As the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps were marching during a recent Memorial Day Parade, a woman was heard commenting to her companion, "This is an important group. If you get sick or hurt, they come for you." Well she's right; we do "come for you," as we've done for almost 40 years, every hour and day of the year.
But coming to you means not only with skilled EMT's but also with modern ambulances completely equipped with the highest quality pre-hospital emergency medical systems and equipment. This combination of medical expertise and fast transport can be the difference in life or death.
Clearly, a new ambulance is a very expensive project. A fully equipped Rig costs upward of $180,000, which is why we extended the life of one of our ambulances an extra two years. Since this is an especially significant acquisition we asked our friends, neighbors, and occasional patients, to respond and help us meet our goal.
No strangers to helping their community in significant ways, AP Farm's Adam Rose and Peter McQuillan provided a major boost to LVAC's appeal with a particularly significant leadership donation of $50,000, helping to guarantee LVAC's continued uninterrupted emergency medical service to the community.
LVAC Captain Lucian Lipinsky commented on the gift, "LVAC is truly the community's "last free ride" as we receive no funding from any Federal, State or Local sources so this extraordinary endorsement of LVAC's mission by Adam Rose and Peter McQuillan, representing AP Farm, has clearly energized our community appeal."
LVAC normally purchases a new ambulance every five years on a rotation basis, meaning we will always have both a newer and older model in service. In order to extend the life of our two-ambulance "fleet" we held off on getting a new "Rig" for several years in order to save some money for other pressing projects such as an expansion of our headquarters on Route 35, and the acquisition of medical systems and supplies for the Corps.
I would like to give a huge THANK YOU to the standby team who helped cover Sundays Leathermans race. With so many hands we were able to set-up and take-down operations in record time.
We treated about thirty patients actually the Junior Corps treated 30 patients and did a great job. We treated cuts and scrapes, twisted and swollen ankles and knees, and pulled a couple of runners out of the woods. From the woods came out a potential broken ankle and a potentially serious knee injury who was transported to the hospital. Along with the standby, we were paged to a MVA (that we covered of course) that turned out to be an RMA (even though the telephone pole didnt fare so well). Not only did we care for injured runners, but I think it was a great learning experience for the entire team.
Thanks again for being the best all-volunteer ambulance corps in Westchester and for proving it every day!
As WREMSCO EMT Of The Year
Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps (LVAC) member Riley DeJong has been named the 2015 Emergency Medical Technician Provider Of The Year by WREMSCO, the Westchester Regional Emergency Medical Services Council, its highest award.
On the evening of February 3, 2015, a commuter train on Metro-North's Harlem Line out of Grand Central Station struck a passenger SUV at a grade crossing near Valhalla killing six people and injuring fifteen others, including seven in very serious condition. The crash was the deadliest in Metro-North's history, as well as the deadliest such crash in the United States since the June, 2009 Washington Metro train collision had killed eight passengers and injured eighty.
The driver of the SUV was caught inside the crossing gate when it descended, wedging itself onto the rear of her vehicle when she apparently attempted to rectify the situation by crossing the tracks instead of backing up. The driver, along with five passengers on the train died when her vehicle was struck. The impact tore loose more than 450 feet of third rail and, after piercing the SUV, went through the front of the train, breaking into sections.
LVAC EMT Riley Dejong, a Waccabuc resident and student at The Swedish Insttute Of Health Sciences is also employed as an EMT by Westchester EMS (WEMS) in Mt. Kisco. She was seated in the front car returning from classes in Manhattan. She was nineteen years old at the time and had just received her NYS EMT Certification as a member of LVAC. The front car was filled with smoke, flames and fuel fumes from the burning SUV along with dead and dying passengers. Miraculously she was unhurt and immediately started triage and provided life-saving aid to the wounded prior to the arrival of other EMS first responders. Passengers from the after cars could not reach the front car as the doors were jammed and the smoke held them back.
She removed belts from fellow wounded passengers and instructed an uninjured woman passenger to make a tourniquet out of one belt while Riley made one from another; together they provided hemorrhage control and treated a man with a double partial leg amputation. She then provided first aid to the wounded, continued triage and instructed others on caring for the wounded. She maintained patient contact and cared for the double amputee victim until additional EMS arrived at which point she helped package him and transfer to the ambulance. After that patient left, she rode a Valhalla ambulance to the Westchester Medical Center, treating two patients en route. Nine patients were taken to the Medical Center.
Commenting on the Award, LVAC Captain Lucian Lipinsky said," For a newly certified EMT, Riley's cool and professional response during an extremely hazardous situation is even more extraordinary. We are proud to have her on LVAC's team."
A Certificate of Recognition, awarded by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, stated:
The Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps (LVAC) is expanding its training and readiness programs to focus on high-threat, high-fatality events with the goal of rapidly treating victims and first responders as close to the point of injury as possible. With the frequency of events increasing nationally, new techniques aimed at threat suppression and victim survival are now being introduced throughout the First Responder community through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and Homeland Security. LVAC has joined with Westchester area police and fire departments and other EMS agencies to review and incorporate the new approaches and procedures.
LVAC is an agency within the Westchester Department of Emergency Services and as such is frequently dispatched to support surrounding agencies as part of the County mutual aid plan. In extreme cases, as was the case with the attack on September 11, 2001, LVAC can also be dispatched to New York City. On September 12, 2001 LVAC was the lead ambulance stationed at West and Vesey streets in lower Manhattan. With this in mind, LVAC is expanding its capabilities in the event that a multiple assault victim event occurs in its operating area.
The key concepts in these
types of events, according to LVAC Captain Lucian Lipinsky, are
"Threat Suppression, Hemorrhage Control, Maintain Breathing,
Rapid Extrication, Assessment by medical personnel and Transport
to definitive care. We want to treat and transport as many patients
with the greatest speed possible." Assuming the potential
for multiple victims, LVAC has prepared a Multiple Casualty Trauma
Kit containing a variety of necessary medical supplies needed
to immediately treat life threatening penetrating injuries and
serious bleeding for multiple patients. The Kit is an outgrowth
of Tactical Casualty Care protocols developed by the military
for multiple combat casualties. The primary focus, according
to Lipinsky, is "controlling major hemorrhaging, assuring
circulation, maintaining an airway and treating chest wounds."
The funds also allowed LVAC to provide smaller, Individual Trauma Kits, also called "Officer Down" Kits, that have been presented to Lewisboro Town Police Chief Frank Secret, who said the Kits will be placed in each of the department's five patrol vehicles affording duty officers with potentially on scene life-saving support. Several kits are being donated to New York State Police patrol units that cover the Town Of Lewisboro. This is just one more example of LVAC's close working relationship with local and area law enforcement agencies.
Commenting on the donation, LVAC's Lipinsky said, "These funds will allow LVAC to enhance its training and preparedness for events that could impact our community. We are deeply grateful to The Lions Club, The Chamber Of Commerce, Tator's and several individual donors for enabling us to sustain our reputation for leadership within the County's EMS first responder community."
South Salem Fire Department Demonstrates Rapid Gear Removal for Firefighter CPR in Joint Drill With LVAC
Members of the South Salem Fire Department, led by Fireman / EMT Steve Creedon demonstrated a new life saving technique for firemen who may suffer a cardiac arrest while at the scene of an emergency. In a display of practical choreography, CPR compressions are immediately started while other first responders coordinate the removal of heavy turn out coats, gear, helmets, boots, O2 masks and self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), all in one swift, efficient movement that does not interfere with the application of CPR compressions given by one of the rescuers. Above, at LVAC's Headquarters on Route 35, Fire Fighters Scott Schoenberg simulates providing continuous CPR compressions with Donald Wicks as victim while Cody Harris takes up position to set up the rapid removal of gear and tank by other rescuers. After the demonstration, LVAC members took turns learning the new technique.
The Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps is among the first EMS Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Westchester County authorized to use blood sampling as part of its patient assessment protocols. Pre-hospital blood sugar evaluation is intended to assist in the recognition of abnormal glucose levels and improve the speed with which proper treatment is received. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), along with hyperglycemia, (high blood sugar) are both potentially serious medical conditions. Using a device familiar to diabetics called a Glucometer, which contains a lancet and electronic measuring capability, LVAC EMTs can now quickly detect blood glucose anomalies enabling them to provide early treatment and speedier triage decisions.
"Prehospital glucometry is a safe, effective and minimally invasive procedure used by EMS professionals around the country," commented LVAC Captain Robert Stoddard. "A variety of medical conditions and patient presentations warrant prehospital blood glucose analysis. An altered mental status is the most common adult chief complaint that triggers a blood glucose measurement by EMS personnel," he added. Before this policy change by the New York State Emergency Medical Advisory Committee authorizing EMTs to provide blood sugar analysis in the field, only Paramedics were authorized to do the testing. According to Captain Stoddard, LVAC applied for the authorization and has completed all the requirements and training of LVAC's EMTs and Crew Chiefs. He acknowledged the "excellent" support of Dr. David Zuckerberg in managing the application process. Dr. Zuckerberg is a member of Northern Westchester Hospital's Emergency Department and also serves as LVAC's Medical Control physician contact.