by Ray Pauley
Public Information Officer, Grand Island Fire Co.
Grand Island Fire Co. Chief Kevin Koch reports that the GIFC has reached a record number of qualified basic live support and advanced life support providers as a result of vigorous recruitment and training policies.
A recent May 2011 emergency medical technician class increased the ranks of New York state-certified EMT practitioners to 54. Likewise, the number of GIFC paramedics has increased to 14, as of 2011. Former member Jon Cinelli rejoined the GIFC on June 2, bringing with him a solid 22 years experience as an active medic. Steve Morgan, as a relatively new paramedic, is also a nationally registered EMPT. Ryan Shea has completed an exhaustive medic (college) program and will soon take New York state certification exams.
Bob Cieri, Scott McCormick, and Don Turner are currently enrolled in a similar program. Adrian Pilliod will commence training during September, and these dedicated individuals will soon be contributing as well.
Specialized in-house instruction by GIFC medical staff has also provided this life support team with the most advanced treatment techniques available. On Aug. 8, GIFC Medical Director Chris Krawczyk explained updated Western Regional Emergency Medical Advisory Committee treatment protocols to an attentive group of EMS teammates. Patient management guidelines included frequently encountered cardiac-related problems, medical and trauma situations, pediatrics, etc. The resounding theme was that the goal of prehospital care is to have the patient receive definitive care in as timely and safely a manner as possible. These protocols also serve as a basis for continuous quality improvement through the application of integrated BLS and ALS treatment guidelines. This message is reinforced by eight GIFC medical advisors (physicians) and seven New York state training instructors, under the leadership of line officers, EMS Capt. Bob Cleveland, and Senior NYS Instructor Lance Kohn.
Another part of this important continuity of care formula is Greg Butcher, former GIFC chief and present member of the board of directors, who was recently appointed to the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs' EMS Oversight Committee.
Consequently, GIFC officials on every level, stress that this comprehensive system of professional advancement will continue to strengthen EMS capabilities for the betterment of the entire community.