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2 MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019

MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES Director: Vacant Medical Director: Matt Sholl, MD Asst. Medical Director: Kate Zimmerman, DO Licensing Agent: Chris Azevedo Education Coordinator: Donald Sheets Licensing Agent/EMD: Jason Oko Data Coordinator: Timothy Nangle EMSC Coordinator: Marc Minkler Administrative Assistant: Vacant Address: 152 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0152 Phone: 207-626-3860 Fax: 207-287-6251 E-Mail: Region 1: Atlantic Partners EMS Medical Director: Mike Bohanske, MD Coordinator: Rick Petrie Address: 253 Warren Ave, Portland ME 04101 Phone: 207-536-1719 Online: E-Mail: Region 2: Tri-County EMS Medical Director: Seth Ritter, MD Coordinator: Joanne Lebrun Address: 300 Main St, Lewiston ME 04240 Phone: 207-795-2880 Online: E-Mail: Region 3: Atlantic Partners EMS Medical Director: Tim Pieh, MD Coordinator: Rick Petrie Address: 71 Halifax St, Winslow ME 04901 Phone: 207-877-0936 Online: E-Mail: Region 4: Atlantic Partners EMS Medical Director: David Saquet, DO Coordinator: Rick Petrie Address: 354 Hogan Rd, Bangor, ME 04401 Phone: 207-974-4880 Online: E-Mail: Region 5: Aroostook EMS Medical Director: Beth Collamore, MD Coordinator: Ben Zetterman Address: 111 High St, Caribou, ME 04736 Phone: 207-492-1624 Online: E-Mail: Region 6: Atlantic Partners EMS Medical Director: Matt Opacic, MD Coordinator: Rick Petrie Address: 6 Glen Cove Dr, Rockport, ME 04856 Phone: 207-877-0936 Online: E-Mail:

MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019


THE ‘RIGHT STUFF’: A CARDIAC EMERGENCY SUCCESS STORY It was the morning of January 30th, a beautiful “powder day” for skiing at Sunday River Ski Resort in western Maine. Perry Risley set out down Right Stuff, a black diamond trail with fresh accumulation after being groomed just the night before. “I was having a great time, skiing with my neighbor, Rich DeCarolis—and that’s the last thing I recall until I woke up days later in a hospital bed.” “I only know what happened next from Rich, who happens to be my doctor, too.” DeCarolis related that when he turned around and saw that Risley had fallen, he was about to harass his friend for taking a tumble. That’s when he realized that Risley had actually experienced a medical emergency and collapsed. Setting out that morning, Risley could never have

imagined how aptly the trail name would also sum up the experience that was about to unfold in the next few hours. A succession of responders, some working together and others who were complete strangers, but all exhibiting the “right stuff,” each formed a link in the chain of survival and contributed to Risley’s happy ending. After retiring from the Air Force, Risley had hosted a bed and breakfast with his wife, Sharon, for 14 years before deciding to join the staff at Sunday River ski resort, where he handles season pass and guest services and gets to enjoy plenty of time on the slopes. “I’ve been skiing since I was four years old,” he notes, “and none of the trails scare me.” A short time after the incident,

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4 MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019

Continued from page 3 discharged with a pacemaker after a brief stay in the hospital, Risley was back at Sunday River, smiling, on his skis. His story is a remarkable one. “Behind me, as Rich later told me, was a skier from away who happened to have some medical training, and behind him were a couple of ski patrollers from another mountain out of state,” says Risley. These three individuals quickly recognized what was happening, and as they reached the fallen skier, two of them immediately began CPR chest compressions while the third called 911 for help. Sunday River Ski Patrol Director Josh Thompson picks up the narrative from there. “We had a large group of our ski patrol members—nine men and women were involved by the time Perry was taken away in the ambulance,” he says. “As soon as the call came in from Oxford County Communications advising us that CPR was in progress on one of our slopes, two of our patrollers immediately headed down.”

All within four minutes from the time the call came in, the ski patrol team had arrived at the scene, exposed Risley’s chest to place the pads and connect the AED (automatic external defibrillator), waited briefly for the machine to analyze Risley’s heart rhythm, and then following the instructions, administered the first shock to give his heart a “jump start.” “Our ski patrol operates at the first responder level,” explains Thompson. “Our

Then she notified the Lewiston base of LifeFlight of Maine of the emergency. A LifeFlight crew set out in their helicopter from Central Maine Medical Center. After 20 minutes of CPR performed by rotations of crew, Risley, who had been drifting through various stages of consciousness during the ordeal, was transported down the hill while a ski patrol member straddled him on the rescue sled, continuing chest compressions during the descent. Afterward, Nesbeda summed up the call: “three people, skiing on their day off, found themselves in this situation, knew what to do, and did it. Small steps can lead to a hugely successful outcome. They gave us something to work with; we built on their CPR foundation by using the AED and gave the EMS crew something to work with. Medical emergencies happen. The persons who are closest to the victim at the time it happens are the ones most able to affect the outcome.” “My partner and I got a call to Sunday River to take over patient care for a skier being brought off the mountain,” recalls Jennifer Wakefield, an advanced EMT. As she had only started at Bethel Ambulance last fall, she explains, this was her first call working with the ski patrol, and she wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The liaison who awaited the arrival of the ambulance filled her in on the patient status as well as the equipment and protocols used at Sunday River. Learning of the CPR, AED shocks, and attention to maintaining Risley’s airway, Wakefield was duly impressed. “Everyone had clearly done an excellent job before we arrived. By the time they handed him over to me, the patient had a pulse back.” Loaded into the back of the ambulance, Risley needed another cardiac shock. Wakefield also hooked up a 12-lead cardiac monitor in order to measure and record Risley’s heart activity. By this time, PACE Ambulance had arrived on the scene for backup, and PACE Paramedic Adam Petrie had climbed aboard the Bethel vehicle to lend assistance as needed. The EMS providers conferred with DeCarolis, who had remained by Risley’s side, to review the printed strip. “How often do we have the primary care physician along with an in-depth knowledge of the patient’s health

Rarely, as a rule, do EMS providers get the opportunity to know how the patient fared, and if their actions and interventions made a difference.


goal is triage and transport. We follow the National Ski Patrol Curriculum, with local protocols. Our paid and volunteer ski patrollers like to ski, and they like helping people.” Each year, the Sunday River Ski Patrol receives an average of 1,500-2,000 calls “of all magnitudes,” says Thompson. Robin Nesbeda, an EMT and wilderness first responder trainer who was dispatching for Sunday River Ski Patrol that day, concurs that the calls cover a broad spectrum of needs and magnitude, from broken bindings and separated family members to serious, sometimes fatal, traumatic injuries, strokes and cardiac emergencies. “It was a shock for us, arriving on scene, to discover that the patient was Perry,” says Thompson. “When you respond to a call and it turns out to be a familiar face, the patient is someone you know—it’s really hard on you.” Thompson praises Nesbeda for her characteristically cool, calm demeanor and her keen ability to see the big picture. In a scenario like this, he says, the ski patrol members generally tend to be “heads and hands down, focused on the patient in front of them.” Nesbeda is quick to credit the first three individuals who rendered prompt and excellent care by starting CPR and calling for help; along with citing the good communications, and the preparedness of the ski patrol who promptly and correctly deployed the AED. She contacted PACE ambulance to request their Advanced Life Support response, but as PACE was some distance away, returning from another call, she also requested Bethel Ambulance to respond.

MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019

history, to support us in our decision making?” mused Petrie afterward. “It was an awesome team effort!” Wakefield agrees. Together, the expanded crew and the primary care doc continued to monitor Risley’s condition as the ambulance headed to the Woodstock Fire Station, where department personnel now awaited the arrival of both the delivering ambulance and the receiving helicopter. Petrie established IV access and made sure that the patient’s airway remained clear. “Aside from that, as it happens all the patient needed was BLS intervention. While we were prepared for the worst, the patient’s heart actually displayed a normal sinus rhythm, and to our surprise, next came the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC).” The latter is demonstrated by breathing, coughing, movement, and a detectable blood pressure as well as palpable pulse. “It made for an exceptionally smooth patient handoff to the helicopter crew,” Petrie says. LifeFlight air ambulance flight nurse Mike McDonough continues the next chapter. “In the ambulance, the patient had a pulse and was moving spontaneously, but he was not mentating [responding with words or gestures to anyone or anything around him],” says McDonough. “He was receiving breathing assistance, so our next concern was to protect his airway.” Once an individual emerges from a cardiac incident, the lungs are very vulnerable. “We administered drugs to temporarily paralyze the patient, to keep him from flailing around and

inadvertently injuring himself or the crew. And we sedated him, in order to place him on a ventilator. After the electrical imbalance—the immediate and critically important intervention—had been addressed with the series of shocks to the heart muscle,” McDonough explains, “the next priority was to maintain all the patient’s vital systems for him, while his body wasn’t doing such a good job on its own.” During the 13 minute flight to transport Risley from Woodstock to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, the LifeFlight crew also administered an anti-arrhythmia medication, ran an EKG (electrocardiogram) and even tested his blood to fine-tune the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Risley was handed off to the waiting hospital staff just after noon, and the LifeFlight crew regrouped to be ready for their next call. This would ordinarily be where the story ends. Rarely, as a rule, do EMS providers get the opportunity to know how the patient fared, and if their actions and interventions made a difference. Each individual who had served as a link in the prehospital chain recognized the importance of the excellent work done before, and knew what they had tried to do to continue the “safe chain of custody” of Risley’s wellbeing, as McDonough aptly phrases it. But it seems, in this case, the stars continued to be aligned. By the following week Perry Risley, rested and recuperated with a newly-implanted pacemaker, was being evaluated for discharge from the hospital. The diagnostic cardiology staff


nurse assigned to administer a stress test to Risley to assess his readiness to go home and resume his normal activities was Sharon Petrie. “Before I perform this testing, I familiarize myself with the patient’s history and background,” she explains. Something about this case rang a bell. “I think my son, a Paramedic, was involved in caring for you until you arrived here,” she exclaimed to Risley. With the latter’s permission, she called Adam Petrie to tell him the good news of Perry Risley’s remarkable success. “He’s leaving the hospital in better shape than before this incident,” she marveled. “Sadly, it’s just not that often that patients get to leave the ICU or CCU (critical care unit) in such great condition.” With new circulatory “plumbing,” alert and aware with no evidence of neurological deficit or other damage from the stress his body endured, Sharon Petrie declares that the patient is going home as “Perry 2.0,” reinvented. Outcomes like this are rare, but EMS providers rarely learn of their successes on any scale, she laments. “This is why you and your peers work so hard,” Sharon Petrie, a seasoned former hospital Emergency Department nurse, wants her son and all EMS providers to get the message, loud and clear. “One person alone, by himself or herself, usually doesn’t make that much difference. But even though you may not get to witness it, when you all bring your individual strengths, and work together not on ‘my job’ or ‘your job’ but on doing ‘our job,’ as best we can—that changes everything!”

6 MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019

PRACTICING REAL-LIFE EMS SKILLS IN THE SIMULATION LAB “When I took my first Paramedic course in 2003,” Eric Wellman recalls, “there was lots of lecture time, and very little interaction. As for hands-on practice, there were makeshift scenarios and half-torso CPR mannequins. I remember we used an orange to practice giving injections.” Times have changed. Wellman, now associate professor/program director/chair of the Emergency Medical Services Department at Southern Maine Community College (SMCC), is proud that his program offers a totally enhanced learning experience. Current students can practice their skills in simulation labs equipped with realistic, full body, high fidelity mannequins that are programmable and highly interactive. SMCC was first in Maine to offer a simulation lab as part of the education experience. Currently, the lab is used by approximately 30 to 40 Paramedic students, and another dozen who are working toward their advanced EMT certification at SMCC. Wellman’s EMS students practice their skills to intervene in scenarios such as cardiac arrest or emergency childbirth (there are three birthing mannequins). The SMCC “sim lab” is also used by students in respiratory therapy, nursing, medical assisting, and other fields. “We have male and female simulator models at life stages representing newborn/infant, five year old, and adult,” says Wellman. “Not only do they anatomically reflect age and gender, but we can also control their physiology, such as heart rate or respiration.” Some are appropriate for traumatic injury—for example, designed to have a tourniquet applied for an amputation. Wellman and his staff sometimes use appropriate clothing, wigs and “moulage”—realistic make-up that can astonishingly resemble actual wounds and bleeding—to complete the illusion. On average, a simulator mannequin costs about $20 thousand, though some specialized models run as high as $80 thousand. “At SMCC, we spend about $15 thousand apiece on our ‘workhorses’ that serve our purposes well in our sim lab and tend to last about 10 years,” says Wellman. Of course, a simulation mannequin is not the same as a human being, and “students using them still need to suspend reality at times,” Wellman says. The skin color doesn’t change as human skin would (turning blue if the patient becomes

cyanotic, for example, although the effect is represented by blue LED lights that illuminate around the mannequin’s face). And though it’s possible to make a mannequin sweat, or discharge blood, “we don’t do that often, as we’d have to take the whole thing apart to thoroughly clean and dry the interior, or risk ruining the electronics”. For some scenarios, human beings are preferable. Wellman’s own grade-school daughter came in as a volunteer recently over spring vacation to role play as a subject. Working with human beings can provide students a more realistic approach to the subtleties of patient assessment. In some cases, the point of the exercise is situational awareness. Whether there is a human being or a mannequin present, the primary “clue” may be something as simple as the odor wafting from a cup of bleach hidden nearby. The “patient” may be complaining of a headache, or not complaining of anything because they are losing, or have lost, consciousness. In this scenario, instructors want responders to recognize and address as the top concern the possibility of carbon monoxide or other chemical gas poisoning. While they are not always the best way to train, what the mannequins can do is measure, record, and provide feedback on such performance factors as the correct hand positioning, the depth of chest compressions, and the amount of air reaching the patient’s lungs during CPR. The mannequins also make it possible for students to realistically carry out invasive procedures such as IVs and airway intubations. The mannequins don’t move on their own in the way a human being might pull away from pain stimulus or spontaneously jerk in response to a defibrillator shock. But they can “speak”: an instructor or assistant behind the scenes, equipped with a headset, can engage (as the patient) in dialogue with the student responder. Attached to a cardiac monitor, the programmed mannequin “patient” can respond to interventions (convert to a different cardiac rhythm, for example), all while capturing feedback for later review. Instructors can employ prepackaged scenarios or custom build one from scratch, programming in reactions and ensuing changes in the patient’s status depending on the specific course of actions taken by the student responder. “No matter how they are staged, the most important aspect of all the simulations we run through is the debriefing sessions afterwards,” says Wellman. Students are evaluated by their peers as well as faculty members. “The process of reflecting on the experience, and discussing the choices that were made, and why—that’s where we see the most learning taking place.”

“...the most important aspect of all the


simulations we run through is the debriefing sessions afterwards.”

MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019


8 MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019

CITIZEN EMS SKILLS: FREE OR AFFORDABLE FOR ‘ANYONE, ANYWHERE IN MAINE’ You may not have had any formal EMS training. But if you are the person who happens to be there—at home, at the office, at the store, in school, in the woods or on the road, at the time of onset of an injury or acute illness—you are by definition the very first on the scene. Whether the victim is a family member, coworker, friend or neighbor, or a complete stranger—that person’s life may depend on YOU knowing what to do, and being willing and able to do it. “Knowledge is power,” declares Anna Moses, a trauma nurse and coordinator of Trauma Care at Northern Light Health in Bangor. “The more you know, the more you can affect the outcome.” And it doesn’t take a big investment of time, effort or money. “You can learn CPR in five or ten minutes,” says Sally Taylor, a Paramedic and director of specialty and continuing education at Atlantic Partners EMS in Winslow. “Add on the AED [Automatic External Defibrillator] piece, and it will still only take about 20 minutes, total.”

Taylor, Moses, and hundreds of trainers throughout the state are eager to teach any Mainer who wants to learn how to save a life by being able to spot a stroke, stop bleeding, perform hands-only (chest compressions) CPR, use an AED, and access help by calling 911. Medical emergencies can and do occur everyday at home and also as a result of hiking or hunting accidents, or mishaps involving chainsaws, wood splitters, farm machinery— the list goes on. Traffic accidents and even mass shootings are, sadly, real possibilities in everyday life. From a display table inside the Hall of Flags at the State House to a booth at the Machias Blueberry Festival, Taylor seizes opportunities to set up a CPR mannequin and provide quick, on-the-spot training to visitors and passersby. The results of efforts like these are gratifying: citizen CPR is making a difference to patient outcomes in Maine. Moses estimates that she and her colleague, Northern Light Health Trauma Program

Manager Prett Bjorn, have offered 50 Stop the Bleed classes in the past two years. Some of their sessions are to train new trainers, such as members of Howland and Hampden Fire Departments, creating a ripple effect throughout the extended community. Both Taylor and Moses note there are free or very affordable resources for anyone, anywhere in Maine, interested in learning basic citizen EMS skills. They are happy to work on request with individuals and families, organizations and businesses, to set up a customized session. Are you hesitant? Don’t be. “People are often surprised at how much of what we teach is intuitive,” says Moses. “Most people know if you cut yourself, you should put pressure on it. We teach you how, and how to use your knee to provide enough pressure if needed, and when and how to apply a tourniquet.” The Stop the Bleed classes typically include 30–40 minutes of lecture, says Moses, followed by hands-on practice so that all participants

leave feeling well versed. The small group instructor-to-student ratio accommodates individual learning styles and comfort levels. She likes to quote Chuck Hogan, manager at LifeFlight of Maine’s Bangor base, who says “The worst decision is indecision.” “Second guessing yourself wastes precious time,” she elaborates. “Preparation gives you the tools that will boost your confidence, and increases your effectiveness in an emergency situation.” To find out more, those living in “the County” may contact Aroostook EMS; while Tri-County EMS serves Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford county residents; and Atlantic Partners EMS covers the remaining counties in Maine (see page 2 for complete contact information). And coming up in November, the Atlantic Partners EMS annual training seminar for EMS providers will for the first time welcome the public to register for a half-day “EMS for Everyone” academy.


2019 MAINE EMS AWARDS The 2019 Maine EMS awards ceremony will take place in the Hall of Flags inside the State House on Monday, May 20 at 2:30 pm. The public is cordially invited to attend. Following the awards ceremony (weather permitting) will be a gathering and wreath laying to commemorate those EMS providers who lost their lives in the line of duty. This will be at the Maine EMS Education and Memorial Center located just south of the Capitol building.




ylvia Hull has been a fixture in EMS around Maine for over three decades. She retired from the Portland Fire Department after 25 years of service on MEDCU 4. That she chose to remain on the FD ambulance as a practicing EMS provider for so long is remarkable. “In many ways, the fire service was, and still is, a man’s world and it takes ‘stick-to-itiveness’ as a female to tough it out and stay,” says Hull, who has become highly regarded as a role model and resource for many younger women entering the field. “What women may lack in strength, they make up for with strategy,” she asserts, and with resilience, as well as a notable willingness to work together and support each other.

Hull started in EMS handling dispatch duties from home on the “red phone” after her then-husband completed a first responder course. “After two months, I’d had it with staying home by the phone, so I went out and took an EMT class!” Hull recalls with a laugh that she gave up a teaching position, which paid well because she was also a department head, to take her first job with MEDCU—where she earned less than the crossing guard at her former school. In her “retirement” from PFD, Hull has continued as a per diem Paramedic for both Lisbon Falls and Sacopee Rescue, where she often makes a point of working holiday shifts so that other employees who have young families can be at home to celebrate together.

MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019


10 MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019




cott Smith has been involved with emergency medicine since 1992, working as a Paramedic, emergency room nurse, nurse practitioner, training officer, and in QI (quality improvement). He is currently chief of Lisbon Emergency. Smith has taught for various services in Maine, New Jersey, Maryland, and in North Carolina, where he also worked as a flight nurse. From Kittery to north of Bangor, Scott has staged CEH classes for many EMS services. In 2009, Smith coordinated the Midcoast EMS Seminar (now APEMS seminar) at the Samoset, where he has been an in-

structor/presenter many times over the years. He even traveled to Fiji a few years ago to teach ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support). Smith’s passion for EMS is evident to anyone who has ever taken a class with him. “I’ve been fortunate to work with great mentors in EMS, and I think teaching allows me to help improve provider confidence and care,” says Scott. “EMS is an irefighter/Paramedic Kevin Curry, important part of the healthcare continuretiring this year from full-time um, so I try to seize every opportunity to service since 2002 at Augusta Fire, help anyone who is interested in aspiring to has been jokingly referred to as their “oldest rise from wherever they are to a higher rookie.” Curry has actually been an EMS level of knowledge and skills.” provider in various places all over Maine for 36 years. He started out in Maine with Union Ambulance, and has served that community for many years as a provider, crew chief, training coordinator, and service chief. Curry is also a familiar face as a per diem paramedic at other Mid Coast EMS services including South Thomaston, St. George, Warren, and CLC (Central Lincoln County) ambulance. Curry is proud to have taken the first EMT course in the area, back in 1974. Earlier, as a teenager, he was among the very first to earn his CPR card. “That was back in the day when older, old-school personnel did not look too kindly on young whippersnappers full of energy and ideas,” he chuckles. He recalls how he learned of new educational opportunities by sneak-




ing trashed CPR class brochures out of the wastebasket. While supporting his family though a 25 year career at Transco and then Xerox, Curry never gave up his interest in EMS, and in recent years has clearly demonstrated his passion. This past winter, seeing the need, he rounded up some colleagues to put on two extremely well-attended daylong Saturday CEH sessions covering pediatrics, trauma, and “as many other categories as we could squeeze in” for St. George and Jefferson area providers. Curry was nominated by Steve Leach, Chief of Augusta Fire—Curry’s most recent supervisor, although Leach actually started out, decades ago, working for Curry in Union. Leach writes: “From patient care to educating both the public and our providers, Kevin Curry has ‘paid it forward’ in a way that makes me proud to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from such a giving and generous individual.”

MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019






oth during and after serving as a Navy corpsman with the Marine Corps Reserve, Evan Sisley continued to serve his country and the state of Maine as a paramedic while overseeing the out-of-hospital medical care for President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush. Sisley led a team of approximately 30 military medics, paramedics, flight paramedics, EMTs, and nurses in administering routine and emergency medical care to the Bushes over the past four years. Sisley’s team worked in tandem with a team of physicians to ensure that the Bushes had the best possible outcome. Sisley began providing care for the Bushes five years ago, and was eventually promoted to be President Bush’s Personal Aide and Senior Medic. Sisley recognized the unique capabilities of paramedics and

EMTs as prehospital emergency professionals in identifying illness and providing care to President and Mrs. Bush while they were in Maine. These EMS providers worked together with nurses and other health care professionals to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to out-of-hospital care. The Bush medical detail serves as an example of the outstanding professionalism and capabilities that are possible from emergency medical services personnel in Maine. They were able to implement an innovative approach to pre-hospital care that resulted in increased quality and quantity of life for President and Mrs. Bush. Sisley’s medical care and leadership reflected great credit upon himself, and were in keeping with the high standards of emergency medical services in Maine.




assandra Clark is currently a Paramedic/supervisor at NorthStar. She also works part-time at Winthrop Ambulance. Clark, a Livermore Falls resident, started her EMS career years ago as an EMT. Since then, Clark has developed great confidence, initiative, and leadership skills. As a shift supervisor at NorthStar EMS, Clark also makes time to serve as a mentor to University of New England students and is often first to offer to do presentations in local schools.

She recently joined the Tri-County EMS debriefing team. “Cassandra is the leading example of enthusiastic and eager EMS providers who will be the leaders of the evolving EMS system in Maine in the future,” says Carol Tibbets, who nominated her. “I’m truly honored to receive this award,” Clark observes. “Carol has been such a huge influence, and to know that I’ve earned the respect of my co-workers is amazing. I am also truly grateful to my family for their ongoing support.”

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ortheast Harbor (NEH) Ambulance Service has been described as “small, but mighty” under the longtime leadership and direction of its Chief, Basil Mahaney. For a number of years, Mahaney has been a full-time paramedic for Bar Harbor Ambulance while also fulfilling his role as chief for NEH, where he started his EMS career as an EMT back in 2003. One of Mahaney’s successful strategies was for his service to synchronize and coordinate equipment purchases with neighboring ones so that familiari-

ty with their operation is also maintained across the broader community. Another example of Mahaney’s innovative approach was the shift years ago toward per diem employment, a much more reliable system than paging volunteer crew members in hopes they would materialize at the scene. Mahaney is well regarded for his easygoing, flexible, yet effective management style and creative ideas such as NEH crews offering BP checks, and gaining visibility, at the local farmer’s market in his downeast island community.




manda Chretien has been serving Newport and surrounding communities for nearly 20 years. She was the first full time firefighter/EMT ever hired by the Town of Newport. Amazingly, she worked full-time by herself in that capacity for a decade. But even more remarkable than her clinical knowledge and capabilities (including

EMT, CPR instructor, ambulance vehicle operators course instructor, firefighter, HazMat certification, and more) is her unmistakable passion and connection to her patients and her gift for making each one feel safe and special. A case in point: a recent 911 caller, when asked for details of the nature of the medical emergency, replied, “I just want Amanda!”

BEYOND THE CALL - TELL US YOUR STORY! When they respond to a call, EMS providers often don’t get to close the loop and find out how the story ends, or if they’ve made a difference. If your life, or that of a loved one, has been positively impacted by Maine EMS, here is your chance to share the story (in detail, or not) and have a chance to say thank you to these dedicated men and women. Of course, EMS providers take pride in doing their jobs and they don’t, and shouldn’t, count on or expect to be thanked by their patients and families. But when it does happen, it’s memorable and rewarding. Your response to our open invitation will be shared with the individuals or services cited, and this recognition will also be appreciated by all Maine EMS providers and their families. Submit your information to Rick Petrie, Executive Director of Atlantic Partners EMS, by emailing to:

EMS-C GRANT ENHANCES CARE FOR MAINE’S YOUNGEST PATIENTS Last year Maine EMS applied for, and was awarded, a $520 thousand EMS for Children (EMS-C) grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services. This four-year grant is designed to fund the resources and staff needed to reduce pediatric mortality and morbidity in Maine through appropriate, effective, evidence-based pediatric care. Maine’s EMS-C program focuses on newborns through age 18—some of Maine’s most vulnerable patients. They are dependent upon EMS providers to have up-to-date knowledge, skills, and resources to best care for them in their time of need. With over 13,000 pediatric EMS calls in 2018, Maine EMS providers delivered newborns, treated pediatric car accident victims, and cared for multiple illnesses and injuries in our younger population. EMS providers went “Beyond the Call” by not only responding to 911 calls but providing advanced care transports from Maine’s critical access hospitals to larger pediatric centers for the sickest of Maine’s youngest citizens. Additionally, EMS providers attended advanced and specialized pediatric care courses including PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) and PEPP (Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals). The Maine EMS-C program addresses three main aspects of EMS care: 1. EMS Services & Provider Support a. Effective use of data: From patient care reports, the EMS-C program uses nonidentifiable data to determine types, locations, frequency and length of pediatric EMS calls. Learning what types of emergencies EMS providers face allows better directed education. b. Encouraging a Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator to be an organizational champion for best practices, resources and liaison to the State EMS-C program. c. Regular review and training on departmental pediatric equipment and supplies for effective use by providers, as well as patient comfort. 2. Hospital Support a. Identifying and recognizing excellence in pediatric care in hospitals across the state. b. Providing resources for effective planning and use of interfacility transport by EMS. 3. Governmental Support a. The EMS-C program partners with a number of state and independent organizations such as state advisory boards, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, and various health coalition groups. b. The EMS-C advisory committee is a group of EMS, physicians and advanced practice providers who meet bimonthly to help guide the program and its growth. The Maine EMS-C program publishes a monthly newsletter, “EMS-C for ME,” available on the Maine EMS website, and quarterly data reports about EMS care in Maine. Working with local, state and national partners, the program aims to bring ever-improving pediatric care to all who live in, and visit, Maine. For more information on the program, contact Marc Minkler, EMS-C Program Manager, at or visit the Maine EMS website and click on EMS-C Resources.

MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019

MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES 2019 is published by the Bangor Daily News

Publisher: Richard J. Warren Senior Editor, Special Sections: Matthew Chabe Sales Manager: Todd McLeod Sales: Linda Hayes Layout & Cover: Carolina Rave Creative Manager: Coralie Cross Creative Services: Amy Allen, Marcie Coombs, Ben Cyr, Callie Picard 207.990.8105 The material in this section was produced for Maine EMS by Nancy McGinnis/communicado! McGinnis, a freelance writer and photographer, has also been a member of the Maine EMS Community for over 30 years. Learn more at


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aramedic Jim Lapolla, Director of Wells EMS, and his 44 crew members face some unique challenges in providing emergency medical response to the Town of Wells. For one thing, the town of Wells has been identified as having one of the largest elderly populations in Maine—itself the state with the fastest-growing elderly population in the U.S. For another, the year-round service area population of 12,000 swells to some 60,000 during the busy summer season. And yet, Wells EMS succeeds at operating two ambulances at the Paramedic level, 24/7, with its per diem crew members, a mix of EMTs, Advanced EMTs and Paramedics, responding to approximately 2,000 calls per year. “We get a little bit of everything—

cardiac events, strokes, falls, motor vehicle accidents,” says Lapolla. “We’re also involved in lots of different events in the community,” he continues, “such as ‘Soup’s On’—we help to prepare a hearty meal, feeding about a hundred residents, twice a month during the winter; and we collaborate with the Wells Police Department and town office staff to put on the semi-annual Wells Senior Luncheon.” Wells EMS is represented in the town’s holiday parade, and even, when feasible, at the Chamber of Commerce ribbon cuttings for new area businesses. They offer BP clinics, stand by at school football games, and help provide medical coverage for the annual Beach to Beacon marathon as well as the Casco Bay Odyssey SwimRun.


Just last month, as they do every year, Wells EMS crew members attended the annual local Beach Clean-Up event organized by the Wells Police Department. “We stand by in case of a medical emergency, but while we’re there, we’re glad to help with the clean up as much as we can.” “We’re pleased to also have a great working relationship with York Hospital in Wells,” adds Lapolla, “and to support the EMT program at York County Community College, where one of our Paramedics is the

lead instructor. That benefits us, too, as we’re always looking for talented people to join our ranks.” Lapolla estimates that, remarkably, 95% of his Wells per diem EMS crew also work elsewhere (e.g., Saco or Portland FD) or at Maine Medical Center. “Some of them do live locally, but others travel an hour or more to work their shifts in Wells. We offer a winning combination: a great seacoast town, an interesting mix of calls, and a very rewarding sense of community.”

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population of over 2,000—including students, faculty, staff and campus visitors—is served by about 40 members of Bates College EMS. Their Chief of Service, Miles Lamberson ‘19, says his own interest in becoming an EMT grew out of his lifelong passion for spending time outdoors, both on his own and with friends, and discovering first-hand the value of knowing what to do in a medical emergency. Almost all of the Bates student EMS crew have earned their licensure as EMTs, Lamberson says, noting that not many freshmen come to Bates pre-certified (as he did, having taken a year between high school and college to work full-time as an EMT). More typically, students sign up for a one month accelerated EMT course program offered at Bates in the spring, in a partnership with the United Ambulance Training Center. Two current crew members have gone on to earn their Paramedic licensure, and two also work for United Ambulance. Once trained, students volunteer for 24 hour shifts, providing around-the-clock coverage whenever classes are in session. A trio including a student crew chief—a seasoned EMT with experience that sometimes includes

illnesses. “There are some psychiatric emergencies, too, especially towards the end of semester with exams approaching,” he reflects. In addition to responding to calls, Bates EMS stations standby crews at campus dances, concerts, and intramural and club sports events. “Responding to an EMS call for help on campus can hit you hard, and close to home,” he adds somberly. “The patient may be your partner in chem lab, or live just down the hall from you.” Because the campus is such a close, tight-knit community, in addition to clinical education, “a significant part of orienting and training our crew members is to instill total confidentiality and respect for all patients.” Lamberson is justifiably proud that Bates College has recently been accredited STUDENT MEMBERS OF BATES EMS POSED FOR A SQUAD PHOTO. as a HeartSafe Community, thanks in part the state of Maine, is non-transporting, and relies on to a successful program of free bystander CPR training United Ambulance when a patient requires more help than offered campuswide. And “it’s phenomenal to see our students take EMS so can be provided at the scene. “We average 120–140 calls a year—mostly on weekend seriously,” declares Lamberson, noting the remarkably nights,” says Lamberson. They range from intoxication high number of individuals in the Bates alumni network to sports trauma to cardiac incidents, seizures and who are still engaged in EMS or related fields. ride time with United Ambulance—paired with two additional EMTs, responds to on-campus calls for help in the highly-visible Bates EMS Toyota Highlander. The vehicle, outfitted with lights and sirens, is stocked with first aid equipment including splinting, suction, spinal immobilization, and other gear. The service, as licensed by

Like what you see in this section? Support your local EMS ...and then join Friends of EMS for Maine As one of our Friends of EMS for Maine, you’ll join us in an ongoing initiative: “To maintain the EMS Memorial and Educational Site; to educate the public about emergency medical services; and to enhance the well-being, education, and support of our EMS providers, EMS services and EMS system in Maine.” Officers: Kevin McGinnis, Chair; Ben Zetterman, Vice-Chair; Joanne LeBrun, Secretary; Rick Petrie, Treasurer


Write to Friends of EMS for Maine, PO Box 15, Harrington, ME 04643 Call Kevin McGinnis at 207-512-0975 or visit the Maine EMS Memorial and Education Project on FaceBook

16 MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019



ith its two vehicles and 20 employees, Sebasticook Valley Hospital (SVH) Ambulance provides 24/7 EMS response for a number of

towns including Pittsfield, Newport, Burnham, Hartland, St. Albans, Palmyra, Plymouth and Detroit. SVH Ambulance is licensed at the EMT level and permitted to

operate up to the Paramedic level when its staff with more advanced training are available to respond. Director Ed Moreshead, a Paramedic, leads the team of 12 full time and eight per diem employees, some of whom have been with the service for a dozen or more years. Moreshead projects 2,500 calls for SVH Ambulance in 2019—”the majority, about 70%, will be 911 calls, dispatched by either Somerset or Penobscot Communications Center since we straddle the county line.” The remainder are non-emergency patient transfers to or from the nursing home or hospital. When needed, SVH Ambulance can also count on Advanced Life Support (ALS) backup from another service, including Mayo, Redington-Fairview, or Delta. One of the two SVH ambulance vehicles is typically stationed at the hospital in Pittsfield, and the other in Newport, in partnership with the Newport Fire Department. “We have a contractual agreement with the town of Newport,” Moreshead explains, “to staff an ambulance around the clock with our medical provider and their driver.” Emergency calls to SVH Ambulance for help may include chest pain, respiratory distress, weakness, falls, and motor vehicle accidents. The latter is to be expected, Moreshead observes, given that the service area includes “20 miles or so of Interstate 95.

We had a four-wheeler hit by a truck on Route 2 in Newport,” he recalls, “resulting in severe injuries, and the patient was flown to Boston for treatment.” One interesting, and relatively unusual aspect of SVH Ambulance, is that since the service is actually a department of Sebasticook Valley Hospital, crew members can go into the Emergency Department under the direction of a physician and participate in patient care (such as starting an IV) consistent with their license level. This affords crew members the opportunity to keep their skills sharpened while also contributing to the hospital operations. SVH Ambulance members can also free up hospital resources by assisting with “one on ones”—for patients requiring observation. “In a small community hospital, everyone pitches in,” says Moreshead. The administration at the hospital, and Northern Light Health, is very aware and appreciative of the positive impact of the SVH EMS providers, he notes, and regularly seeks ways to recognize their contributions. Sebasticook Valley Hospital Ambulance also offers CPR classes and participates in outreach efforts to local schools, such as serving as volunteer readers at a popular literacy event for kids, “because we want our providers to be familiar faces to our community members,” says Moreshead.

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tional stress and focus on the task at hand,” says Gray, “but oosabec Ambulance Service, Inc., serves the what, it’s a where!” came the reply. Most of the time, Moosabec responds to emergencies that can be even more challenging when we most likely towns of Jonesport and Beals Island, with a combined population of under 2,000—though rather than handling transfer calls. “Unless the patient is know, and are often related to, the people we take care of”. The entire community is shaken by a mock accident the numbers increase in the summer with seasonal resi- from Jonesport or Beals, we hesitate to leave the area for a dents and tourists visiting downeast Maine. Leading a dedi- transfer because there would be no local back up. A round staged periodically as a cooperative effort between area public safety agencies, including the state police, sheriff’s cated crew of about 15 is Renée Gray, who juggles various trip would mean five hours away.” The service handles about 300 calls annually (“one year, office, local fire departments and ambulance services. Held responsibilities; in addition to being an EMT and the Moosabec Service Chief, she’s a busy mom who also works full we had 600—but that was a fluke,” says Gray). “A nursing at the high school, “It Could Happen to You” is “as real as it time. “We all have other jobs,” explains Gray, who was home that had been a huge part of our town since the ‘60s gets without being the real deal,” Gray says. Wrecked vehicles and local theater students in moulage drawn to EMS after taking a first-aid class 20 (make-up) create an unforgettable blunt reyears ago. “I tell people who want to join the minder of the dangers of distracted driving. ambulance service that we’ll take whatever “There is even a staged funeral, with an actime you can spare to fill our schedule.” tual casket, a eulogy that is read aloud, and The service is licensed at the EMT level the voice of the “deceased” young victim, and permitted to Paramedic. The two towns hidden from sight, thanking her parents and used to have separate ambulance services, family and sharing a poignant “what if?” Gray explains, but by the early 2000s it was message. “It’s always a huge amount of colbecoming obvious that combining their limlaborative effort to put on, but if it saves one ited resources would allow them to provide life, it’s worth it,” says Gray. better and more cost effective services. A Gray is planning a community open house new nonprofit 501(c)(3) service was formed, during EMS week to build community awarewith each town providing one ambulance. ness and to publicly acknowledge “the amazSince the Beals base had no running water, it RENEE GRAY (FAR LEFT) AND SOME OF THE MOOSABEC CREW POSE FOR A GROUP PHOTO IN 2018. ing people who make Moosabec Ambulance was decided to house the two vehicles in the one building in Jonesport, where a bay was added to the or ‘70s, and home to many of our elderly residents, abrupt- what it is.” It takes a lot of outreach to keep the service going, existing ambulance garage. The new entity was christened ly closed last year. That left a huge gap in our community she says, and a lot of motivation and dedication to acquire and maintain the necessary training to be an EMS provider. Many Moosabec Ambulance, after the Moosabec Reach, a body of that will likely impact our call volume statistics as well.” Moosabec receives a modest stipend from the two towns for of the current crew members are following in the footsteps of water that lies between the two communities. Gray pauses to chuckle, recounting the story brought emergency medical services. “We’ve recently had to raise the their parents or even grandparents. “I want to sincerely thank everyone on our crew for the amazing job they do,” says Gray. back by a crew member after a trip to Bangor for a patient amount requested from $12 to $15 per capita,” says Gray. Another distinctive aspect of small town EMS is that “in “You can have the latest vehicles and equipment, the best statransfer. “What’s a Moosabec?” an individual had inquired on seeing the name painted on the ambulance. “It’s not a this business, you have to separate yourself from the emo- tion—but the people are what matters most!”

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our ambulances, a snowmobile, a rescue toboggan, and 10 very dedicated crew members. With these resources, Patten Ambulance Service provides emergency medical services and interfacility transfers to residents and visitors across a 1,600-square-mile area of rural Maine. “It’s challenging—our coverage stretches roughly 20 miles north of Patten, up to Knowles Corner on Route 11, and 20 miles south to Benedicta and Silver Ridge,” says Paramedic Ed Noyes, who has been the service director for 20 years. It extends as far as 30 miles into the Baxter State Park wilderness, including the Katahdin Woods and Waters Monument. “We also respond to calls along 20 miles of the Interstate, as well as a good stretch of Route 11,” says Noyes. Other than Patten and Sherman with about 500 residents apiece, much of the coverage area (including the towns of Stacyville, Crystal, Hersey, Morrill, Penobscot, and Aroostook unorganized territories) is sparsely populated. The numbers increase with seasonal recreational visitors to Baxter State Park, Shin Pond, etc., who come for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, ATV touring, camping and hiking. There is one other Paramedic on the Patten Ambulance crew, along with five EMTs and two drivers. Because of the remote location—the Patten base is 12 miles from the closest hospital, in Millinocket and 36 miles from the second closest, in Houlton-- two or three of their ambulances may be on the road at once. Baxter State Park Rangers typically transport injured or ill patients to the park boundary, but once transferred to an ambulance it can be a 60 mile or longer trip from there to the hospital. In addition to responding to emergency calls, dispatched


by Penobscot Regional Communication Center in Bangor, Patten Ambulance crews are often called to perform interfacility transfers. Many are high-acuity calls, responding to serious medical needs, perhaps because much of the resident population is elderly, or because of the distance from medical facilities. Last year, Patten Ambulance responded to a total of 525 calls.

When available, Patten Ambulance has participated in community events such as the Patten Pioneer Day parade and visiting local students at the school Health Fair and Career Day. For the past few years, the Patten crew has provided a standby ambulance to cover the annual Rock Maple snowmobile racing event, drawing crowds to Sherman in January.

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erry Mitchell knows how important it is to cultivate a good relationship with your neighbors. The EMS Coordinator for the South Bristol Volunteer Fire Department, along with her small but dedicated crew of a half dozen EMTs and First Responders, often rely on collaboration with their colleagues to respond to medical emergencies and keep the public safe. The entire EMS crew is also on the South Bristol Fire Department roster. “Not long ago, a young man rock slipped while climbing on the shore cliffs and fell straight down, landing about 20’ below the road level,” she recalls. To reach him required navigating ocean, river, and/or slippery, seaweed-covered rocks. “We called our fire department to the scene, and requested mutual aid from Bristol Fire and Rescue.” This is standard procedure for South Bristol, which is a non-transporting service: their role is to assess, treat and stabilize the patient until an ambulance arrives if further intervention or a trip to

the hospital is needed. “This rescue also required the Coast Guard,” Mitchell recalls. “We loaded the patient onto our Stokes litter and used our 16’ inflatable to get him out to the Coast Guard vessel. They brought him in to the dock where he was transported by Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service—the extrication took about two and a half hours of teamwork, from start to finish.” The town of South Bristol, which includes Walpole, is located way down a peninsula— it’s about 13 miles to the farthest point, she explains. The nearest hospital is 12–15 minutes away, even going with lights and sirens. Part of their coverage area is on an island, accessible from the mainland by a bascule bridge. Before the new bridge was completed two years ago, South Bristol had a contingency plan in place, relying on local boats in case the old bridge broke down. And during construction, there were stretches when the lift was up for a half hour or longer. “But the bridge tenders have a pager, so we can communicate with them if we need to,” Mitchell explains. The South Bristol crew responds to about 75 calls a year, ranging from falls and difficulty breathing to motor vehicle accidents. Mitchell and the other EMS personnel are grateful to the town and its residents for their ongoing support. “It’s how we were able to purchase a new 12lead cardiac monitor,” she says, “and what makes it possible for our members to be able to attend classes every year at the annual Atlantic Partners EMS conference at the Samoset to keep up our skills and training.”


EMS AT THE SAMOSET: AN ANNUAL TRADITION, AND NEW THIS YEAR: ‘EMS FOR EVERYONE’ Mention the Samoset to any EMS provider in the state of Maine, and chances are that his or her first thought will be the annual EMS training seminar that takes place over an extended weekend at the Rockport, Maine, resort every fall. Launched nearly four decades ago by the Mid-Coast EMS Council, the event is currently organized and presented by Atlantic Partners EMS (APEMS). It offers training and continuing education opportunities for hundreds of Maine EMS providers at all certification levels, and a chance to learn, through classes, skills refreshers and vendor exhibits, about state of the art developments in technology and techniques. The seminar includes a statewide EMS “annual town meeting,” thoughtprovoking keynote speakers, an EMS banquet, evening entertainment, and plenty of informal networking and camaraderie. Something new and different will happen at the APEMS Samoset seminar this year. For the first time, the public is invited to EMS for Everyone; a half-day academy geared specifically to Mainers with no prior training or certification. APEMS Director Rick Petrie is excited about providing the opportunity to learn basic first aid, Hands-Only CPR, Stop the Bleed, and other fundamentals of bystander preparedness in medical emergencies, all in one session, at one location. The instruction will include hands-on practice of newly-learned skills, all in a friendly and informal setting. Participants will receive useful handouts and a certificate of recogni-

tion from Atlantic Partners EMS, as well as a chance to win door prizes. EMS administrators will be on hand to answer participants’ questions and provide guidance for those interested in learning more specifics about EMS certification and exploring EMS employment opportunities and careers in Maine, while seasoned, knowledgeable EMS providers will share their own personal experiences and perspectives. In addition, while at the Samoset, participants will have access to the EMS exhibit area, with an opportunity to learn up-close and in-depth all about emergency medical response vehicles and equipment. According to Petrie, this first-ever event at the Samoset seminar will be designed to also serve as a prototype for EMS services and regional EMS offices across the state interested in reaching out to, and building strong relationships with, their own community members. “We envision this EMS for Everyone academy as a reproducible package,” he explains. The inaugural EMS for Everyone session will take place at the Samoset Resort on Saturday, November 9, from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. The cost is $10, which includes handouts and lunch (a Samoset soup and sandwich buffet with other attendees and EMS providers in the exhibit area) after the training sessions have concluded. Space is limited. To register, visit surveymonkey. com/r/62XRLJ3.

20 MAINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 17, 2019

Profile for Bangor Daily News

EMS Week 2019  

EMS Week 2019