Civilian Emergency Response

It is difficult to imagine ourselves during our everyday routine, in a situation where we are faced with life, death and survival. Sadly, it has become common occurrence for large gatherings, or even daily activities to become the target of bad people looking to do bad things.  Whether we are going to work, walking down the street or spending an evening out with our friends, the question we need to ask ourselves is how prepared are we to help ourselves and others in the event of an incident?

Being an Emergency Medical Service, we obviously would like you to be prepared for the more common incidence of a medical emergency by knowing basic first aid and CPR. Sadly, even our own focus has shifted to include training for the less likely, but more unsettling scenarios of shootings and other acts of violence that multiple victims are associated with.

The Albany County Sheriff shared a video on what to do during an active shooter incident. As an overview, you can view the video here.  The principles highlighted in this video can be applied to a variety of scenarios where you may find yourself waiting for help to arrive and needing to tend to others or even yourself, not just an active shooter.

Regardless of the event, you can do certain things to help yourself and others survive if injuries are sustained. It may so happen that the first responders you see, are not there to administer first aid or evacuate victims, so you may be waiting a while.

First and foremost, try to stay calm and get yourself to the safest place possible if you cannot evacuate the scene. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and call 911 when it is safe to do so.

Likely injuries to be seen during incidents such as shootings or even natural disasters, will involve bleeding. If someone is suffering from an arterial injury, they can die from blood loss in less than a minute. Placing direct pressure over the spot that is bleeding is the first step in attempting to stop deadly bleeding. Anything can be used make a bandage in an emergency, but the important part is constant pressure.

If constant pressure does not stop the bleeding, you may have to make and apply a tourniquet. You can make one (or several) with strips of cloth and a hard object such as a stick, pens, markers, scissors (you may have to use your imagination). If you or someone else is wearing a belt, that will work as well.

Unfortunately, some may be too injured for you to help. if you encounter someone who is not awake or will not answer you or follow direction, the best thing to do may be to leave them where they are in what is called the recovery position. Place the person on their side, with their bottom arm outstretched, top arm under the head and top knee bent to ensure they do not roll onto their stomach. The head should be somewhat tilted back  This is the safest position for them to be in if they are not awake or unable to move. 

 

When you see lights, Move to the right.

Please remember to pull over and stop for emergency in traffic. If you see emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road – Slow down and move a lane over.

A big thanks to WTEN News for highlighting this important issue.

Driving You Crazy: Move Over for Emergency Vehicles

Certified First Responder Course Will Be Offered Fall 2017

Thinking about becoming a first responder? This course is a great way to get your feet wet. Check it out!

 

Fall 2017 CFR Course Announcement

Fall 2017 CFR Class Schedule

Membership in NYS EMS Agencydoh-3312

Spring has Sprung

After a few teasers from Mother Nature, Spring is finally here, and it was eagerly welcomed this year. Along with opening up the windows and cleaning up the yard, this is a great time to consider some health and safety ideas. Here are some recommendations from the EMT’s and Paramedics at Colonie EMS:sun

If you haven’t already, change the batteries and test the function of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon-monoxide-awareness Alarms should be located in every bedroom and in the common areas on each floor of your home. Mount them at least 10 feet from the stove to reduce false alarms, less than 12 inches from the ceiling and away from windows, doors and ducts. 

Practice evacuation and emergency drills at home with your family. Fire drills are not just for schools! Make sure you have a meeting place outside and everyone in the house knows how to get out. It is a great time to replenish or restock your emergency supplies in the home!

Spring presents its own hazards when it comes to slips, trips and falls. Although there is no longer ice and slush to worry about, as the ground thaws, dirt and gravel can loosen becoming a fall hazard. Make sure you wear the appropriate footwear with good tread and ankle support while working in the yard to give you an advantage. Also, during those April showers that’ll bring May flowers, mud and wet surfaces can be just as slippery as ice if you’re not careful. Year round, remember to be careful of small rugs or carpet corners as they are common reasons people fall inside the house. So go ahead, get your pedicures and break out the flip flops, it’s been a long winter and you deserve it… but don’t forget to walk with caution.

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Watch out for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians while you are driving.

Have children’s helmets and other protective gear properly sized. These are not something that children can grow into, and they definitely can be helmetppegrown out of. If protective gear does not fit properly, they will not offer sufficient protection or even cause more harm. It is also the law that anyone ages 1-14 must wear helmets while operating bicycles, non-motorized scooters and skateboards. Parents may face a fine if these laws are not followed.

A teenager wears recommended clothing and safely mows the lawn.

A teenager wears recommended clothing and safely mows the lawn.

Be careful when doing yard work. Chemicals, tools, lawnmowers etc., can cause serious injury or death. Make sure you know children and animals are in a safe place while working in the yard and especially operating power tools and lawn mowers. If you have a riding lawnmower or yard tractor, children should not sit on laps while mowing, ever!

Check yourself, family members and pets for ticks. Lyme disease and other tick borne illnesses are prevalent in this area.tickdiseases

Bees and other stinging insects are now out and active. If you or your children have known allergies, make sure there is an EpiPen or equivalent readily available. If you are not sure what the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction are, click here.  Allergies in general are predicted to be severe this year. Keep an eye on the allergy forecasts, as these may worsen illness’s such as asthma.

It is never too early to wear sunscreen. Anything above an SPF 15 is effective in reducing the risk of skin damage that can lead to skin cancer (and signs of aging) when reapplied frequently. And yes, indoor tanning counts as sun exposure. Wearing layers can also protect from the sun and wind. sunblock

From everyone here at Colonie EMS, we wish you a happy, healthy and safe Spring!

Colonie EMS Out and About

It has been a busy year so far, and you may or may not have seen us out and about in the community. Here are some snapshots of what we have been up to…

 

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EMT’s training in the new “Check and Inject” procedure for administering Epinephrine.

EMT’s learn to draw up and administer Epinephrine for the treatment of Anaphylaxis.

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Administering Epinephrine

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Table top hands only CPR demonstration at Go Red for Women function

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Asst. Chief Bevilacqua

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EMT and CEMS CPR Coordinator Lois Deluca teaching Hands Only CPR

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Asst. Chief Bevilacqua speaking to the importance of CPR training

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Participating in the Maplewood Memorial Day Parade

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Hands Only CPR at Shaker Junior High School with help from Niskayuna Firefighter S. Powers, Life Science teacher Mr. Slyer and Captain Kelly

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Paramedics J. Mura and B. Seymour standby and offer information on emergency preparedness and Hands Only CPR while at Raiderfest at Colonie Central High School

Colonie EMS Receives Recognition During EMS Week

Every year one week in May is set aside to reflect on the accomplishments of EMS providers across the country. This year we were honored to not once, but twice for the high quality care that Colonie EMS EMT’s and Paramedics provide.

In the first days of 2016, a young woman and her daughter were out shopping on Central Ave when the mother’s heart stopped. Recognizing that something was terribly wrong, her daughter called for help. This began a chain of events that lead to the successful resuscitation and complete recovery of her mother. While calling 911, a bystander heard calls for help and immediately began CPR. The 911 dispatcher then sent the closest fire, police and EMS units to the scene while gathering vital information from the caller at the scene. First responding police units arrived and took over CPR and utilized the AED they carried and delivered the first shock. Colonie Village Fire Company personnel arrived and assisted at the scene while EMS continued live saving ACLS care and delivered the patient to Albany Medical Center where she underwent Cardiac Catheterization and had a full recovery… And now two birthdays to celebrate.

On May 19th, we were recognized by Albany Medical Center at their EMS appreciation dinner for our care of the patient.

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That was only one example of the high quality care we aim for. Everyday we encounter patients that require advanced cardiac care. Colonie EMS received recognition from the American Heart Association for following the latest research-based standards for acute coronary syndrome with the Silver Recognition. Agencies earn Silver recognition for achieving 75% or higher adherence for 12 months on all Mission: Lifeline EMS quality measures to improve the quality of care for STEMI (heart attack) patients. This is a great honor for the department and all its providers.

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If you are interested in becoming a vital part of the chain of survival by learning CPR, click here.

“The times… they are a changin'”

It’s officially Spring, and new leaves are starting to show around Colonie EMS.

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Asst. Chief Paul Fink Photo cred: Times Union

Asst. Chief Paul Fink
Photo cred: Times Union

Congratulations & Best Wishes!

First and foremost, Assistant Chief Paul Fink is retiring after 40 plus years of service with the Town of Colonie. Since 1975, Chief Fink has been providing Advanced Life Support (ALS) in Colonie. Throughout his career he has also worked locally with Guilderland EMS, the Regional Emergency Medical Organization (REMO) and the New York State Department of Health. Chief Fink is also a member of the NYS Division of Homeland Security Urban Search and Rescue team and served at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He is currently a life member of the Latham Fire Department as well. Always on duty, one of his many accomplishments was earned while dining with his wife.  He was able to save a choking mans life,  earning him the REMO provider of the year award in 2014.

Since being one of the founding members of Colonie EMS in 1989, he has been involved in the Albany County hazardous materials team, NYSP Lifeguard Air Rescue Program as well as all the specialty rescue programs the EMS department participates in. His most recent efforts included helping organize the departments Tactical Medic program. In his spare day to day time, his responsibilities included managing the ambulance fleet, and ensuring the EMS department had all the supplies and equipment, from band aids to life saving medications, it needed to run smoothly.

We wish Chief Fink a long and happy retirement with his wife, he will be missed!

Asst. Chief Ray Hughes, Asst. Chief Jack Bevilacqua, Asst. Chief Paul Fink, Chief Peter Berry

Asst. Chief Ray Hughes, Asst. Chief Jack Bevilacqua, Asst. Chief Paul Fink, Chief Peter Berry

Asst. Chief Paul Fink and CPD Lt. Todd Weiss

Asst. Chief Paul Fink and Lt. Todd Weiss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ellingWe are also wishing well to Paramedic Robert (Bob) Elling, who is retiring. Bob has been a paramedic since 1974, and shortly after began working with NYC EMS. In 1988, Bob was on the task force that was formed to create the system we now call Colonie EMS. He was a member of West Albany Ambulance and Colonie Village Ambulance before joining Colonie EMS in 1992. In 1993, Bob became a flight medic here in Colonie in conjunction with the NYSP. If you know any EMS providers locally, there is a good chance Bob taught them at HVCC or they used a book he wrote to study; Bob has written an incredible amount of EMS education books over the years, and continues to do so. He is a proud and long time member of the American Heart Association serving on Regional, State and National faculty levels within the organization.

It has been an honor to have Bob here for so many years, and he will be missed. We wish you and your family all the best!

Paramedic Robert Elling and Chief Peter Berry

Paramedic Robert Elling and Chief Peter Berry

Promotions

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Congratulations to Captain Christopher Kostyun for his promotion to Assistant Chief! Chris joined CEMS in 1989, a year after he became a paramedic. He is a graduate of RPI with a degree in Computer Science. Chris also was a member of the West Albany Fire Department as well as Deputy Chief of Shaker Road Loudonville Fire Department from 2004-2005. Chris has been a Captain since 2003, and is looking forward to this new endeavor.

Asst. Chief Chris Kostyun, Chief Peter Berry, Town Supervisor Paula Mahan

Asst. Chief Chris Kostyun, Chief Peter Berry, Town Supervisor Paula Mahan

 

NYSP Sgt. Bak, Paramedic Frankie Rodriguez, Captain Chris Rench, NYSP Lambert

NYSP, Paramedic Frankie Rodriguez, Captain Chris Rench, NYSP

Congratulations to Paramedic Christopher Rench on his promotion to Captain! Chris began his career with CEMS as a volunteer EMT in 2004. He is a graduate of the HVCC Paramedic Program, Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, and became a fulltime paramedic in 2006. Since then, Chris has become a CPR and ACLS instructor for the department and has been a flight medic since 2011. He also serves on the paramedic program faculty for SUNY Cobleskill.  For several months, Chris had been temporarily filling in as a Captain, however he is now officially permanent.

 

Captain Chris Rench, Chief Peter Berry, Town Supervisor Paula Mahan

Captain Chris Rench, Chief Peter Berry, Town Supervisor Paula Mahan

Welcoming our new Paramedics!

Congratulations to Paramedic Adam Patterson on being promoted from part time paramedic to full time paramedic! Adam graduated from the SUNY Cobleskill Paramedic Program in 2013, and has been working all over the Capital Region since then. He was hired with Colonie EMS in 2014 and we are happy to have him here full time now. Adam also is a graduate from SCCC with an Associates Degree in Fire Protection.

We are happy to welcome several new providers to the Colonie EMS family as well!

Tim LeBlanc, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Tim LeBlanc, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Tim LeBlanc is joining us as a part time paramedic. Tim is a former CEMS explorer and has been a paramedic since 2009. Since then he has been working as a paramedic at Greenport Rescue and Air Methods. Welcome Tim!

 

 

 

Robert Potter, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Robert Potter, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Robert Potter is joining us as a part time paramedic. Robert has been involved in EMS and fire services for 28 years. He has been a paramedic since 2004 and is currently a firefighter in the City of Albany. Welcome Robert!

 

 

 

Hayley Smith, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Hayley Smith, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Hayley Smith is joining us as a part time EMT. Hayley is a life long resident of Colonie and graduate of Siena College. She has been an EMT for 3 years and currently works at AMCH and Mohawk Ambulance. Welcome Hayley!

 

 

 

Bryce Foggo, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Bryce Foggo, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Bryce Foggo is joining us as a part time EMT. Bryce also grew up in Colonie and is a graduate of Hobart College. He has been an EMT for 3 years and currently works at AMCH and Western Turnpike Rescue Squad. Welcome Bryce!

 

 

 

Andrew Cohen, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Andrew Cohen, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Andrew Cohen is joining us as a part time EMT. Andrew is a life long resident of Colonie. He is a graduate of Siena College, retired Menands police officer after 20 years and former Menands Fire Chief. He is currently a volunteer firefighter for Midway FD and is an EMT graduate from the most recent EMT class offered by CEMS. Welcome Andrew!

 

 

Samantha Sullivan, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Samantha Sullivan, Chief Berry, Supervisor Mahan

Samantha Sullivan is joining us as a volunteer EMT. Samantha grew up in Colonie and is a graduate of Maria College. She has been an EMT since 2015. Welcome Samantha!

 

 

 

 

We look forward to continue to grow and evolve as an agency to better serve not only the community, but our members as well.

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Retirees, promotions, new hires and Colonie Town Board members

As always, be well and be safe from our family to yours!

Are you ready?

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Emergencies can happen at any time. It is vitally important to be as prepared as possible at all times. Simple steps to being prepared include, having an emergency supply kit, having a family emergency plan, and be informed about what emergencies or disasters are likely to occur where you live or work.

It is strongly recommended that you have an emergency supply kit stocked with enough supplies for 3 days. You may also want to consider, having more than one kit for your workplace, car or other location you spend time.

What should be in your Emergency Kit?

  • Water – a minimum of 1 gallon per person per day for at least three days
  • Food – nonperishable items for at least three days (can opener if needed)
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA weather radio
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries of various sizes
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask or other respiratory protection
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape in the event of a shelter-in-place emergency
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Basic tools such as a hammer, pliers, wrench, etc…
  • Local and regional maps
  • Cash or travelers checks
  • Important family documents such as insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof portable container
  • Matches and candles
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Various clothes to account for different weather conditions
  • Sleeping bags and/or blankets – make sure rated for the temperatures and climate of your area
  • Household bleach and a medicine dropper – diluted 9:1 (water: bleach) can be used as a disinfectant or in an emergency to treat water, use 15 drops to one gallon.
  • If you have pets, make sure you have water and food for them
  • If you have children, make sure you have diapers, formula, games or other activities
  • Prescription medications and glasses; also over the counter remedies such as pain relievers and an antidiarrheal
  • Feminine supplies and hygiene items

 

Every household has unique needs, so make sure you have the necessary supplies to get by in an emergency.

Talk about emergencies with all members of your household. Even if you have young children, discuss what to do in terms they will understand. Once you have a plan in place, make sure everyone in the household knows what it is, and practice it!

Check out some more links for ideas to become prepared:

Preparedness

Ready

FEMA

 

Teamwork Saves Lives In Colonie

Thanks to the quick thinking of a bystander and Colonie Center Security, as well as quick response times by EMS responders, a local woman was given the best chances of survival.
Colonie EMS Paramedics and EMTs worked with first responders as a team to restart a heart. Paramedic Captain Paul Sugrue, Paramedic Raymond Faluszczak, EMTs Dale Hebert & Paramedic Student Sean Carmody.

Colonie EMS Paramedics and EMTs worked with first responders from Fuller Road Fire Department as a team to restart the woman’s heart with the initial AED being placed by Colonie Center Security Assistant Director Joseph Sholtes.

On Tuesday May 19, 2015 at 11:30 AM officials report a 49 year old female had collapsed suddenly at the Colonie Center Mall. 911 was called and Colonie Center Security Assistant Director Joseph Sholtes (also a trained EMT) & Security Officer Vince Malatino responded with an AED, they found an off duty nurse had started CPR as the patient was not breathing.
Colonie Center Security Assistant Director Joseph Sholtes, a trained EMT, and Vince Malatino responded with an AED at Colonie Center Mall.

Colonie Center Security Assistant Director Joseph Sholtes, a trained EMT, and Vince Malatino responded with an AED at Colonie Center Mall.

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 .

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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.

EMT of the Year – Lois DeLuca

Lois - CPR TrainingThe 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!