Good news, we are hosting a EMT course! If you are looking to become an EMT or know someone who does, this is a great opportunity. The course is open to all and will run from September 1 to the end of December, at which point students will have the opportunity to become NYS certified EMT basic providers. Instructors include Andrew Stern, Lois Deluca, and Erin Kelly. If you have any questions please reach out to the department. We look forward to seeing you!
Within 4 minutes of the woman collapsing, the security officers had applied an AED unit and delivered two shocks to help restart the woman’s heart. While continuing CPR, first responders from Fuller Road Fire Department arrived, along with Town of Colonie EMS Paramedic units minutes later.
After paramedics took over and delivered another shock, her heart began to beat on its own. The patient was stabilized, an ECG was transmitted to the Emergency Room & cardiologists on call were awaiting her arrival at Albany Medical Center.
The nurse’s identity, who had started CPR, is unknown. If anyone has information about who the person is that started CPR, please contact the EMS department office at 518-782-2645 ext 0.
The American Heart Association reports that annually over 360,000 people go into a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). National survival rates are approximately 10%, chances of survival increase three fold if bystander CPR is initiated and an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is applied.
The Colonie EMS department was awarded the 2010 Heart Safe Community award by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, has received awards regionally and state wide for enhancing cardiac arrest survival in the town of Colonie.
Anyone can learn hands-only CPR, it’s easy and it only takes 2 minutes. The more bystanders that are trained, the more likely a person is to survive a cardiac arrest.
To host a free hands-only training session for your community group in Colonie, please contact us here. Large group sessions can take as little as 1 hour to complete.
In New York, AEDs can be purchased by businesses and located for the public to access in case of an emergency such as this one. These can cost less than $1,000 and there is a $500 business tax credit through NYS for each unit purchased. If you have any questions about CPR or getting an AED, please contact our training department 518-782-2645 ext 6 .
The media can contact Colonie EMS Assistant Chief Jack Bevilaqua at 518-782-2645 ext 6 for more information.
Susan Spaccarelli is the Media contact for the mall 518-459-9020
Susan Ford is the Media contact for Albany Medical Center 518.262.3421.
The Colonie EMS Department is proud to announce that Lois DeLuca has been chosen as the 2015 EMT of the Year by the American Legion Zaloga Post on Everett Road. Lois is a 23 year member joining CEMS in 1992 as an Emergency Medical Technician. In 1995, Lois became an American Heart Association CPR Instructor and in 2000 became the CPR coordinator for the department.
Lois was instrumental in the implementation of the 2005 American Heart Association standard changes that have resulted in a remarkable improvement in bystanders CPR, from 0% in 2005 to 65% in 2014, and a survival rate for the victims of cardiac arrest from 3% to 23% respectively. These improvements were so impressive; the Town received national recognition in 2010 as the Heart Safe community by the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
Lois has trained or facilitated the training of over 10,000 people since she took on the role as coordinator. Her efforts don’t stop with CPR. She has maintained a productive relationship with our senior population in the town. Lois visits with our senior citizen groups monthly providing blood pressure screening and information about general heath related issues.
There are not many people that have the dedication or compassion that Lois has displayed. Her efforts have made a difference not only for the department but for our entire community.
Thank you Lois!
Pop quiz! Do you remember what you are supposed to do when you see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching? If it has been a while since you took your driving exam, here are some sample questions from the DMV exam (the answers are in bold):
When do emergency vehicles with flashing lights and sirens have the right of way?
- In intersections.
- While driving on the right side of the road.
- In all circumstances.
- While on your side of a divided median.
When approached by an emergency vehicle with flashing lights and siren in operation, what should you do?
- Ensure that you stay at least 150 meters ahead of the emergency vehicle.
- Stop wherever you are.
- Turn up the volume on the stereo.
- Pull over to the curb and stop.
When approached by an emergency vehicle with flashing lights and siren in operation, under what circumstances is it OK not to stop?
- When on the opposite side of a divided highway median.
- There’s room for the emergency vehicle to pass you.
- When your emergency is more important than theirs.
- When you are able to stay ahead of the emergency vehicle.
How did you do? If you did not do as well as you thought, it is alright. Here is some advice written by our own paramedic Martinovich that should help clear up any questions you may have about what to do when driving and you see some bright lights in your rear view:
Imagine this, it is early evening and you are driving home from work and traffic is pretty heavy. You start to notice vehicles in front of you are pulling over, but you are not sure why. Not thinking anything of it you go around them and then all of a sudden you hear a loud noise and look in your mirrors to see an ambulance with its lights and sirens on. You quickly, and hopefully safely, react and move over.
This is not uncommon at all, and actually it happens on a daily basis. Sometimes you may not be able to hear the sirens, especially in newer vehicles. The sound proofing and technology of newer vehicles is so improved that it deadens the sounds of sirens and air horns. If you see people pulling over be sure to check your mirrors because they may be hearing something you are not.
Some people stop dead in the road, others move to the left, and some move to the right. So what is the right (and legal) thing to do?…..
What is an emergency vehicle? An emergency vehicle is defined as a police vehicle, ambulance or fire department vehicle, (i.e. engines, trucks or chief vehicles). These vehicles can be defined by their flashing lights. In New York State, emergency vehicles will have red, white or combination of red and white lights. Most of these vehicles also have reflective designs on them for identification.
What to do when approached? When approached by an emergency vehicle, whether from behind you or approaching you, slow down, pull to the right and stop. It is important for you to make the stop because if for some reason that emergency vehicle has to make an immediate move to the right, to avoid another car not obeying the traffic law, or a pedestrian or animal, you stopping your vehicle will allow them to have the room to appropriately proceed through traffic and not delay their response to the emergency. Just pulling to right and slowing down next to them could cause another accident if any of the above situations arise. Remain stopped on the shoulder of the road until the emergency vehicle has passed you. Be sure to check for additional emergency vehicles before returning into traffic.
Take time to review the NYS Traffic Law here.
This is not to be mistaken for the operation of your vehicle when approaching a parked, stopped or standing authorized emergency vehicle. Whenever you approach a police officer on the shoulder or a motor vehicle accident on the road you must use extreme caution and regard to avoid colliding into the vehicles or the personnel working on the side of the road. Slow down and move to the farthest lane from where the incident is taking place. The vehicles will be well marked but sometimes the personnel on the road may not be. Stay aware as you make your way passed the incident! This is a new law that took effect in January 2011. There have been too many injuries and deaths of emergency services providers, police personnel and bystanders from being struck by vehicles not involved in the original incident.
Drive safely and stay alert!
As you may have noticed… it is cold out! Extremely cold temperatures make staying warm and safe a challenge. Exposure to cold temperatures, whether indoors or outside, can cause other serious or life-threatening health problems. Anyone can be affected, however infants and the elderly are particularly at risk. Here is some information to help you stay healthy and safe during this extreme cold.
- The World Health Organization suggests keeping indoor temperatures between 64 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit for healthy people. Ideally the temperature should be kept above 68 degrees Fahrenheit to protect the very young, the elderly, or people with health problems.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia – shivering, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, exhaustion and slurred speech. Infants who are suffering from hypothermia may appear to have very low energy and bright red, cold skin. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin. Call 911 immediately if you suspect you or someone you know is suffering from either condition.
- When outside, especially in high wind conditions, take extra precautions to reduce the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. Be sure your outer layer of clothing is tightly woven to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind, and cover exposed skin.
- Listen to your body! Do not ignore shivering – it is an important sign that your body is losing heat and a signal to quickly return indoors.
- Cold weather puts an extra burden on the heart. If you have cardiac problems or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s orders about shoveling or performing any strenuous exercise outside.
- Healthy adults should remember that their bodies already are working overtime just to stay warm. Dress appropriately and work slowly when doing heavy outdoor chores.
- Bring your pets indoors. Yes, they have fur but extreme temperatures effect them too. Also, salt from roads and walkways can damage their paws and may lead to inadvertent toxic ingestion.
- If you are having trouble paying your bills this winter, you can call or visit the NYS Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) website or Hotline at 1-800-342-3009.
- Be a good neighbor – check on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly.
- Do your best to clear walkways of snow and ice to avoid injury from falls. Use extreme caution in clearing your roof; consider using a specialist who has the right tools. Falling icicles and heavy snow can cause life threatening injuries.
If you need to use extra sources of heat to stay warm…
- Take precautions to avoid exposure to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) is a potentially deadly gas. It is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating. It is produced by burning fuels such as wood, oil, natural gas, kerosene, coal and gasoline.
- Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu but do not include a fever. At lower levels of exposure, a person may experience a headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Exposure to very high levels of carbon monoxide can result in loss of consciousness and even death.
- Make sure you have smoke and CO alarms in your home. Test them once a month and replace the batteries twice a year. Wood stoves, space heaters, electric heaters, kerosene heaters and pellet stoves can be dangerous unless proper safety precautions are followed. DO NOT start your car to warm up in a garage.
- Try to avoid using extension cords to plug in space heaters. If you have to, make sure they do not become a trip and fall hazard and do not run extension cords under rugs. Make sure supplemental heaters are in a safe place to avoid being knocked over unintentionally.
- To avoid frozen pipes, keep the heat on and set no lower than 55 degrees. You can also let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing, open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to non-insulated pipes under a sink or appliance near an outer wall.
In order to prepare for extreme cold temperatures…
- In your home, keep several days’ supply of food that needs no cooking or refrigeration (remember baby food and formula if you have young children), water stored in clean containers (5 gallons per person), and medicines that any family member may need.
- In your car, keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Make sure your vehicle is up to date on maintenance and serviced including the radiator system serviced, replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture, replace any worn tires, and check the air pressure in the tires.
For more info on how to prepare for extreme cold conditions, please check the CDC guide here.