New Resources Added to Help Residents Stay Informed During Emergencies.

nixle 900 x 400We here at Colonie EMS encourage people to be prepared and we want to help in anyway possible. We have added several resources to help you be as ready as possible in the event of an emergency.

Colonie Police Department has joined a new communication system called Nixle. NixleNixle is free to join and updates important, valuable community information directly to residents or anyone who works or frequents the town. Information and messages regarding advisories, real time emergency information, as well as other relevant safety and community event information are shared instantly via cell phone text message and/or email. Residents of the Village of Menands also have an emergency alert system called First Call.

The Albany County Sheriffs Office also organizes an Evacuation Functional Needs 911 Registry for residents who may require special considerations during an emergency. This is helps first responders plan ahead for resources that may be needed in the event of an emergency. It is completely voluntary and confidential. Simply click on the form link, fill out, and submit.

One of the greatest things about living in the Town of Colonie are the resources provided to its residents. The Senior Resources Center provides a wealth of support for our senior residents and we work very closely with them. Whether you are looking for yourself or a loved one, there is a great deal available through the center.

Please check our Community Training page for a list of links and resources that may be beneficial to you or someone you know.

EMS Department Gives Local Family a Very Merry Christmas!

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Colonie EMS personnel came together this holiday season to give Santa a hand and provide a very Merry Christmas for a local family with eight children. Although the list was lengthy, friends and members of the department came together to make sure that every single item asked for was received. The outpouring of generosity for this event is a true testament to the character and spirit of our members, and we could not be prouder of everyone!  The family was deeply moved and greatly appreciated our efforts. This will surely be a new tradition here at Colonie EMS.

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A Community Comes Together: Fundraiser for Paramedic Dave Plouff

CEMSBA - Dave's FundraiserEarly in the morning of December 18, a possible structure fire was reported in the Schuyler Heights Fire District in the Town of Colonie. Dave Plouff, a long time Paramedic for the Town of Colonie’s EMS Department was just preparing to end his shift across town in zone 2. After hearing the initial call in the area of his home he had a sinking feeling in his heart – one that only got worse as he received word that it was his house that was on fire.

Dave is a familiar face to most. Many people were taught how to be EMTs by Dave or have worked alongside him in an ambulance, and his name is well known at Albany Medical Center where he also works.

Over 600 donations were received in less than 5 days.

More than any of that, though, Dave is probably one of the most kind-hearted and caring people. He would go out of his way to help anyone that he knows.

He lost everything in this fire except the uniform him had on and the possessions he had in his personal vehicle. No amount of money can replace everything – but we can make sure he has what he needs to get through this troubling time as he works through the process of loss and recovery.

“On behalf of the Colonie EMS Benevolent Association, I have to, once again, express my gratitude and excitement at what we have been able to do as a community of EMS for one of our members.” Said Daniel Murdock, Treasurer of the Colonie EMS Benevolent Association. “The strength of a community is never stronger than when someone in that community is in need. Make sure to share Dave’s story and get the word out that our colleague needs us now more than ever.”

 

After years of helping others, EMS worker’s home destroyed by fire

Updated: 12/19/2014 10:18 AM
Created: 12/18/2014 12:26 PM WNYT.com
By: Ben Amey of News 13

COLONIE – A home is considered a total loss following an early morning fire in Colonie. And while losing your home to a fire is devastating, the man who owned this house has a unique perspective.

“It’s the pits,” said David Plouffe, who owns the home that went up in flames. “It’s the ultimate.”

A house fire is devastating for any homeowner. It was no different when flames shot from a home on Grenada Terrace in Colonie early Thursday morning.

“The placement of the house is kind of difficult,” said Chief Aaron Fandle of the Schuyler Heights Fire District. “It’s tough. It sits back off the road to get any apparatus to. Like I said, we also ran into some water issues.”

Firefighters had issues attaching adaptors to the hydrants on the street. In all, seven companies and around 50 firefighters responded to the fire. Firefighters say there were power lines down when they arrived, and that the fire may have started on the side of the home. The official cause is under investigation.

Firefighters say there were no injuries in the fire because the homeowner, who works for Colonie EMS, was already at work. “I was still working, I was working at the Central Avenue station,” said Plouff.

Plouff said he heard the initial call, and immediately had a bad feeling. “I jumped in my vehicle, I had a gut feeling, a horrible feeling, that something might be wrong,” he said.

He was on his way home when he got the terrible news. “My fire chief, because I’m a member of the volunteer fire company here also, called me and said, “Your house is on fire.””

Plouff has lived in the home for 20 years. Inside, he was gathering items for an EMS museum in Massachusetts. “So it’s not just my own personal items, there’s other items that were going to have some kind of lasting significance about the history of Emergency Medical Services,” said Plouff.

For years, Plouff has helped people who have been the victims of house fires. He says the perspective from the other side is horrible. “What’s interesting for me, and I guess a learning lesson, there’s no guide,” said Plouff. “There’s really no physical, where do you start? And that’s what I’m trying to pull this together today.”

If you are interested in helping Plouff get back on his feet, you can find ways to contribute here.

 

 

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.

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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

 

11 Year Old Survivor Joey Celebrates

CPR Survior Joey

Happy 1 year “new birthday” to Joey, who on April 16, 2012 suffered commotio cordis when a baseball struck him in the chest sending him into cardiac arrest. Joey was saved by bystanders who performed CPR, Colonie Police officer Brian Curran and Colonie EMS paramedics and EMTs. Congratulations to all who were involved in another great story of survival.

Link to the TimesUnion Photos.

Original Story on ABC.

Special Operations Training – Hazmat Medical Decontamination

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Colonie EMS paramedics and EMTs are continuously training to hone their technical rescue skills and practice in this HazMat medical decontamination drill with our West Albany Fire Department partners.