiency in the five critical areas during every resuscitation attempt.

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