Fall 2018 EMT Courses

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

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

Refresher Begins Saturday September 8, 2018
Original Begins Monday September 10, 2018
Classes Mondays and Wednesdays (occasional Saturdays)
Day Course 9:00 a.m. — 1:30 p.m
Night Course 6:30 p.m. — 10:30 p.m.
Course Numbers: Pending NYS BEMS Approval
NYS Practical Skills Exam: Saturday, January 12, 2019
NYS Written Exam: Thursday, January 17, 2019

Tuition due on or before the first day of class.

Call 518-782-2650 with any questions.

Fall 2018 EMT Course Schedule

 

 

EMT Course Announcement Fall 2018

 

 

Department EMT course Application (or use form below)

 

Course Applying for

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.

In Memory of Meaghan Sammons

Our hearts are still heavy with the loss of Meaghan. We would like to share some of the coverage of Meaghan’s life. Meaghan was a wonderful part of the Colonie EMS family, and she will be missed.
meg2Sammons, Meaghan C. ALBANY Meaghan C. Sammons (Nichols), 39, passed away in her home on Saturday, March 28, 2015, with her loving family by her side. Meaghan was born on May 15, 1975, to Chuck and Donna Nichols. Meaghan was a graduate of Colonie Central High School, class of 1993. She continued her education at North Adams State, SCCC, and SUNY Albany. After college, she began her 18-year career at Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region. Throughout the years she held many positions, most recent being director of programs. Meaghan is survived by her loving husband, Robert; her parents, Chuck and Donna; her sisters, Nicole (Roxanne) Nichols and Danielle (Richard) LaPierre; her nieces and nephew, Emma and Riley LaPierre, Kyle and Madelyn Farnell; her in-laws, Robert and Susan Sammons; her grandmother, Evelyn Crawford, and her two “kids” (dogs), Snoopy and Bella. She is also survived by a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, family and friends. In 2004 Meaghan joined the Midway Fire Department. This quickly grew as a passion of hers and led her to become chief of the department, and the first female chief in the Town of Colonie. She was also a member of Colonie EMS. Meaghan enjoyed playing with her nieces and nephew, softball, and slots at Saratoga. Meaghan will be remembered as a diehard Derek Jeter and Yankees fan. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Meaghan’s name to Midway Fire Department, 1956 Central Ave., Albany, NY 12205, or Girls Inc., 962 Albany St., Schenectady, NY 12307. Meaghan’s family would like to thank the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Dr. Nadine McCleary), the Community Hospice staff (Elizabeth Hanlon), especially her friends who helped with her care, Kathy Boomhower, Diana Suits and Theresa Moran. Calling hours will be held at New Comer Funeral Home, 343 New Karner Road, Albany, on Friday, April 3, 2015, from 4-8 p.m., with a funeral service held at the funeral home on Saturday, April 4, 2015, at 10 a.m. Midway Fire Department requests its members to be in full dress uniform Friday, April 3, 2015, at 7 p.m., at the funeral home for a fire department memorial service. – See the guest book and obituary site here.

Emergency Traffic

light barPop 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?

    1. In intersections.
    2. While driving on the right side of the road.
    3. In all circumstances.
    4. 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?

    1. Ensure that you stay at least 150 meters ahead of the emergency vehicle.
    2. Stop wherever you are.
    3. Turn up the volume on the stereo.
    4. 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?

    1. When on the opposite side of a divided highway median.
    2. There’s room for the emergency vehicle to pass you.
    3. When your emergency is more important than theirs.
    4. 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?…..

right arrowMove to the Right and Stop For Lights and Sirens!  stop sign

What is an emergency vehicle? An emergency vehicle is defined as a police vehicle, ambulance or fire departLatham EMS4 CPD and CEMSment 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 DSC00592immediate 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. Thecaution 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!

 

 

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