EMS Week/Founder’s Day Awards

This week, healthcare’s first responders comprised of dispatchers, paramedics, and EMTs are being celebrated as part of National EMS Week.  President Gerald Ford authorized the weeklong celebration in 1974 to recognize and celebrate EMS practitioners and the vital work they do in our nation’s communities.

These past 15 months have been exhausting and stressful for EMS workers who found themselves on the frontline of the pandemic in addition to continuing to respond to routine 9-1-1 requests for medical aid.  Many were impacted by COVID-19 in their personal lives yet remained focused on tending to the needs of their community.

A weeklong celebration has provided welcome relief.  Locally, Hall Ambulance is taking the time to honor its personnel starting with an EMS Week television commercial airing on all three local stations, 50th Anniversary T-shirts, and EMS Week lanyards.  Of course, what is a celebration without some delicious grub, so the Hall Ambulance crews were treated this week to breakfast burritos, sub-sandwiches, and ice cream.

FOUNDER’S DAY AWARDS – Employee of the Year Presentations 

On Wednesday, Hall Ambulance held a special 50th Anniversary presentation of its Founder’s Day Awards to announce the Employees of the Year.  Several of this year’s recipients were allowed to invite their family members to take part in the celebration.

Congratulations:

Paramedic of the Year: Shane Courtis   

EMT of the Year: Michelle Gutierrez

Paramedic Field Supervisor of the Year: Steve Prater

Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year: Sylvia Ricks

Hall CCT Employee of the Year: Heidi Hamstreet

Preceptor of the Year: Tim Salazar

FTO of the Year: Elliott Smith

Ambulance Division Support Employee of the Year: Rochelle Pate

Supply Division Employee of the Year: Glenn Dresser

Finance Department Employee of the Year: Mary Talbot

Human Resources Employee of the Year: Beth Cornell

Business Office Employee of the Year: Dewi Adams

Hall Commercial Vehicle Service Employee of the Year: Fred Bernal

Maintenance Division Employee of the Year: Scott Benskin

In addition, the following special presentations were made:

President’s Award for Customer Service: Al Heninger

Founder’s Award for Management Excellence: Terry Adams

The HLH Standards Award for Upholding Our Founder’s Ideals of Care, Compassion & Community: John Surface

Lifetime Achievement Award: Mary Kenny

 

Founded in 1971, by Harvey L. Hall, Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. is the 9-1-1 paramedic provider for 88% of Kern County, California’s population.  Hall Critical Care Transport provides both ground and air regional interfacility transportation solutions.

HLH Memorial Highway Resolution

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblyman Fong (R-Kern County) introduced ACR 64 to designate the portion of Westside Parkway between the Coffee Road offramp and Allen Road offramp as the Harvey L. Hall Memorial Highway.

As a pioneer of modern emergency medical services and Bakersfield’s longest-serving mayor, Harvey L. Hall embraced his motto of “Unity in our Community” with a lifetime of service to Kern County.

“Mayor Hall’s heart for service was evident through his leadership,” said Assemblyman Fong. “From City Hall to the back of the ambulance, Harvey Hall dedicated his life to bettering Bakersfield and the entire Kern County community. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hall Ambulance Service, the Harvey L. Hall Memorial Highway honors his legacy of compassion, mentorship, innovation, generosity, and service above self.”

“I am honored to be a part of this highway dedication to the late Mr. Harvey Hall, who was a friend, public servant, and inspiration to our community,” said Assemblyman Salas. “Serving alongside Mr. Hall on the Bakersfield City Council was a privilege that I will always cherish. I am glad that we are able to enshrine his legacy with this highway renaming so that his memory and legacy never fades away.”

At 19-years-old, Mr. Hall went on a ride-along with a local ambulance driver, piquing his interest in emergency response and further developing into a 58-year career of service. With a $15,000 bank loan and a vision to build the best ambulance company in the nation, Harvey Hall founded Hall Ambulance Service in 1971, with his residence serving as headquarters.

Four short years later, Mr. Hall introduced the first mobile intensive care paramedic program in Kern County. His dynamic, five-star service earned Hall Ambulance Service recognition as the U.S. Paramedic EMS Service of the Year in 1991. Mr. Hall later went on to launch Hall Air Ambulance and Hall Critical Care Transport, providing both ground and air, inter-facility transport solutions. In 2020, on the 50th Anniversary of California’s Wedworth-Townsend Paramedic Act, the National EMS Museum, in association with California Ambulance Association, profiled Mr. Hall as one of 17 Californians for their impact on shaping EMS in the United States.

Today, Hall Ambulance Service serves 88% of Kern County’s population as their exclusive 9-1-1 paramedic provider.

Mayor Hall’s tenure in office included, in part, leading 91 groundbreakings, performing 958 ribbon cuttings with his custom-made, oversized scissors, issuing 10,750 Certificates of Appreciation to community members and veterans, and introducing Home First: Kern County’s Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.

ACR 64 will be set for a hearing Assembly Transportation Committee in the coming weeks.

Hall Ambulance Celebrates 50th

Hall Ambulance Service, Inc., which provides 911 paramedic service to a majority of California’s third-largest county (Kern), will celebrate its 50th Anniversary on February 10, 2021.

Founded in 1971, by Harvey L. Hall from his residence in Bakersfield with a $15,000 bank loan and two ambulances, he built the company based on his ideals of care, compassion & community.

His success derived from providing exemplary service and building relationships with his customers (the term he preferred to call patients transported by his ambulance service), local healthcare providers, and public safety agencies.

In July 2020, on the 50th Anniversary of the Wedworth-Townsend Paramedic Act, the California Ambulance Association, in partnership with the National EMS Museum, profiled Hall as one of 17 native Californians for their impact on shaping EMS in the United States. In addition to introducing several patient care enhancements, Hall was the driving force in making Bakersfield one of the first cities in the state to begin providing paramedic level service when Hall Ambulance began staffing paramedics on ambulances in February 1975.

In May 2018, the founder’s era came to an end, following his short and unexpected battle with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Mr. Hall’s vision and legacy are now being carried forward by his wife, Lavonne C. Hall, as president and CEO, along with a dedicated leadership team.

Hall Ambulance has come a long way since 1971 when it started with two ambulances and five employees. Today, it employs over 450 EMS professionals serving 88% of Kern County with a fleet of over 100 ambulances, an air ambulance, and a critical care transport unit.

Hall Ambulance’s continued success can best be attributed to a shared belief in the importance of adhering to Mr. Hall’s standards, also known as the “Hall Way of Doing Things.”

 

Amb Strike Team Heads to Santa Cruz

Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. has deployed an advanced life support ambulance strike team to assist with emergency medical needs in northern California related to the CZU Lightning Complex in Santa Cruz.

The request originated from the state of California through CA Emergency Medical Services Authority and the local EMS agency serving Kern County.

An ambulance strike team consists of five ambulances, each staffed by a paramedic and an emergency medical technician, a paramedic field supervisor unit, and a state-issued disaster medical supply unit (DMSU), staffed by a paramedic field supervisor.  The DMSU is stocked with a cache of medical supplies and equipment intended for use during large scale disasters and multi-casualty incidents.

The ambulance strike team left Hall Ambulance’s downtown Bakersfield operations facility shortly after 3:30PM on August 22, and is currently enroute to a staging area in Aptos, California.

Additional updates will be shared as they come available through Hall Ambulance’s social media sites.

Hall Ambulance Supports Smart911

Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. has joined Kern County Fire Department, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, and Kern County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services in encouraging the community to sign up for the Smart911 national safety profile registry. This free service allows individuals and families to provide critical medical information to 9-1-1 and first responders.

The program is particularly beneficial during the coronavirus pandemic. By signing up for Smart911, individuals can alert Hall Paramedics and EMTs and other public safety personnel, ahead of time, that they are responding to a location with a suspected/confirmed COVID-19 patient. This allows the EMS crews to prepare and save time by alerting them of the need to donn personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering the residence.

Individuals can create a Smart911 Safety Profile for their household at www.smart911.com or on the Smart911 App that provides critical medical information for those who may be at a higher risk of developing a serious COVID-19 illness. As identified by the CDC, this vulnerable population includes older adults, and those with a history of chronic medical conditions, like heart disease, lung disease, respiratory conditions, and compromised immune systems. When an individual calls 9-1-1, their Smart911 Safety Profile is automatically displayed, allowing public safety agencies to send emergency response teams to the right location with enhanced medical data.

Individuals can self-identify if they are under quarantine and whether it is self-imposed or directed by a health professional. All information will remain confidential and only be shown if 9-1-1 is called from a registered number.

Smart911 is a Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funded program.

To sign up, visit www.smart911.com or download the Smart911 app in the Apple Store or Google Play.

Statement on COVID-19 Response

 

Hall Ambulance Service, Inc.  
Statement on Response to COVID-19 Pandemic  

March 31, 2020  

 

As the paramedic provider for 88% of Kern County, California’s population, Hall Ambulance Service is working diligently on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are doing so alongside our fellow public safety and healthcare partners.  

Several weeks ago, our Company began implementing extensive measures to protect our employees, patients, and the communities we serve. As we continue to learn more about this virus, we have adapted and refined best practices.  We have adopted social distancing policies and the majority of our non-medical staff are working remotely from home.    

The following is a summary of our actions to date 

Responding to a Suspected/Confirmed COVID-19 Patient  

Our Communications Center (OCD) is utilizing the Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance (EIDS) tool to assist with identifying suspected COVID-19 patients. Working in tandem with Kern County’s Emergency Communications Center (ECC), EIDS helps dispatchers in ascertaining if a patient is exhibiting signs or symptoms as a COVID-19 “patient of interest.”  It allows dispatchers to divert from the standard line of questioning during the EMD process and prompts them to ask questions specific to our county as directed by the EMS Department. When a caller answers positive to the questioning, the dispatcher alerts the crew for the need for personal protective equipment (PPE).  Once the ambulance arrives, the paramedic or EMT will attempt to interview the patient from a 6’ distance to ascertain if full PPE is required. If it is, the crew will donn a gown, gloves, face shield, and either a surgical mask or N95 mask. The EMS crew will also place a surgical mask on the patient.   


Ambulance Decontamination Following Transport of a Suspected/Confirmed COVID-19 Patient  

After the transport of a suspected/confirmed COVID-19 patient, the ambulance is placed out of service, and the crew performs an initial sanitization of the ambulance. The ambulance then undergoes a stringent decontamination process, which takes about 2.25 hours to complete. This is performed by two decon technicians in PPE, and a manager, who works from a safe zone to observe and document the decontamination process. Decontamination includes a deep cleaning with a bleach-based CDC approved product, monitored control of waste from the ambulance, and extra protection for the workers decontaminating the emergency vehicle.   


Monitoring our Workforce  

Before logging on to their shift, every employee undergoes a screening process to check for temperature, and answer a series of questions to detect whether they are fit for duty. If their response or temperature does not meet standards, the employee is not able to work that day, and they are advised to contact their healthcare provider.    


Hall Ambulance COVID-19 Task Force  

Several in the Company’s leadership team are working tirelessly to manage Hall Ambulance’s around-the-clock response to the pandemic. Careful focus is given to the health and well-being of our employees, and the safeguard of our patients and communities we serve.   

A COVID-19 Daily Update is being produced and disseminated to employees to keep them abreast of the latest developments, trends, and safety measures.    


Working Behind the Scenes  

Supporting our paramedics, EMTs, RNs, and emergency medical dispatchers is a vast network of support staff who are also rising to the challenge while embracing change in work environments.    

In addition to decontamination of ambulances, the Facilities-Maintenance Division is wiping down doorknobs, door jambs, faucet handles, stair rails, light switches, and toilet flush handles of all buildings at our main location in downtown Bakersfield, using a CDC approved non-caustic disinfectant.  

The majority of our Business Office, Human Resources, and Finance Department staff are working remotely, and/or with staggered schedules to allow for social distancing while continuing to serve the needs of our employees and the public.    

In EMS, vehicle failure is not an option, and our staff at Hall Commercial Vehicle Service is doing a stand-up job in keeping ambulances ready to respond. Vehicle technicians have adapted sanitization procedures when sharing tools and are donning masks and gloves when traveling together to pick up or drop off ambulances.  


Media Services  

To illustrate to the community the dedication of the over 450 Hall Ambulance employees during this crisis, the Media Services Division has initiated a social media campaign entitled Working on the Frontlines of the COVID-19 Pandemic.    

Strike Teams Respond to Quakes

 

 

Hall Ambulance deployed two separate strike teams to provide assistance following the Ridgecrest earthquakes which began on the morning of July 4, 2019. 

The first strike team was deployed at the request of the County of Kern EMS Department to assist with the evacuation of the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital following the 6.4 magnitude earthquake and multiple aftershocks.

The strike team, comprised of five advanced life support ambulances, 2 basic life support ambulances, a disaster medical support unit, and paramedic field supervisor unit, was staffed by 6 paramedics, 1 RN, and 12 emergency medical technicians.  The convoy departed from Bakersfield at 1:45 p.m. and assisted with transporting patients to regional medical facilities. 

The second strike team was sent to Ridgecrest on the evening of July 6 to provide assistance and relief to the local ambulance provider that had been responding non-stop to requests to medical aid related to the earthquake in addition to their normal 9-1-1 responses. 

HLH EMS Academy Joint Graduation

 

The Harvey L. Hall EMS Academy hosted its first joint commencement on June 25 of the new Hall Paramedic Academy and Class 35 of the Hall EMT Academy.

Nearly 300 family members, friends, and Hall Ambulance leadership were in attendance to show their support to 14 paramedic  students and 12 EMT students for their accomplishments.

The event marked the completion of Class 1 of the Hall Paramedic Academy which began on August 20, 2018.  Each of the students, who previously worked as Hall EMTs, we

re eager to take their EMS careers to the next level.  Upon completing the Company’s paramedic assessment program, they became eligible for sponsorship into the paramedic program.  Through the sponsorship, their education and field training were covered as well as their regular wages while attending class Monday through Friday from 8am – 5pm.

Over 16 weeks, the paramedic students completed 608 classroom hours comprised of 452 didactic hours, 14 exams, 14 quizzes, six finals, and 150 hours in hands-on skills and labs.  Afterward, they were required to complete 120 hours in hospital clinicals and 540 hours in field internships.  Their final steps towards becoming certified paramedics included passing the NREMT skills, FISDAP exit exam, and the NREMT written exam.

In addition, 12 students are prepared and ready to start their EMS career as emergency medical technicians as graduates of
Class 35 of the Hall EMT Academy.  For seven weeks, the recruits completed 272 classroom hours consisting of 224 didactic hours as they prepared to work in Hall Ambulance’s 9-1-1 system.  The students passed five module exams, daily quizzes, and 48-hours in skills in preparation to take the NREMT written test.  Finally, they completed 24-hours in field training and ambulance ride alongs.

Established in 2018, the Harvey L. Hall EMS Academy serves as the training facility for the Hall EMT Academy and the
Hall Paramedic Academy. The campus also hosts continuing education programs for Hall Ambulance Paramedics, EMTs, RNs, and Emergency Medical Dispatchers.

Founded by Harvey L. Hall in 1971, Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. is the 9-1-1 paramedic provider for 88% of Kern County, California’s population, comprised of over three-quarters of a million people.

Hall CCT CAMTS Re-Accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) has announced that
Hall Critical Care Transport has successfully completed its second re-accreditation for its air ambulance and ground medical transportation programs.

CAMTS is a peer review organization dedicated to improving patient care and transport safety by providing a dynamic accreditation process through the development of standards, education, and services that support their vision. The recognition demonstrates substantial compliance in the areas of ethical business practices, being patient and safety focused, continuous quality improvement, an honest self-assessment, and transparency in the accreditation process.

The announcement was made after the successful completion of a rigorous three-part review process including a self-inspection, review of documentation by the CAMTS inspection team, and site surveyors who visited Hall CCT where they interviewed key personnel and staff and inspected MEDEVAC 1 and ground unit 460 to ensure the equipment and supplies carried on-board meets or exceeds accreditation standards.

Achieving its second re-accreditation by CAMTS validates the high-quality interfacility transport solutions delivered by Hall CCT, its medical providers, and support staff.  “Congratulations to our paramedics, RNs, and EMTs; as well as, the pilots and mechanics who ensure the safe operations of MEDEVAC 1 through our alliance with Air Methods,  who are committed to this program,” said
Lavonne C. Hall, president and CEO of Hall Ambulance Service, Inc.  “Your accomplishment reinforces the ideals introduced by my late husband and founder of Care, Compassion, and Community.”

“I am proud of the team for their dedication to quality patient care and safety over the last three years,” said Chris Leone, program manager of Hall CCT.  “This reaccreditation process proves once again that the staff of Hall Critical Care Transport continue to strive to achieve the highest standards in the industry. Congratulations to each and every one of them for their ongoing commitment.”

Hall CCT first achieved accreditation in April 2013, when it became the eighth air medical transportation provider and first ground CCT provider in California to be recognized by CAMTS.  As of April 13, 2019, 158 accredited services are operating in the United States.

Centrally located in California with its base of operations in Bakersfield, Hall CCT offers ground and air interfacility transport solutions providing a continuum of care in sync with our healthcare partners.

MEDEVAC 1 is owned and operated by Air Methods Corporation.

Post 26 Opens in Lost Hills

Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. announced today that it has opened a new station in the western Kern County community of Lost Hills.

The strategic placement of the new station is aimed at improving response times to requests for medical aid to residents of Lost Hills and other rural communities west of Wasco; as well as, motorists traveling along State Route 46, a popular route connecting the San Joaquin Valley to the Central Coast, and the heavily traveled Interstate 5 thoroughfare.

Hall Ambulance Post 26, located at 14865 Woodward Avenue is being staffed 24/7 with an advanced life support ambulance crew consisting of a paramedic and an emergency medical technician.

Hall Ambulance began providing service to the Wasco and Lost Hills area in April 2014.  “We are excited to be deepening our roots in the Lost Hills community with our new ambulance station and the EMS professionals assigned to Post 26,” said Lavonne C. Hall, president and CEO.  “Our Company was built on the ideals of Care, Compassion, and Community, and we look forward to providing this enhanced level of service to the area.”

Plans for an open house and community celebration at the new ambulance station are underway for later this spring.

Established in February 1971 by Founder Harvey L. Hall, Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. is the 9-1-1 paramedic provider for 88% of Kern County, California’s population.

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