Michelle’s Story of Survival

Michelle Haller

“Hi, 13.8 miles, 3000+ feet of elevation to sit on top of the world (really Glacier National Park on the continental divide). I’ve had an awesome journey. :) Thank you to everyone who made it possible!!” -Michelle

Five years ago today, on October 14, 2009,  Michelle Haller was playing soccer in Colonie and suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Thanks to immediate bystander CPR, and highly trained Colonie EMS professionals, they got her heart beating again. Michelle was transported to Albany Medical Center for a new procedure called Therapeutic Hypothermia, and walked out of the hospital a week later. Since she has helped teach CPR at local high school students, hiked the continental divide and created so many memories with her family.

Please take a moment to learn hands-only CPR online or  let us teach your community group! www.ColonieEMS.org/cpr

Confined Space Rescue

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Each year Colonie EMS crews conduct semi-annual training updates on technical rescue and medical training. This fall Assistant Chief Jack Bevilacqua, the designated training chief, coordinated an update for the department which acts as the primary confined space team for the Town of Colonie.

What is Confined Space Rescue?

Confined space rescue is a subset of technical rescue which typically involves extraction of a patient from narrow or constricted areas such as storage tanks, water treatment plants, sewer and mechanical areas.

These environments are typically oxygen depleted or contain dangerous gasses that may have incapacitated the patient to begin with. This requires crews to utilize Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) or supplied air lines. It also requires full body harnesses and rope rescue systems setup for a vertical extraction.

20140912-K29A0181 (900 x 404)

Colonie EMS – Celebrating 25 Years

In August the EMS Department will celebrate its 25th anniversary. The department starting providing EMS services to the Town at 6am on August 28, 1989.  This is the story of where we were and what we have become in 25 years.

In 1986 the Town commissioned a study by Fitch & Associates to determine the best course of action to keep EMS in the Town of Colonie on the cutting edge. The Town had a very strong volunteer history in EMS, and in 1975 was among the first in the state to provide Advanced Life Support Paramedic level care.

A Task Force was formed to study the Fitch report and make its recommendation to the Town Board. In late 1988 the Task Force recommended the consolidation of the existing six independent volunteer squads into a Town EMS Department. The Town hired a Director and 12 career staff members to support daytime operations. The night and weekends were covered by volunteers responding to 4,500 calls a year. We have grown to almost 100 career staff members, now managing approximately 10,000 requests for service each year.

The EMS Department is much more than just an ambulance service. We bring high quality patient care to the patient’s side no matter where they may be trapped, in a confined space, contaminated with hazardous materials, auto accident, rope rescue, or in the water. In 1993 the Town was approached by the State Police to team up and provide helicopter EMS services to the Region. This unique partnership has broadened our experience and improved our abilities to serve our community.

In 2013 we were approached by the Police Department to integrate paramedics in the SWAT Team to bring treatment to the victims of active shooters.The Town of Colonie has always been ranked one of the best and safest places to live. This rating is primarily derived from crime statistics, but I think everyone knows we have some of the best emergency services in the area, if not the state.

Over the last 25 years some of the names and faces have changed but the mission is still the same, to provide the best patient care possible to the residents and visitors of the Town.  It’s always been our motto to “Get there fast! Do a good job! Look good, and smile!” Keep up the good work!

Congratulations and Happy 25th Anniversary! I am proud to be your Chief and it’s been an honor serving with you!

Peter Berry, Chief Colonie Emergency Medical Services

CEMS - 25 Years

New Collaborative Effort Complete: EMS Station 4

CEMS Station 4

As of June 8, 2014

After many years of planning, two collaborative municipal agreements have come to fruition with an aim to reduce costs.

Our first effort was completed which consolidated the Boght Fire Department & EMS station under one building. This consolidated station will reduce overall costs and allow one building for EMS & Fire north of Latham in Boght. This station now houses ambulances, our 670 Special Operations vehicle and spare backup ambulances.

The second project is well underway and nearing completion in the Village of Colonie, where we will have two ambulances stationed in the new Colonie Village fire house on Central Avenue.

 

As of Dec 2, 2013

As of Dec 2, 2013

 

Disaster Preparedness Interview

Town of Colonie EMS Chief Peter Berry & Town Supervisor Paula Mahan

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talk about disaster preparedness and emergency planning. Watch this short informative video on disaster preparedness and emergency planning from a recent Colonie Connect interview.

Off-Duty Paramedic Saves a Life

Assistant Chief Paul Fink (Photo by: "Photos by Truck")

Assistant Chief Paul Fink (Photo by: “Photos by Truck”)

PRESS RELEASE:

COLONIE, New York — Off duty Paramedic and Town of Colonie EMS Department Assistant Chief Paul Fink was out to dinner with his wife at a local restaurant when another diner experienced a medical emergency, and began to choke on his steak. Paramedic Fink, although off duty at the time, jumped into action performing

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the Heimlich maneuver on the man, which dislodged the food and saved the gentleman’s life. Had Paramedic Fink not performed this lifesaving measure, the man may have suffered serious injuries including cardiac arrest and possibly, death.

Assistant Chief Fink has been a paramedic since 1975, with the Colonie EMS Department for 24 years, is a Nationally Registered Paramedic, a member of the Town of Colonie Tactical Medic Response Team and responded to 9/11 as part of the USAR team.

To learn the Heimlich maneuver and hands-only CPR, please contact our office for an upcoming community CPR training date.

Please direct questions to our office 518-782-2645, ext 0 and ask for Chief Peter Berry, or email BerryP@colonie.org

New EMS Station is Underway

Our new collaborative effort with the Boght Fire Department to consolidate under one station is scheduled to be finished by Fall of 2013. This consolidated station will reduce overall costs and allow one station for EMS & Fire north of Latham in Boght. This station will house ambulances, our 670 Special Operations vehicle and spare backup ambulances.

Updated pictures as of Dec 2, 2013

As of Dec 2, 2013

As of Dec 2, 2013

 

2013-07-11 19.24.57

EMS Joins Police for Tactical Medic Program

EMS team at sept12 bd meeting

A first in the Town of Colonie, the EMS Department joins with the Police for special high risk situations to protect and enhance life safety of our public safety officers and injured victims. Unanimous approval at the Town of Colonie board meeting on Thursday September 12, 2013 voted to approve a program which joins select paramedics who qualified and interviewed with the town’s Special Services Team (SST) or SWAT team as it’s commonly referred to.

The initial group was selected after successful completion of  a new physical agility test, an interview by the police’s SST leaders and having had experience as part of the flight program. Colonie EMS Special Operations paramedics  will train and work closely with the SST team.

Colonie EMS Deputy chief, Peter Berry, said the five people selected are assistant chiefs Paul Fink and Jack Bevilaqua and medics Oscar LaRosa, Pat Mellon and Robbie MacCue, who also work with State Police on medical flights.

Further stories can be found on the Times Union and EMS1.com websites.

Colonie EMS Paramedic Named ALS Provider of the Year

For the second year in a row a Town of Colonie EMS paramedic was a Regional award winner given by the Regional Emergency Medical Organization (REMO). On October 16, 2013 Colonie EMS paramedic Raymond Faluszczak was nominated by his

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peers and chosen by the regional council committee. He was honored by REMO as the Paramedic of the year at their awards banquet held at the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga.

Colonie EMS Paramedic Raymond Faluszczak (left), Executive Director Tim Mirable (center), REMO's Executive Board Chair Steve Rinaldi (right)

Colonie EMS Paramedic Raymond Faluszczak (left), Executive Director Tim Mirable (center), REMO’s Executive Board Chair Steve Rinaldi (right)

Our Team – Another Life Saved

Press Conf

Supervisor Paula Mahan  joins the EMS Department for a press conference. The Supervisor has made public safety a priority in her administration. Captain Erin Kelly speaks to the press following the emergency delivery of a baby on the side of the Northway just south of the twin bridges. “Mom and baby are doing fine”.