Fall 2019 EMT Courses

If you were looking to become an EMT or re-certify as one, here’s your chance!

Colonie EMS will be offering a Day and a Night EMT Original and Challenge Refresher.

 

Call 518-782-2650 with any questions.  

EMT Course Announcements Fall 2019:

 2019 Fall EMT Original DAYS

                  2019 Fall EMT Original NIGHTS

                  2019 Fall Challenge Refresher

 

Fall 2019 EMT Course Schedules:

     Schedule Fall 2019-2020 DAY

                Schedule Fall 2019-2020 Refresher Updated

              Schedule Fall 2019-2020 NIGHT

 

 

 

Ready to sign up?

Fill out an application and return to the Department with your Lab Materials Fee (all students) and Tuition or Verification of Membership in a NYS EMS Agency.  Please note, we are unable to process credit cards – we are only able to accept cash or checks/money orders. 

Not sure if your EMS Agency qualifies for reimbursement? Check here.  If you are a member of one of the agencies listed as funding eligible (‘Y’ in the right hand column), fill out the above form and submit with application and Lab Materials Fee. 


EMT Course Application

 

Required Textbook is Prehospital Emergency Care 11th ed. Authored by Mistovich/Karren

 

 

 

Summer Safety

Summer is finally here! We have all been waiting eagerly for it, but have you prepared?

Here are tips to consider during the Summer to keep you and your loved ones happy, healthy and safe

Water Safety                                                                                              Water-related activities are popular in the Summer for a variety of reasons. Pools, Splash pads, lakes and rivers are all great ways to relax, cool off and have fun – but for your health and safety, remember a few things:                              • Why should you care?  Drowning is the 5th leading cause of unintentional death in the USA. Everyday, about 10 people die from drowning – of those 2 are 14 years old or younger. Among children ages 1-4, most drownings occurred in home swimming pools.  For every child who dies from drowning, 5 receive care for non fatal submersion injuries including brain injury and paralysis.                  •  If you are going to be in or around water, LEARN TO SWIMParticipation in formal swim lessons can reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning death by 88%.       *CEMS does not endorse any particular learn to swim program – that was just the first result from a simple web search)                     •  Teach children how to swim. Flotation aids and PFD’s are always a good idea for weak swimmers, but make sure they are worn properly and well fitted.         •  If there are going to be many people or any children swimming, someone should be watching AT ALL TIMES. That means, NO reading a book, NO being on the phone, NO #selfies… NO leaving or distractions unless everyone is out of the pool or someone else steps in to watch. It only takes a few SECONDS for an emergency to happen, and most drownings go unnoticed by untrained persons.  •  LEARN CPR                                                                                                  • Limit alcohol consumption. Among adolescents and adults, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation, almost a quarter of Emergency Room visits for drowning, and about one in five reported boating deaths. Alcohol influences balance, coordination, and judgment, and its effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat.                                              • Do not drink the swimming water – it’s gross.

Extreme Heat                                                                                            Extreme heat causes more than 600 deaths per year and is PREVENTABLE. Persons at most risk for heat related injuries are people over the age of 65 and under the age of 4, and people with chronic diseases or mental illness.                                                                                                               • Check your air conditioning unit and have it serviced if needed. Clean any filters as well to ensure adequate air flow. Fans are not reliable ways to keep cool especially in times of high humidity.                                                                 • Inspect your doors and windows to make sure the weather stripping is intact     • Cover windows that receive lots of sun with curtains or blinds to keep the heat at bay                                                                                                             • Learn to avoid, spot and treat heat illness.                                                    • Stay hydrated! Drink more WATER than you usually do. Waiting until you are thirsty means you are already dehydrated. If you are going to be active outdoors, add electrolyte enhanced drinks to stay hydrated.                                              • Check on your neighbors, relatives, and friends, especially if they are elderly or live alone                                                                                                       • NEVER leave children or pets alone in closed, non-air-conditioned vehicles. ALWAYS check and double check to make sure there is not a sleeping child in the back seat of the car before you get out.

Severe Weather                                                                                              • Keep an eye on the sky! If conditions look threatening, head indoors.               • Be aware of the weather forecasts to plan your day accordingly• In the event of a severe thunderstorm, seek shelter indoors. Head for an interior room on a lower floor and stay away from windows.                                                           • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning (it can strike as far away as ten miles!)                                                                         • If a storm produces a lot of lightning, try to avoid using electrical appliances, wired telephones, and running water.                                                                • If strong winds are forecast, be sure to bring in any unsecured lawn furniture or other items to avoid debris.

Flooding                                                                                                             • Try to avoid traveling through any flood waters. It only takes a few inches of moving water to knock you off you feet. The same goes for driving – driving through collections of water should always be avoided.                                      • If flooding is anticipated, make sure your sump pump is in working order. it may become overwhelmed or fail if there are power outages so also pick any electronics off the floor to avoid any electrical shorts.                                         • Be prepared to evacuate if necessary; identify a safe place for you and your family to go or meet up in case your home is not safe.

In General                                                                                                       • We all love to sit around a nice fire on a warm summer night and enjoy a S’more (or two). Be mindful around fires – make sure there are no bans in effect and have an extinguisher at the ready.                                                              • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen and reapply frequently                                  • Use bug repellent to avoid bug bites and mosquito-borne diseases          •Fireworks are very popular this time of year, but please be responsible when using or watching.

 

We hope everyone has a wonderful, happy, healthy and safe summer!

New Positions Added to the EMS Department

Congratulations to our newest member and most recent promotions!

We made a bit of history at last nights Town Board meeting with our largest Full-Time hiring since the Department formed almost 30 years ago (we swear we are still 29 years old).

We are delighted to have added 4 Full-Time Paramedic positions and 4 Full-Time EMT positions to the Department.

Over the years, our call volume has steadily increased and these staffing changes reflect the pride we take in meeting the needs of the community that we serve. This year alone we have answered 12,000 calls! It is always our goal to provide the residents and visitors of Colonie with prompt and exceptional service.

New and current members of Colonie EMS.

Newest full time members with Town Supervisor Paula Mahan, Members of the Town Board, Chief Peter Berry and Medical Director Dr. Michael Dailey.

Importance of Wearing a Helmet

For the love of whatever you believe in, your family, your friends, and/or yourself, wear a helmet!

As an avid cyclist I would most likely be dead a few times over if I didn’t wear my helmet. I have also had to visit the Emergency Room more than once due to various accidents that I have had both preventable and not. You never know what is going to happen but by wearing a helmet you are taking a reasonable precaution to prevent injury.

While it is true that you can’t be prepared to prevent every injury out there, there is one major thing that you can protect. Your brain bucket. Our daily activities all have inherent risk and you are certainly taking more of a risk by pursuing physical activity. I have put countless hours in at The Crossings and Hudson River Bicycle Path, only to see several people or families who are riding their bicycles at a leisurely pace without a helmet. While it is true riding on a bicycle path, or a quiet neighborhood, your risk of say getting hit by a vehicle is much lower, there are still potential problems that could arise. All it takes is one fall and landing the wrong way on your head to do potentially senseless irreversible damage to your brain.

With traumatic brain injuries it’s not just the initial impact that is the issue. There is something called Coup-Contrecoup brain injury. For simplistic purposes, let’s say a person’s forehead hits the ground, the brain would then slam into the front of the skull causing bruising and eventually swelling, then since the brain is like jello inside of mold, it then slams into the back of the skull causing bruising and eventually swelling there as well. The next problem becomes when the brain swells it has nowhere to go which causes a whole new host of issues.

A helmet is designed to absorb the impact and break apart at the same time helping to dissipate the energy that would normally be transferred to the person. I’ve had a bicycle completely fall apart while I was riding it, hit by a car, and pedals malfunction all causing me to go to the ground striking my head. I have the scars to prove a few of the injuries but at least I still have my life. I love getting out there and riding my bicycle, so I won’t let these incidents stop me and I certainly won’t stop wearing my helmet.

Hopefully we see each other on the bike trail and not because of a preventable tragic accident.

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

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.

Kohls

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.

orange flowers

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!

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.

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