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The MEDIC Dispatch News From The Front Line December 6, 2010

Safety Hazard Reminder for Medics & First Responders! While any suicide can have devastating effects on the community, an alarming new suicide method from Japan called


“detergent suicide” now poses a very serious and direct threat to Medic and first responders.

EMS Agency

The detergent suicide method first appeared in Japan in 2007. By September 2008, detergent suicide was ruled as the cause of death for more than 800 people in that country. Due to the accessibility of the internet, detergent suicide has recently emerged in the United States. The detergent suicide method uses H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide), a highly toxic chemical

Dates to Remember: Dates to Remember:

December 10th Recertification Testing December 11th Recertification Testing

substance, as one of its main ingredients. H2S can be found in such common household items as toilet bowl cleaners, bath salts and insecticides. Inhalation of H2S acts as an asphyxiant and is lethal enough to kill a person in just one breath. Skin that comes in contact with H2S may result in severe burns. Medic and first responders arriving on the scene of a suicide are at a greater risk of becoming victims due to the toxic concentrated levels of H2S. The gas is extremely flammable and is most concentrated in small spaces such as cars, bathrooms, outbuildings, etc. In late February, Emergency Responders in Cary responded to a call about an unconscious

This Week: Performance Pay Update


Don’t Forget to Spend


Makeup InService Dates


December Birthdays


Job Posting Announcement


Is Your Credit Taking Hit?


Training Schedule


victim in a vehicle. Fire personnel noticed a sign on the dashboard of the vehicle that read “Call Police and Hazmat.” When Hazmat arrived on the scene and opened the vehicle door, test monitors measured H2S levels of 340 ppm—the immediate danger to life and health level (IDLH) for this substance is at 100 ppm. The victim inside the vehicle committed suicide by mixing the H2S substance with an organic phosphate inside a 5-gallon bucket. “My concern is that someone won’t be so kind next time and post notes on the car as a warning, or that the warning won’t be seen until it’s too late,” says Skip Kirkwood, Deputy Director for Wake County’s Department of Emergency Medical Services. In May 2009, Idaho officials spotted a Toyota Scion parked alongside a local highway. “Hazardous Materials” signs, warnings of H2S and “one breath can kill” were all taped to the outside of the car. Officials were also able to see the body of a young male slumped over in the driver’s seat. Awareness and education are key to saving lives. Medic personnel who arrive first on scene are encouraged to exercise care and take the necessary precautions to avoid possible exposure to a hazard situation of this nature. 1

Performance Pay Update At a 71% excellent rating for patient satisfaction, we are off to a GREAT start for the current Performance Pay Tracking period (which runs from November 1st— February 28th). The key is maintaining this early success to ensure an employee payout. Even though our performance is high right now, please remember that patient satisfaction is the area that has historically shown the most fluctuation over the course of a tracking period. Please keep this in mind when dealing with patients and work hard to communicate with them and their family members in the most compassionate, customer-friendly way possible (AIDET). It makes a HUGE difference!

Medic’s Severe Weather Policy The months of December—February often bring some of most inclement weather conditions to our area. As we prepare for winter, please be mindful of Medic’s Severe Weather Policy below: Policy The nature of Medic’s role and service to the community mandates continuous operational ability. Employees who work in functions essential to the 24-hour operations of Medic, or in functions determined essential by their department director, must maintain their regular work hours during inclement weather. For other employees, Medic will observe Mecklenburg County’s operating hours during severe weather. Procedure During periods of inclement weather, all non-essential employees shall access the official information by calling Mecklenburg County’s Employee News Now phone line at 704.336.3636 or by monitoring broadcast media. It is the employee’s responsibility to call and confirm anytime there is a question regarding changes to the Agency’s operating hours during severe or inclement weather. In times of emergencies or declared disasters, the Agency may require non-operations personnel to report to work, in support of the emergency services we provide, even when other local government offices are closed. 2

Holiday Schedule Reminder

Aflac FREE Policies

The holiday season is quickly approaching! Please remember that Medic’s administrative offices will be closed on Friday, December 24th and Monday, December 27th. In addition, administrative offices will also be closed on Friday, December 31st for New Years Day. Thank you.

Our Aflac Representatives Drew Fowlie and Terri will be here from Monday, December 6th – Thursday, December 9th for open enrollment of Aflac Policies only. If you would like to make changes to your current plan or if you have questions, please be sure to see them out in the Bay Area. Drew can also be reached 704.806.6816 or

Don’t Forget to Spend Your FSA! Be sure to spend your remaining money in your flexible spending account by December 31st, 2010. Your date-of-service for medical procedures should be completed by the 31st to qualify as well as any point-of-sale purchase such as prescriptions, over-the counter items/ meds, medical equipment, etc. It is ok to pay a bill after December 31st, 2010 with your FSA card, but the services must be before December 31st. All outstanding bills for 2010 must be turned in to your FSA by March 15th, 2011. A monthly statement was e-mailed to employees from The Employers Association in the past few days with your remaining balance. Effective January 1, 2011 - Changes to Over-the-Counter Eligibility for Flexible Spending Accounts The health care reform laws passed earlier this year will have an impact on what items participants can purchase with their FSA dollars beginning on January 1st, 2011. Expenses incurred for over-the-counter drugs and medicines will require a doctor’s prescription in order to be reimbursed. That means such items as cough medicines, pain relievers, acid controllers and ointments must be submitted, along with a doctor’s prescription and a claim form for manual reimbursement. Your FSA benefits card will no longer allow purchases of these items. However, participants will still be able to use the card for non-medical or drug items such as contact lens solution, gauze, band aids, etc. 3

Makeup InService Dates

Scholarship Program

Below are the makeup

The Dept of Homeland Security Scholarship & Fellowship Program is intended for students interested in pursuing the basic science and

InService dates for the month of November. Please be sure to register for one of the following

technology innovations. Eligible students must be studying in a homeland security-related science, technology, engineering and mathematics field and meet the

dates and times below. All employees must be in uniform and all sessions will be held in the Medic

following criteria:


* Undergraduate students

Tuesday, Dec 14th

* U.S. citizenship required


* Funding available for fall 2011 Wednesday, Dec 15th

* Full tuition and monthly stipends


* Includes 10-week summer internships at federal research facilities or DHS Centers of Excellence

If you have any questions or to register for the above November makeup InService dates, please be sure to contact Robin Pariso in Medical Services at

* Application Deadline: January 5th, 2011 For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Scholarship Program website at

Thank you.

Promotion Announcement It is with great pleasure to announce the following promotions in Communications and Operations:

Bryan Hancock:

Communications Supervisor

Dan Baltimore:

Operations Supervisor

Tony Pattillo:

Operations Supervisor

Kenny Phillips:

Operations Supervisor

Chris Simmons:

Operations Supervisor

Each individual has a history of strong performance and dedication to Medic. They have all shown tremendous accountability and leadership qualities that will serve them and the Agency well as they take on their new responsibilities. Please be sure to congratulate each of them on this outstanding career achievement. They will make the transition to their new role within the next 30 days. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Barry Bagwell via e-mail at or ext. 6170.


December Birthdays We would like to extend special birthday wishes to the following employees celebrating a birthday in the month of December: Chris Somerset December 1 Susan Pollich December 18 Pamela Jackson

December 4

Steven Bridges

December 18

Charles Rorie

December 5

Steve Vandeventer

December 19

Reggie Ball

December 6

Tyler North

December 20

Michael Jackman

December 7

Chris Kraetz

December 21

Donna Layton

December 7

John Marlowe

December 21

Carlos Massey

December 9

Julia Barela

December 24

Chris Alaimo

December 10

Robert Boykin

December 25

Nayyar Toqeer

December 11

Vincent Thompson

December 25

Angela Hulshult

December 11

Troy White

December 26

Heidi Wozniak

December 12

Mike Saxton

December 26

Nikki Duncan

December 12

Robert Dalton

December 27

William Coble

December 12

Todd Moore

December 28

Shari Lambeth

December 12

Trevor Taylor

December 29

John Gibson

December 13

Chris Simmons

December 30

Adamo Riascos

December 14

Andrew Williams

December 30

Dawn Parker

December 14

Beth Pethel

December 31

Richard Steinbroner

December 15

Karl Ottesen

December 31

Ian Starkey

December 17

Veronica Brittain

December 31

Chad Wilson

December 17

Don Robinson

December 31

Your Medic Orders Are Here! Several employees purchased specialty items at the Medic Store Open House during the Health & Benefits Fair in October. The PR Department would like to inform the following individuals that their item(s) have arrived and are now available for pickup: Mike Stratton

Jeff Bailey

Brandon Holland

Steven Bridges

Ute Dorflinger

If you work nights or will be unavailable between the hours of 8:00 am – 5:00pm, please be sure to send Kristin Young or Nikkie Perry an e-mail requesting your item(s) and we will be sure to place it in the OA’s office for pickup. Thank you. 5

Job Posting Announcement Education and Quality Specialist ***Re-advertised due to an additional vacancy*** Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (40-hour work week) Note: Schedule may be adjusted from these base times due to in-service class times, simulation center operations, etc. The Education and Quality Specialist is responsible for providing the following: clinical continuing education and training for all certified medical providers (EMT and EMT-P); assessment of paramedic and EMT core knowledge and skill competency through the use of validated scenarios, which interact with advanced technology human patient simulators against a realistic setting/environment; identification of didactic and/or skill competency concerns, creation of corrective plans of action, and provide remediation of medics as needed; assessment and development of new employees; monitoring of clinical quality performance through retrospective review of patient care reports; and supporting the Agency’s quality improvement functions and clinical research efforts. The pre-requisite for selection to this position is the requirement that the employee must be a field training officer. Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest and a resume of education and work experience to Charvetta FordMcGriff, Recruitment Specialist at no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 8th. *Applications received in August will be considered.*

Job Posting Announcement

IT Service Desk Ticket Reminder

Warehouse Assistant (Internal Applicants only) This position will receive and handle stock at the warehouse while keeping accurate records


Need Help? 


Have you put in an IT help 

desk ticket?  HELP DESK TICKETS =  

of all activity surrounding the flow of items received and distributed.


Faster, Priority‐Level Service 

Job responsibilities include:


Immediately forwarded to the Blackberry’s 


Deliver Assist

of all on duty IT Department staff.   

in weekly and monthly inventories and/or pick up equipment and supplies as needed


Purchasing and Maintenance departments as needed


The help desk system also allows the IT Department to track and report on problems they tend to on a weekly and

miscellaneous shipments from FedEx, and UPS


and deliver miscellaneous non-stock items


recycling of applicable products

Instantaneous Feedback 

monthly basis. These reports allow trends and nagging issues to be analyzed, ultimately leading to long-term, Agency-wide solutions.

Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest to Charvetta Ford-McGriff, Recruitment Specialist at no later than 5:00 p.m.

Thank you for your continued use of the IT help desk ticket system.

Wednesday, December 8th. Thank you. 6

Is Your Credit Taking a Hit? For many, the month of December marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. With markdowns, discounts and store sales, many local and national retailers are looking to cash in on the Christmas spirit. At the hardware store, the bookstore, the mall and even the grocery it happens so nonchalantly. The cashier smiles and asks, "Would you like to save 20 percent today, just by opening a charge card?" Of course, who wouldn't want to save 20 percent?! Be aware that every time you apply for a card—even for a department store card—your credit score takes a hit. In turn, that 20 percent savings could translate into a drop in your credit score. There are lots of sneaky ways your credit score may be adversely affected. Did you know closing out zero-balance cards may actually hurt and not help your credit score? Since part of your credit score is determined by your ratio of available credit to the amount of credit you actually use, the better option may be to keep that unused card open. For example, if you have $8,000 in available credit across three cards. You owe $2,500 total between two of those cards, and nothing on the other. This means you have $5,500 in credit you are not from using. You're looking pretty good to the credit score folks. But, if you close your zero-balance card, you now have $5,000 available credit, with $2,500 owed on the remaining two cards. So you now only have $2,500 you're not using. Not looking as good anymore. The reason is, you will look better if you keep your credit utilization ratio at 30 percent or below. In this example, you're doing that simply by keeping that extra, unused card active. Another surprising tip? Try to hold on to your oldest cards the longest. A big part of your credit score is length of credit history. So the older the card (with consistent, prompt payments), the better. Also, be sure to always pay by the due date. Your ability to pay on time—every time—counts as much as 35 percent of your score. One late payment can cost you up to a hundred points, which could affect your rates if the time comes to apply for a loan. Lastly, try not to consolidate cards. Though it seems to make sense to have one payment every month, your score actually fares better if you have small balances spread across several cards versus one big balance on one card. Easier yes, but according to the credit gurus, definitely not better. Please be sure to contact the Local Government Federal Credit Union or visit for more information on ways to improve your credit score.


December 2010 Sun













4 A



10 B

11 B

Recertification Testing

12 B

13 A

Recertification Testing

19 A

20 B

14 A

15 B

Nov Makeup InService

Nov Makeup InService



21 B

22 A

16 B

23 A

18 A

Recertification Testing

24 B

25 B

Christmas Holiday Medic Offices Closed

1300—1700 Recertification Testing 27 A

26 B

17 A

Recertification Testing

ACLS Training @ CPCC—North Campus

Recertification Testing

28 A

29 B

30 B

31 A

Christmas Holiday Medic Offices Closed

Medic Calendar In-Service Training Medic Events Holidays Recertification Testing



AHA Refresher Classes at CPCC Please contact Mary Ferracci at Classes will be held at the North Campus in Rooms CJ119. Class times are from 1300—1700 ACLS DEC - 20 = **Pre-registration is mandatory**

NC Scope of Practice Recertification Testing

**YOU MUST RECERTIFY DURING YOUR TEST MONTH** ALL CON ED must be up to date at time of testing.

Mecklenburg EMS Agency

To schedule a test appt date and time, email Robin Pariso at

4525 Statesville Road Charlotte, NC 28269

DEC 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 20 (Expiration Dates JAN – MAR 2011)

Tel: 704-943-6000 Fax: 704-943-6001

Visit Us on the Web!


Medic Dispatch - December 6, 2010  

Medic Employee Newsletter