Breast Cancer Awareness Month Shirts


Watch for our crews in October sporting pink for Breast Cancer Awareness!

If you want to show your support, feel free to check out the shirts for sale below. *DO NOT SELECT SHIPPING*

If you purchase a shirt, you will be contacted when the orders arrive and they can picked up at the Colonie Public Safety Center.

Proceeds will be donated to local families affected by breast cancer.

SOLD OUT!!!


Thank you for your support!

2021 Annual Report

2021 was another busy year for Colonie EMS with over 13,000 calls for service. Here is just a few highlights from 2021… (Click here for the full 2021 Annual Report)

  • The Department is a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ET3 Model Participant. This allowed us to provide new initiatives for patient care that includes telemedicine, alternative destination transports as well as treat in place options in some instances.

 

  • The EMS Department staffs ambulances with 1 paramedic and 1 EMT working 8 or 12 hour shifts. To provide optimal coverage, shift start times are staggered. 
  • The EMS Department became an authorized COVID 19 vaccine program. With the help of various local entities, more than 3,000 people were vaccinated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Even with record high call volumes in 2021, our response time remained exceptional. Response times serve as a guide for operational efficiency and are measured from the time the EMS crew received the call, to the first ambulance on scene.

  • Once again, Colonie EMS received a Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus award. This is the highest level of recognition by the American Heart Association.*2022 award based  on  2021  performance

 

  • Colonie EMS continues to have above national average survival rates for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. A known factor in survival outcomes is early CPR and defibrillation. The Department routinely trains members of the public as well as other first responders CPR/AED courses (BCLS). Twice a year, we offer a NYS EMT course.

 

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with how 2022 is going!

*COURSE FULL* 2022 Fall EMT Original Course

COURSE FULL!

Thank you for your interest in taking our EMT courses. Please check back for information on the upcoming Spring course set to begin in January. Details to TBA.

If you were looking to become an EMT, here’s your chance!

Colonie EMS will be offering an EMT Original course.

 

Call 518-782-2650 with any questions.  

 

EMT Course Announcements Fall 2022:

Fall 2022 Night Night EMT Course Announcement

EMT Course Schedules 2022:

 Fall 2022 EMT Course Schedule

 

General Instructions:

 

*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. 

 

 

 

Colonie EMS Receives CARES UP Grant from NYSOMH SPCNY

The New York State Office of Mental Health has awarded the Town of Colonie Department of Emergency Medical Services an $80,000 2-year grant aimed at strengthening suicide prevention efforts for uniformed personnel.

The CARES UP (Changing the Conversation, Awareness, Resilience, Empower Peers, Skills Building/Suicide Prevention for Uniformed Personnel) program was designed by the New York State Office of Mental Health’s Suicide Prevention Center to offer suicide prevention and resiliency trainings.

Research has shown more than 30% of EMS providers show signs of traumatic stress disorders, while in the US, the average worker has a rate of 3.5%. It is critical we recognize the trauma exposure and give EMS workers the tools to deal with the stress they see on a daily basis. Funding from this initiative will be used to deliver comprehensive resilience and wellness training as well as increase suicide prevention efforts for Department EMTs and Paramedics in Colonie.

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “First responders and uniformed personnel face stress and trauma on a daily basis. This can lead to increased risk of significant issues, including marital/family strain, poor sleep, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, substance misuse, and even suicide. Identifying and understanding the growing mental health concerns within our uniformed personnel communities highlights the critical need for initiatives like CARES UP. This initiative will help support the men and women who serve and protect us every day, and will also help inform the public about the increased risks, challenges and behavioral health issues our first responders face.”

“First responders are at risk for behavioral health related issues due to their exposure to trauma and death,” stated Supervisor Peter Crummey. “This grant will help ensure that our EMS personnel have access to the resources they need to help them through their challenges, and hopefully define safe harbors for mental health. Our EMS personnel and first responders are always there for us and we are going to be there for them.”

Emergency Medical Services Chief Paul Sugrue added, “Our staff are the most important resource within the Department. We recognize the toll and stresses that our profession can take on the emotional and mental health of our providers. This grant will allow us to provide targeted training to address those needs, provide protective factors, as well as aid in preventing mental health problems”.

 

 

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.

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.

missionlifeline

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

Kostyun

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!

Fall EMT Original Course

Good news, we are hosting a EMT course! If you are looking to become an EMT or know someone who does, this is a great opportunity. The course is open to all and will run from September 1 to the end of December, at which point students will have the opportunity to become NYS certified EMT basic providers. Instructors include Andrew Stern, Lois Deluca, and Erin Kelly. If you have any questions please reach out to the department. We look forward to seeing you!

Fall 2015 EMT original Course flyer

Spring Training

 

Train hard. Work hard.

It is Spring training season here at Colonie EMS. For two weeks semiannually, we take time to review our rescue skills and get operational updates from administration. This year we are excited to be adding a new skill to our rescue operations, trench rescue. In the near future, Colonie EMS will be added to the response team with Colonie Fire Company to trench rescues. Colonie Fire Company is the areas resource for trench rescue and we are very honored to be able to work with them. CEMS providers will be trained to the awareness level in order to provide support services to the technicians with CFC. In addition to this training, we are also practicing our confined space rescue skillsspringup2015springup20152 springup20153 springup20154 springup20155 springup20156 springup20157

 

 

 

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Captain Kostyun, Incident command

Captain Kostyun, Incident command

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Asst. Chief Bevilacqua

Asst. Chief Bevilacqua

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Stay tuned for more photos and updates…..

 

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.

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