Staying Healthy During Flu Season

It is here again, and this year Flu season is making a big impact. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has classified this season as severe based on early data and there aren’t any signs of it slowing down. Influenza, “the flu”, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus that can result in mild to significant illness and may even lead to death. Here are some facts and suggestions to keep you Flu-free and healthy!

Flu symptoms include:

  • A 100oF or higher fever or feeling feverish – however not everyone with the flu has a fever
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea – this is most common in children and may lead to severe dehydration quickly

Seek medical attention or call 911 immediately if you or someone you are caring for experience any of the following:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Purple or blue discoloration of the lips
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Difficult to arouse – it is normal to be tired and sleep is a great thing to help you feel better, but if you cannot wake someone up call 911
  • Severe or persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • If you or someone had Flu-like symptoms that improved but then returned with fever and worse cough

Think you or someone in the house has the flu…

  • Getting plenty of rest – kick your feet up (you deserve it) and limit your exposure with others in the house
  • Drinking clear fluids like water, broth, sports drinks (diluted with water), or electrolyte beverages to prevent becoming dehydrated
  • Placing a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead, arms, and legs to reduce discomfort associated with a fever
  • Putting a humidifier in your room to make breathing easier
  • Gargling salt water (1:1 ratio warm water to salt) to soothe a sore throat
  • Covering up with a warm blanket to calm chills, turn up the heat if you can (sweat it out…remember to rehydrate)
  • Over the counter medications are great to reduce the symptoms of the flu, however please read the label if you are purchasing multiple medications. Many of them contain the same or similar ingredients and taking too much can cause serious health problems. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any questions about what to take.
  • There are prescription antiviral medications available from your doctor if you have the flu. They work best if taken early, but no medication is without side effects, so please be sure to ask your doctor what those side effects are.

Don’t have the flu and want to keep it that way…

  • Get vaccinated. If you are not sure where, click here and type in your zip code.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Try to avoid, or at least limit close contact with sick people.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food. Good health habits protect you from more than the flu.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
  • Washing your hands with soap and water and alcohol-based hand sanitizers may dry your skin out, so keep your hands pretty with a moisturizer. Intact and healthy skin is the primary barrier from all kinds viruses and bacteria that will make you sick from entering your body.
  • Invest in a disinfectant to clean common areas and items frequently handled such as bathrooms, children’s toys, cellphones, keys, steering wheels, etc. Make sure you read the directions for proper and safe usage.

Colonie EMS is Hosting EMT Refresher

EMT Challenge Refresher Banner smallerColonie EMS is proud to host various courses throughout the year, and in just a couple of weeks we will be sponsoring an EMT Challenge Refresher. If you are an EMT who has a certification that is about to expire, or if it already has and you would like to brush up on your skills and knowledge, this is the course for you!

Classes begin on Tuesday February 3 with classes until final written exam on May 21. Candidates must also take or show proof of completion NIMS ICS 100, NIMS IS 700 and IS-5 in order to complete the course. For more detailed information on the course please click Spring 2015 refresher course flyer to download the flyer and projected schedule.

This course is open to anyone who has previously been a NYS EMT, but is on a first-come first serve basis, so sign up now!!!

EMS Department Saves Dispatcher’s Wife

Linda and Bob Davis

Linda and Bob Davis

A happy ending for a close call before the Holidays. It is anyone in emergency services worst nightmare; hearing an ambulance dispatched to your own address for the most serious of calls, a cardiac arrest. Bob Davis is a member of our own family, and that was his experience while participating in a charity football game between local fire departments. A few weeks before Christmas, Bob’s wife, Linda, was home with their children when she went into cardiac arrest. Due to the quick action of their children who called 911 immediately, and CPR performed by a neighbor and fellow Fuller Road Fire Department member, Linda’s life was saved and she was home for Christmas.

We go out of our way to ensure that the best possible care is delivered as fast as possible to your family, and in this case our family. It is a system wide response that involves many departments and a great deal of training and most importantly, teamwork. In cases like this, resources involved include fire department first response units, the closest police officer with an AED, at least 2 ALS staffed units and an EMS Shift Commander. None of these units would get there without the work of dispatchers. Dispatchers like Bob, keep callers calm and get vital information to the responding units and most importantly give pre-arrival instructions such as CPR to people on scene. All of which contribute to the high success rates of prehospital sudden cardiac death reversals here in Colonie.

On a daily basis, agencies here in Colonie work together to save lives. Most recently, police officers are all trained to administer and carry Narcan, which reverses the deadly effects of opioid overdoses such as heroin. Around the same time as Linda’s cardiac arrest reversal, officer Greg Jensen was first on scene to a respiratory arrest and administered Narcan moments before EMS crews got there. In doing so, the patient began breathing again and survived. Police officers such as Greg are vital in the care provided here in Colonie. We are truly unique in the working relationship with have with our police and fire departments, and value it greatly.

Click here for news coverage on our ‘Echo Response Team’

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

Harvest Festival 2014 – Free CPR Training

The Crossings of Colonie   Colonie EMS will be offering free Hands-Only CPR training at the upcoming Harvest Festival on Sunday September 14, 2014 From Noon- 5:00PM. Look for our booth, just stop by and learn how to save a life in less than 5 minutes! Can’t make the event? Schedule a training for your community group or watch one of our hands-only training videos at www.ColonieEMS.org/CPR

The Crossings is located at 580 Albany Shaker Road. Attendance to the event is free, entertainment, music-craft and food concessions.

Click here for a flyer with full event details.

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.

Why do we bill? Common Concerns Addressed

In this short

it is: job online pharmacy Carmex serum yourself consitioner.

interview several concerns are addressed regarding billing and why your insurance company may receive a bill for services.