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Cambridge Police Department awarded First Responder of the Year for saving one of their own, while Pro EMS Center for MEDICS Director of Education and Simulation
James DiClemente awarded EMS Educator of the Year
Cambridge, MA (November 2012) – The Cambridge EMS system, which includes the Cambridge Fire and Police Departments as well as Professional Ambulance (Pro EMS), is pleased to announce that several of its members were honored for their exemplary service at the Metropolitan Boston EMS Council (MBEMSC) annual awards ceremony for Region IV.
The MBEMSC awards recognize the accomplishments of emergency medical services (EMS) providers who have made significant contributions within Region IV, which is comprised of 62 cities and towns in the Metropolitan Boston area, and recognize those striving to improve the delivery of pre-hospital care. There are 14 award categories.
The Cambridge Police Department was awarded First Responder of the Year for rapidly and efficiently working to help one of their own, Sergeant George Donovan of Belmont, MA, when he suddenly collapsed in cardiac arrest at a police training event in Devens, Massachusetts, in September. After quickly assessing the sergeant’s condition, officers initiated CPR and used a Semi-Automatic External Defibrillator (SAED) to revive and stabilize the sergeant. Five minutes later, ALS and BLS transport services arrived and took over care of the patient. Sergeant Donovan received cardiac bypass surgery and is now recovering well. Thoughtful planning and thorough training enabled the Cambridge officers to act quickly and effectively, saving the life of one of their own.
Center for MEDICS Director of Education and Simulation James DiClemente has worked relentlessly to create a powerful and effective EMS training and education system, including HALO (High Acuity Low Occurrence) which runs quarterly at Pro EMS. He has also focused on training his team to be better EMS educators, which has impacted well over 700 field providers. DiClemente is committed to improving EMS education by embracing techniques that have been effective in the past, and changing what hasn’t worked to teach EMS providers how to make a positive difference every time they have an interaction with patients and other providers, whether in a training environment or on the road.
“It is an honor to work with the Cambridge EMS System and to know that their training as First Responders makes such a real difference,” said Bill Mergendahl, CEO of Pro EMS and the Pro EMS Center for MEDICS. “We are very fortunate to have James as an educator here. The recognition for his work to continually improve the education of EMS providers is well deserved.”
The award for EMS Physician of the Year went to Dr. Todd Thomsen, who serves an Emergency Department attending physician at Mount Auburn Hospital and also as Medical Director of the paramedic program at Pro EMS. Throughout his career, Thomsen has dedicated himself to improving pre-hospital care in every way, from teaching and mentoring paramedic students to providing the highest quality of care to every patient he encounters. “[Thomsen’s] easy manner and understanding of EMS field providers is immediately apparent, as is his desire to teach and improve patient care. His daily duties as an EMS medical control physician have been tireless. His realistic approach and perspective, coupled with his sense of humor and his ability to relate to all levels of providers is simply amazing,” says Mergendahl.
Pro EMS also received an award for a research project on the use of ultrasound technology in pre-hospital care. Pioneered by two Pro EMS paramedics, and functioning in conjunction with Tufts Medical Center, the project is designed to determine the feasibility of using ultrasound in pre-hospital settings, as well as the amount of training needed to attain competency in the field. The goal of this research is to determine whether ultrasound technology can be deployed successfully in pre-hospital settings, as long as EMTs and paramedics have adequate training. Pro EMS has been using ultrasound in the field for several months now.
Also honored at the MBEMSC Region IV Awards was Jennifer Wallace, RN, a dedicated Emergency Department nurse at The Cambridge Hospital who was awarded EMS Nurse of the Year.
The Cambridge EMS system is also comprised of Cambridge Emergency Communications and Public Health Departments. The MBEMSC awards ceremony took place on Nov. 1.
About Metropolitan Boston Emergency Medical Services Council
The Metropolitan Boston Emergency Medical Services Council, Inc. (MBEMSC) is the agency designated by the DPH to coordinate the delivery of emergency medical services within the sixty-two cities and towns comprising the Metropolitan Boston Area. The Region IV area, which extends north as far as Wilmington and Littleton, west as far as Marlborough and Hopkinton, and south as far as Wrentham and Hanover, serves as residence to over 2 million people, and accounts for close to 1 million emergency department visits in the Region’s hospitals each year. There are 70 licensed ambulance services and 25 acute care hospitals in the Region IV area.
About Professional Ambulance Service
Professional Ambulance Service (Pro EMS) provides emergency medical services to the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts in conjunction with the Cambridge Fire, Police, Emergency Communications and Public Health Departments. Additionally, Pro EMS provides emergency medical services to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professional Ambulance has proudly served the citizens, students, and visitors of Cambridge for over 35 years. For more information, visit www.proems.com or call 617.492.2700.